As many bird owners are well aware, the key to keeping your bird happy and healthy during transportation is to reduce stress as much as possible. The first step to transporting your pet bird is to make sure that you have a secure way to travel with your bird to prevent injury or escape. Birds can easily chew their way out of cardboard boxes and will likely think you are giving them a Houdini like puzzle to solve if placed inside one. A travel cage or even plastic pet carrier is often the best way to transport your bird. Make sure that your bird has enough space to move around and that they will not become injured if they attempt to flap their wings. Getting your bird accustomed to being transported can be extremely important in case of emergency. Remember that taking your bird outdoors without some form of confinement may lead to your bird escaping, as the outdoors can tempt even the most well trained bird to explore their surroundings.
It is a good idea to allow your bird to get used to their travel carrier in a relaxed environment first instead of waiting until the need arises to attempt to place them in their travel carrier. You know your bird best; watch for signs of stress or discomfort, and reassure your bird during the adjustment process. Many birds are calmed by having a cover placed over their travel carrier, which can also be used to keep your bird warm in inclement weather. Never use electric or potentially toxic methods of heating your bird’s carrier as their chewing habits can result in injury or illness. Taking your bird from a warm environment to a cold one can cause shock. It is best to wrap your bird’s carrier in a thick blanket or coat before going out in the cold. Warm your car prior to placing the bird inside if it is cold out to reduce the risk of shock. The opposite is true for your bird during hot weather when adequate ventilation becomes extremely important. In either case, never leave your bird unattended in your car for any period of time. While food may be placed in their carrier with them, it is best to remove water for travel. If you are traveling long distances, place small amounts of water in the carrier frequently during the trip and watch for spills. When taking your bird to the veterinarian, it is important to wait until you are asked before removing your bird from their travel carrier in order to prevent escape. Reward your bird with affection or their favorite treat for a travel experience well done and remember to always keep their safety first in mind when you travel.
Ask us at Animal Central for more tips on how to transport your bird or visit: http://www.ehow.com/how_2362520_transport-pet-bird.html
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff