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Seasonal Bird Safety Risks

Seasonal bird safety risks can include hot weather problems, as well as specific issues around the holidays and vacation times. Very young and very old birds can be especially prone to temperature-related seasonal safety risks. Although most pet birds are kept indoors, always be aware of how the temperature can affect your pet and know how to identify potential seasonal bird safety risks. Regardless of the temperature, it is always important for your bird to have access to fresh, clean water. In warmer temperatures, this becomes even more critical. Even though many birds are originally from tropical climates, many have been captive bred and have become accustomed to typical indoor temperatures all year round. During very hot weather or if the bird is exposed to unusual heat due to a failing air conditioner, for example, hyperthermia becomes a serious seasonal bird safety risk. Birds that are overheated will often begin panting, sometimes holding their wings out away from their bodies to try to lower their core temperature. Bathing can help birds cool down quickly, so if your bird is exposed to extreme heat give him a cool pan of water or mist him with cool water to help him cool down. Around holidays, pet birds may be exposed to seasonal bird safety risks that may not be present at other times because of additional people in your home for holiday gatherings. It may seem like an obvious warning to say that you should never feed alcoholic beverages to your bird. Keep in mind, though, that an un-caged bird may help herself to a glass of wine or cocktail left on a table during a holiday party. Coffee, tea, soda, and other caffeinated drinks can have a harmful effect on your bird’s cardiac functions, and should always be avoided. As with alcoholic beverages, be sure to monitor your un-caged bird when caffeinated beverages are being consumed, to ensure he doesn’t help himself to an unattended soda. Never feed a bird chocolate; this is toxic to most birds even in small quantities. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity. If vacation times involve traveling with your bird there are some travel-related seasonal bird safety risks of which you should be aware. Never leave your bird unattended in a vehicle. Even if you think it will only be a short stop, bring the bird out of the car in her carrier. In hot weather, even with the windows partially opened, temperatures can reach dangerously high levels in just minutes. In cold weather, your bird’s body temperature can drop when he is confined in a small area and cannot move around enough to keep himself warm. When driving, the carrier should always be secured in the back seat if your car has front seat air bags. As with small children, the force of an inflating airbag can harm or kill your bird. The safest place for traveling with your bird in the car is in the middle of the backseat, securely tethered. Keeping in mind some seasonal bird safety risks can help keep your pet bird safe year-round.

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