By Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice)
Pets of all kinds can be great companions, giving their owners someone to talk to, cuddle and spend time with. For someone considering a new pet, a bird may not be the first thought, but there are many benefits to owning a bird. Along with their social nature, they are smart, entertaining and loyal. Check out this list of reasons why owning a bird is great.
1) Birds are extremely intelligent and can be taught to talk if the owner has time and a little bit of patience. They are also very social animals that enjoy spending time with their owners playing, chatting and eating.
2) Birds are great at performing tricks and playing games, making them even more interactive than owning a dog at times.
3) Loyalty is no problem either. They form close bonds with their human “flock-mates” and crave time with them. Many birds, especially some of the larger species, enjoy being petted and cuddled.
4) Birds are often very beautiful animals. For example, parrots flaunt distinct feather patterns and bright colors.
5) Are you looking for your first pet? Birds make great first pets because they can be easily integrated into households with children and will teach children the responsibility of owning an animal.
6) Birds live longer than many other pets when cared for and fed properly. While it depends on their species, some birds can live upwards of 50 years!
7) Birds do require annual veterinary examinations and blood work as they get older, but they do not require vaccinations or other extensive veterinary care as long as they are kept healthy.
8) Unlike dogs, they don't need to be walked and can be kept happily inside. Many smaller species don’t need excessively large living spaces, so they are suitable for people who live in small houses or apartments.
Birds can make great pets but are not right for everyone. Be sure that if you are considering bringing a bird home, you do your research to ensure it is the right choice for you and your family.