If you’ve decided to introduce a bird to your family, here’s what you’ll need to do before bringing them home.

How to bird-proof your home

Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems. Aromas such as scented candles and air fresheners can be harmful to your new pet, so it’s important to avoid using these once your they have arrived. Insect sprays and the fumes released from cooking with Teflon can be fatal, which is why their enclosure should be far away from high-traffic zones like the kitchen.

As birds are known chewers, it’s important to keep potential dangers away from their curious beaks. Electrical cords are of particular concern and you need to make sure that your bird won’t be able to access them. You’ll also need to be careful about what your bird can chew – a windowsill might be appealing to them, but it may have been treated with paints or treatments that could be toxic for your bird. Similarly, there are a number of plants that can cause issues for your bird – common varieties to watch out for are lilies, ivy, parsley, jasmine, daffodils and honeysuckle.

At this stage, you’ll want to identify and remove the dangers so you can keep your bird safe once they arrive.

How to find right spot for your bird’s enclosure

Due to birds’ sensitivities to some of the aromas mentioned above, you’ll need to take this into account when choosing the space for their enclosure. Find a spot that is nice and quiet and can be nice and dark for when it’s bedtime. Ideally, their cage or aviary will sit beside a window so your bird can enjoy the sunlight and watch what’s happening outside. That said, you need to very careful that your bird won’t be at risk of getting too hot or too cold. Be mindful of draughts and your bird spending time in direct sunlight as these elements can be harmful to them.

What are essentials you need for a new pet bird?

Before your bird arrives home, you’ll want to make sure you have everything they need on hand. Of course you’ll want to stock your pantry full of suitable bird pellets that are formulated to deliver all your bird’s nutritional needs. Along with the pellets, which should make up about 80% of your bird’s diet, you should also stock your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies, as these will make up 15% of your new pet’s menu. It’s also good to pick up millet, which will keep their beak active and well maintained. Of course, you’ll need to pick up bowls for food as well as a bowl or dripper for their water.

A selection of bird-friendly toys should also be included in your starter kit. You’ll want toys such as ladders and perches that your bird can climb on – these are great for keeping them entertained. A mirror may remind them how good-looking they are.

Feel free to chat to your local Petbarn team member for advice on finding the right accessories for your pet bird.

Who should you contact when your bird has an emergency?

In the preparation phase, you’ll want to get to map out important locations. Knowing the location of the Greencross Vets nearest to you will help avoid the panic in the event of an emergency – particularly helpful while your bird is settling in to their new home. You might want to stick the address on your fridge or save the location in your phone so it’s readily accessible.

Taking care to get prepped for your bird’s arrival will make their settling in phase so much smoother. If you need any more advice, feel free to talk to your local Petbarn team member.