It’s not just dogs and cats that can become bored if they are left alone too long. Although not traditionally thought of as a companion animal, birds are highly intelligent creatures that require a great deal of mental stimulation to stop them from becoming frustrated and developing bad behaviors. But just how do you mentally stimulate your bird?
Here are our top tips for preventing your bird from becoming bored and helping them to live full and happy lives.
Many owners mistakenly believe that it’s a good idea to keep their bird’s toys in the same location within their cage so that it is easy to find them. However, since birds are highly intelligent, they are far more switched on to where things are than you might think and actually, rotating their toys can provide them with some much-needed mental stimulation that can stop boredom and destructive behaviors from setting in. Make sure you provide a good selection of different toys too. Your bird will figure out how to do a simple puzzle fairly quickly, so new challenges are a great idea. And remember to clean their toys with each switch to keep their cage as healthy as possible.
Experts agree that one of the best ways to keep birds healthy and happy is to ensure that you feed them a healthy, well-balanced diet. Their diet should include a combination of seed and pellet mixes, fresh fruits, vegetables and even some mashed food. This provides a nice variety of textures and flavors that will keep mealtimes interesting and your flying friend full and satisfied. If you aren’t sure what you should be feeding your bird, consult with your exotic veterinary specialist to obtain advice and support.
Most birds are very sociable and take great pleasure in interacting with their humans – just like dogs, cats and other, more common pets. For this reason, it’s always better for the mental health of a bird to ensure it has a playmate for social interaction. Nevertheless, whether your bird flies solo or has a live-in friend, they will still enjoy and benefit from spending time with you. You don’t need to do anything special – simply talking to them, handling them and playing games will provide enough mental stimulation to keep them happy and provide companionship.
Just like other animals, birds can quickly become bored and frustrated if they can’t use their energy, and this can even lead to undesirable behaviors such as excessive vocalization. Always choose the largest cage that you can accommodate to give them as much space as possible to spread their wings. And make sure you give them regular breaks outside the cage for a change of scenery and the chance to fly a little further. Just remember to secure the room before you let them loose!
Your bird will be more than capable of making their own noise, but research suggests that they will also benefit from some background noise when they are left alone too. This could be anything from your favorite playlist to an app with some white noise. If the tv is nearby, they may also enjoy any colorful kids’ programs that you may choose to leave playing.
For more tips on how to stimulate your bird, visit Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic Inc. at our office in Roselle, New Jersey. You can also call us at 908-245-7853 to schedule an appointment.