Month: December 2016 (Page 1 of 24)

Holiday Safety for Dogs

The holiday season is upon us! Most pet parents include their furry best friends in the festivities, which can be fun for everyone involved.

However, while you’re celebrating, there are a few dangers to be aware of so that the holidays can be merry for everyone.

Decorations & Plants

  • Secure your Christmas tree so there’s no danger of it falling on your dog. Also make sure they don’t drink the tree water—the stagnant water can contain bacteria that make them sick.
  • Keep mistletoe and holly out of reach—they can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in pets.
  • Don’t leave lighted candles unattended—dogs could burn themselves, or start a fire if they knock one over.
  • Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of reach.

Food Dangers

  • Avoid feeding your dog leftovers. Fatty, spicy and other human foods served during the holidays—especially bones—are dangerous. Be sure to keep an eye on unattended plates, as well as making sure the trash is secure.
  • Be sure to keep any chocolate safely out of reach, as it is dangerous for dogs. Xylitol is another ingredient that should be avoided.
  • Alcohol is definitely off limits! If ingested, your dog could become weak, ill and even go into a coma. Keep cocktails out of reach.

Party Time

  • If you have guests that are animal lovers, invite them to give your dog some attention with a walk or a petting session, especially if you’re busy preparing or entertaining.
  • Make sure all medications (yours and any your guests may bring into your home) are locked away and out of reach.
  • Make sure your dog has his own quiet space to retreat to, in case the party becomes too overwhelming.
  • As you count down to 2017, please be aware of the stress fireworks and noise poppers can cause to dogs. If your dog is one of the many who are terrified of the loud noises and booms, be prepared ahead of time with Pet Supermarket’s calming supplies. A Thundershirt works well for many dogs during fireworks (as well as thunderstorms). In addition, Pet Supermarket sells a variety of calming supplements and sprays—such as Head to Tail Calming—that can help your dog cope during times of extra stress.

Calming a Stressed Cat

Cats are creatures of routine, and can become very stressed when their environment changes. Due to their superior senses, even very small differences are detected and can cause stress. Here’s a thought to help put that stress into perspective—your home is your cat’s entire world.

Here are some tips to help keep your cat calm and stress-free.

  • Play with him. Physical activity can reduce stress and increase the hormones that cause happiness. A 10-15 minute play session can help you both feel better!
  • Use a pheromone diffuser (that releases scents into the air that cats can smell but humans can’t) or a calming supplement. Pet Supermarket carries a variety of these calming supplies, such as Head To Tail Calming Treats. These calming treats are suitable for all ages and breeds, and are an all-natural way to relieve stress without the risk of drowsiness, or impaired motor skills.
  • Try playing some music. Soft music with a slow rhythm can help relax your cat. Many people have had success with classical music, but almost any genre played at a low volume can help your cat de-stress.
  • Give your cat a box. Anxious cats need a space that feels safe. Small, confined spaces like a box, or even your cat’s carrier with the door left open, can provide a feeling of safety. A box also has the added bonus of giving your cat a lookout spot as well as a place to hide.
  • Try a cat tree—a cat’s condo is a special place where dogs and humans can’t fit. Having a place to climb up high allows for an escape as well as a perch to observe any perceived dangers or threats.

While it’s best to keep interruptions in your cat’s life to a minimum, changes are inevitable. But with a little preparation and time, you can help your cat adjust with minimal stress and anxiety.

Best Items for Beginner Fish Keepers

Looking for a gift that will last long after the holidays? Consider colorful fish – they bring comfort and delight and are perfect for most any living situation. Tanks come in a variety of sizes and fish add fun and activity to any room! Fish are also great for kids and adults alike.

If you’re new to the world of fish and fish tanks, you might be overwhelmed at all of the choices. We can help you narrow them down and choose the best items for beginners.

Start with fish that are hardy, easy to take care of, and small. Usually, small fish are easier to care for than larger fish. You also have a better chance of getting small fish to co-exist with one another, especially if you want to have a community tank with numerous amounts of fish. You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll have a cold water or warm water tank. While some cold water fish can be mixed with warm water fish, this isn’t ideal—this can cause stress for your fish.

Cold water fish:

  • Goldfish: Probably the most popular cold water fish bought today. They’re not picky eaters, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Their ideal water temperature is between 62-74 degrees (F). They produce a lot of waste though, so you’ll need to do a weekly water change.
  • Bloodfin Tetras: these extremely hardy fish are small with silver bodies and striking red fins. They are active and peaceful and prefer to live in a group. Their ideal water temperature is 64-82 degrees (F).

For heated tanks:

  • Danios: these small fish are hardy and do well in a variety of conditions. They are active and small and prefer to be in a group near the surface of the water. They do well with flake fish food and are not picky eaters.
  • Black Molly: another peaceful fish that does well in groups. They can adapt to fresh, brackish and even salt water, with their ideal range between 70-82 degrees (F). One thing to be aware of—if you have a male and female, you could end up with babies.
  • Black Skirt Tetra: does best in a pair or a large group. They’re great eaters and will eat almost any type of food. They’re a peaceful fish who prefer to swim in the middle of the tank and prefer to have rocks, plants or other hiding places.

Essentials Fish Foods:

Now available at Pet Supermarket! New Essentials Fish Foods are available in 5 varieties – Goldfish Flakes, Tropical Flakes, Color Flakes, Betta Bites, and Algae Grazers. These wholesome foods have been formulated to provide proper nutrition and promote consistent growth, all while not clouding your water. Essentials Fish Foods are a great value as well. Find them at your nearest Pet Supermarket.

Aquarium Kits:

Aquarium kits make a great gift and are perfect for beginners! They come with all of the basics: lighting, filtration, heater, and thermometer – just add decorations, fish, and water! Complete aquarium kits are available in four sizes: 10 gallon, 20 gallon, 29 gallon, or 55 gallon.

Your Guide to Dog Beds

Did you know that the average adult dog sleeps 12-14 hours a day? With all that time spent sleeping, it’s essential for them to have a comfortable bed. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a bed for your dog. Just like when you choose a bed for yourself, it can be overwhelming with all of the different options available. Here are a few guidelines to make the decision a little easier.

Small – Medium Sized Dogs
Generally the best bed for small to medium sized dogs is an oval or round one, with a lot of cushioning for them to rest their head and paws on. The sizing can be tricky, since dogs like to be cozy, but there should also be enough room for them to stretch out comfortably. The best way to get the size right is to bring your dog with you when you shop for the bed and try it out in the store.

Large Dogs
Comfort and quality are the most important factors to consider when choosing a bed for your large dog. You’ll want something extra comfortable to protect them when they lay down on hard floors. Larger dogs wear down the foam in beds faster than smaller dogs, so generally the higher the quality, the longer it will last. If your dog suffers from arthritis or any joint issues, look for a high-quality memory foam.

Cold Dogs
If your dog needs extra warmth or likes to be snuggled in blankets, you’ll want something super cozy and warm. A cave or nest bed will allow your dog to burrow themselves, with or without blankets. Beds like these help your dog to feel very secure. As a bonus, these beds can be great for cats too—though probably not at the same time!

Older Dogs
Discomfort associated with arthritis or aging joints in older dogs can sometimes make sleeping uncomfortable. A good option in this case is a memory foam bed. A thick memory foam bed will provide the essential firmness your older dog needs to sleep comfortably. These beds are usually machine washable, which makes it easy to keep them clean.

Litter Options

Having a pet cat can be wonderful for so many reasons. They keep themselves clean, they cuddle with you when they feel like it, and you don’t have to rush home to walk them to prevent accidents. That last one comes with a trade-off however: kitty litter.

Though generally dreaded, kitty litter is not the smelly pile of sand it once was. It seems like it’s just a mound of dirt, but there have been many advances made in the efficiency, odor control and environmental impact of litter. So there are several options so you and your cat are sure to find one that pleases you both.

A Litter of Options
There are so many types available, it can be overwhelming to decide which to choose. Ultimately, your cat will help make that decision. While some cats will use any type of litter, some are very picky—if she doesn’t like it, she won’t use it and there’s little you can do to change her mind.

Most cats can be convinced to use the litter you prefer, but transition slowly so it’s not a sudden change. Start by mixing in a tiny bit of the new litter with the old litter. With every litter change, gradually increase the amount of new litter added, until eventually there is only new litter being used.

The different types of litter are:

Clay

  • Original type of kitty litter, what most cats are comfortable using
  • Absorbent, cats like it because it’s good for digging
  • Easy cleanup and decent odor control
  • Produces a lot of waste, doesn’t decompose, can create dust

Pine/Corn/Wheat

  • Environmentally friendly—decomposes naturally and may even be flushable
  • Very absorbent, good odor control
  • More expensive than clay, but also lasts longer
  • Some cats never adjust to the texture and won’t use it

Newsprint

  • Made from pellets of recycled newspaper
  • Larger pellets won’t stick to cat’s feet
  • Good odor control
  • Size of pellets can be difficult for cats to adjust to

Silica

  • Low maintenance—pellets change color when litter needs changing
  • Lasts longer than other types of litter
  • Not environmentally friendly
  • Some cats don’t like the texture

Choosing Your Betta

It’s important to know what to look for when choosing your Betta fish. Here are a few basic guidelines and some factors to consider.

Color
Bettas come in many colors and types. Dark colors—blue and red—are the most common, but you might find some unique colors as well. A healthy Betta is brightly colored with no apparent discoloration, though stress can sometimes cause a Betta to temporarily lose some vibrancy in their color. Once you bring your Betta home and it has acclimated to its new surroundings, the color should return to full strength.

Receptiveness
Bettas can be very social with their owners. When you approach, do they swim around? Or do they back up and sulk at the bottom? Do not tap at the container, as this will agitate them and cause them stress. Gently put your finger on its container and slowly move it around. The more social the Betta, the more it will play along and follow your finger. However, if the Betta seems calm, that’s not a bad thing. They can sometimes be tired and resting.

Health
Purchasing an unhealthy Betta can be disastrous. These fragile fish do not recover easily from malnourishment or maltreatment. Choose a Betta whose fins are in good condition and are not torn or damaged. Check for lumps—a healthy Betta has scales that are flat and smooth. They should have clear eyes, flat and smooth gills, and be shiny in appearance.

Digestive Problems in Dogs

If you have a dog, you probably have experience with their digestive issues. Digestive problems can be caused by diseases, such as cancer, or by an obstruction in the digestive tract. However—and luckily—most digestive problems are much simpler in nature, with causes such as stress, a change in diet, a virus, or simply eating something that upsets their digestive system. Determining the cause of the gastric distress is the first step in treating your dog.

Dietary indiscretion
Inappropriate food sources—such as rich table food, cat food, garbage, and indigestible items from around the home and yard—are a common problem. Usually this will cause acute vomiting and/or diarrhea wiith a loss of appetite. Usually diarrhea is temporary, but when it lasts longer than 12-24 hours, you need to intervene in order to prevent dehydration. Early treatment is easy and will ensure quick recovery.

Overfeeding/people food
Overfeeding and/or feeding off the table can cause digestive issues. Stick to a normal feeding schedule, with a measured amount of nutritious food specially formulated for your dog’s needs.

Obstruction
One of the most preventable causes is foreign body obstruction. Pay close attention to your dog, especially on walks or while playing, to make sure your dog isn’t ingesting anything that would cause distress. Foreign objects can cause damage to and block the digestive tract, which often leads to surgery.

How to cope
It’s upsetting when your once happy, playful dog is suddenly lethargic, withdrawn, and possibly vomiting or ill with diarrhea. Because stress can cause digestive problems, try to keep your dog calm and well-adjusted. In times of high stress, you may notice your dog having more stomach issues. Find coping mechanisms that work for your dog, such as petting him or scratching his belly.

Early treatment is key
Although digestive problems are a normal part of life, they should not be ignored. Try to prevent digestive issues before they happen. When they do happen, early treatment will speed recovery and comfort to an uncomfortable family member. If your dog isn’t responding to typical treatment, the digestive problems may be caused by something more serious, like disease, parasites or a virus. If you even suspect that your dog is suffering from a serious digestive or gastrointestinal issue, contact your vet immediately.

Preparing Cats for Household Gatherings

Holidays can be a stressful time of year for cats, especially if you are an owner who frequently entertains at home. Large gatherings of new people, constantly ringing doorbells, and loud music can cause even the calmest of cats to become skittish or nervous.

Here’s how to make the holidays less stressful for your feline friends.

Before the party

  • Make sure there’s a quiet spot for your cat to hide out. Create a safe area in a separate area of the house full of your cat’s favorite toys, a bed, and a litter tray. Spend some time with your cat playing in this area to help them become familiar with it. Having a refuge to call their own will allow them to be more relaxed.
  • Decorate safely. Many party decorations can be hazardous to your cat—they look like toys! Set up the Christmas tree without decorations until your cat becomes used to it, then add the decorations high and out of reach. Avoid using glass decorations, and tape wires down or keep them behind furniture. Pine needles, holly and mistletoe are all slightly toxic to cats. Candles are another thing to watch out for—cats love to knock things over!

During the party

  • Keep an eye on your cat. Whether your cat is nervous and hiding, or the life of the party, make sure to check in with them from time to time. They can be spooked by the hustle and bustle, and the additional change in routine can add to that stress. Having a few moments with you, as she would on a normal night, can be calming.
  • Make sure your guests aren’t feeding your cat any party food nibbles or leftovers. Let your guests know that even if your cat looks interested, that they have set feeding times and diets and should not be offered any food. Also be careful of things like chicken bones in the garbage—these are serious choking hazards and can require an emergency visit to the vet.

Keep in mind, this is your cat’s house too, and she should never be forced to socialize. If, despite your best efforts, you see her getting tense or anxious, you may want to try a product that includes calming pheromones, such as Head To Tail Calming supplements. These are healthy treats that are specially formulated to help your cat de-stress and relax without causing drowsiness.

Common Household Hazards For Small Animals

Household hazards for small pets.

When you think about small mammal pets like rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and hamsters, you usually don’t think about them being at risk of getting hurt at home. However, if you have one of these pets, there are home hazards you should be aware of.

These small creatures are very clever and curious, and capable of getting into things they shouldn’t. Here are some things you should be aware of.

Electric cords—so fun to chew, and so dangerous!
When your small pet chews on wires, they are likely to develop zinc poisoning which can lead to gastrointestinal upset, blood disturbances and even death. Some wires also contain copper, which can also be lethal. Live electrical wires offer the added danger of electrocution and instant death, and at the very least, severe oral burns. Keep all wires and cords safely secured or hidden so your pet can not access them.

Lead
Many construction materials used in building homes, including paint, linoleum and dry wall, may contain lead. Baseboards and floor edges can be tempting for small animals to chew on, but it can also be deadly, if the substances they’re chewing on contain lead. Keep pets away from chipping paint and other potentially lead-containing substances, as even a few bites of these materials can be lethal for smaller pets.

Temperature
Some small animals are extremely sensitive to temperature. For example, rabbits have thick, dense coats and cannot sweat. They get severely overheated at temperatures above 80 degrees, and can die. 80 degrees isn’t even considered extreme heat, so it’s important to be aware of the temperature and ensure your pet is comfortable. On the other hand, at temperatures below 70 degrees, hedgehogs enter a state of hibernation. Their heart rate slows and they become more susceptible to illness and even death if they remain at that temperature. It’s critical that your pet’s environment is kept in the temperature range that’s optimal for them.

People food
The food that we eat can be extremely toxic to small animals. Garlic, onions, food containing seeds, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and grapes are just a few of the foods they should never be given.

Other
Things like human medications and household cleaning products should always be kept out of reach of all pets.

Is Grain-Free Food Right for Your Dog?

Choosing a diet for man’s best friend is not a task to be taken lightly. We want our dogs to be as healthy as possible, and nutrition plays a very important part of their well-being. Grain-free foods have become popular among humans and among dog food diets as well. Is this the right choice for your dog?

The theory behind grain-free food for dogs is that protein-based, grain-free dog foods more closely mimic a canine’s natural or “ancestral” diet as a carnivore. However, mass-produced dog kibble generally uses inexpensive fillers like corn, wheat and barley to create bulk and reduce costs.

A dog’s digestive system has little support for breaking down and metabolizing complex carbohydrates and cereal grains. The inability to process these grains can cause damage to the lining of the digestive system, resulting in bowel inflammation disorders, food sensitivities, food allergies and obesity.

Most vets today recommend that carbohydrates and grains make up a small portion of a dog’s diet. Many grain-free dog foods contain more protein and animal fats and fewer carbohydrates than their grain-filled counterparts, and are therefore more easily digested.

Other benefits include:

  • Helps keep dogs fuller longer resulting in less food being eaten
  • May help prevent or reduce canine food allergies
  • Provides more energy
  • Fewer and smaller stools
  • Healthier skin
  • Shinier coat
  • Less shedding
  • Better breath

Should you switch your dog to grain-free? If your dog has no health issues, you might not need to worry. Definitely consult your vet before making any changes, but check out the ingredients in your dog’s food. If corn, wheat or soy is listed as the first ingredient, you might consider switching to a different formula.

If you and your vet determine change is a good idea, make sure to introduce the new food gradually so your dog’s digestive system can adjust.

Tips for Feeding In A Multi-Cat Household

Handling a single hungry cat is pretty simple. Feeding more than one cat in a household can be difficult. Many factors can present challenges: the number of cats involved, their temperaments, the size of feeding area and number of dishes, as well as any specific dietary needs that have to be considered.

Cats evolved as solitary hunters, and they ate many small meals in a day. Today, cats have one of two types of eating habits. The majority are “nibblers”—they’ll nibble at their food if it’s left out during the day (free-feeding). The others are meal feeders.

Free-feeding presents additional challenges in multi-cat homes, because it’s not easy to monitor each cat’s appetite and food intake. Also, assertive cats may prevent shyer cats from accessing the food bowl, or intimidate them into leaving the food before they have finished eating. Conflict among cats is often subtle, so you may not even be aware this is happening.

So what is the solution? Generally in most multi-cat households, meal feeding with individual stations is the best approach. This is especially true if any of the cats requires a specific or special type of food. One idea is to feed each cat in a separate room of the home, with the door closed. Ideally a regular feeding schedule is adhered to, and each cat is given a certain amount of time to eat.

At all times, water should be freely available in several locations. If separate rooms isn’t possible, setting up dividers or partitions might create enough division for everyone to eat peacefully. Or think vertically – cats like to jump and climb, so their food dishes could be separated at different levels of surfaces in the home.

Regardless of the feeding plan chosen, make sure to consult your vet about the amount of calories your cat should consume each day. Obesity is the biggest health concern facing cats in the US today, and by simply being aware of how much food your cat needs and avoiding overfeeding, you can greatly improve your cat’s health.

Keeping Your Bird’s Beak Healthy

Keeping Your Bird's Beak Healthy.

A healthy bird has a healthy beak. And a healthy beak means your bird will use it like we use our hands, as it performs a multitude of vital tasks such grooming, feeding, and defending. Each bird has a beak with a distinct shape and design relating to its lifestyle and the type of food it normally eats.

Here are some signs of a healthy beak:

  • Smooth, symmetrical appearance
  • No peeling or unusual textures
  • No discolored areas
  • Proper beak length
  • The upper should align with the lower beak

Here are a few products that will help keep your bird’s beak in tip top shape:

Cuttlebones
A cuttlebone is not actually a bone, but rather the internal shell of a cuttlefish. It is a great source of calcium which helps strengthen the keratin that makes up your bird’s beak, and its texture is helpful in wearing down overgrown beaks. The cuttlebones come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. It’s a great idea to keep one in your bird’s cage at all times.

Beak Conditioner
Made of natural lava stone, this block helps birds keep their beaks sharp and trimmed.

Manu Mineral Block
A natural, mineral-rich clay originating from the Manu River deep in the Amazon. This clay contains the nine essential minerals that birds crave, and its rough texture and odd shape also provides great exercise and conditioning of the bird’s beak.

Banana Mineral Treat
A treat and beak conditioner all in one! This banana-flavored treat provides the essential nutrients calcium and iodine, while also trimming and conditioning.

Common Causes of Dog Skin Conditions

Dog skin problems are the most common reason for a visit to the vet’s office-accounting for almost one quarter of visits.

Being aware of some of the most common skin conditions your dog might face can help you keep him healthier and can help the vet narrow down the cause to figure out the best plan for treatment.

Environmental

Dogs can develop sensitivities to common elements like lawn grasses, dust, pollen, mold and mildew. These allergens might make your dog itchy and uncomfortable. Moisture can also get trapped on the skin which causes ‘hot spots’, which is a painful moist reddish inflamed area of skin. Hot spots can spread quickly, so it’s best to treat them as soon as possible.

Nutritional

Food allergies are not as common, but when food allergies do occur, they are usually caused by proteins, both meat-based and plant-based. Beef, dairy and wheat are the most common allergens. The main symptom of food-based allergies is excessive itching/scratching and skin irritation, but it can also cause digestive issues.

Parasitic

Flea bites can also cause allergic reactions in dogs-this is known as parasitic dermatitis. Excessive itching, inflammation and hair loss are common symptoms of this, though tick bites and mites can also cause a similar reaction.

Infectious

Infections can also cause dermatitis in dogs. The infection can be bacterial, fungal (such as ringworm), or yeast infections. Yeast infections are common in warmer weather and are often misdiagnosed as allergies. Itchy ears and paws are most often caused by yeast infections. Bacterial infections are often secondary infections to allergies, caused by sores from excessive scratching.

How to help

Parasitic dermatitis is the easiest of the causes to deal with – treat your home and your pets for fleas, and make sure they’re on a flea preventative. Once the fleas are eliminated, the itching will be too. Other allergies and irritants are more difficult to pinpoint though, so if the fleas are under control and your dog is still suffering, a vet visit is the best way to narrow down the possible culprits. Environmental allergens can be treated with medication or shots; food allergies can be managed by transitioning to a new food, recommended by your vet. It may require some trial and error to figure out the underlying cause, but your patience will be rewarded once your dog is feeling better!

Tips for a Stress Free Vet Visit

  • Be aware that your behavior influences your cat’s behavior. If you are nervous or on edge, they are likely to be also. Offer your cat plenty of love and affection before preparing to leave for the visit, as this can help both of you stay calm.
  • An important stress reducer is getting your cat to feel comfortable with her carrier. If she only ever gets in it to go to the vet, that will be her only association with it. Incorporate it into your daily lives-make it a comfortable nap space, and offer treats when he’s inside for positive reinforcement.
  • The type of carrier you use is also important-it should be large enough for your cat to be able to stand, stretch and turn around in. Hard carriers with a top-loading option make it easier to lift out a fearful cat. You can also try covering it with a familiar towel from home to help block out some of the frightening stimuli of the vet’s waiting room.
  • The car ride can also be a negative association for your cat. Cats like things to be familiar and predictable, and a car ride is definitely not part of their daily routine. Once she’s used to the carrier, try taking her for shorter car rides every once in a while, just around the block or down the street. While your cat may never grow to love riding in the car, if a trip doesn’t always end up at the vet’s office, it may become less stressful.
  • Not feeding your cat prior to the visit can help prevent any motion sickness caused by the car ride. An added bonus is that your cat will be more interested in any treats the vet offers.
  • Handle your cat often. Give your cat regular head-to-toe checkups at home. Even if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, it will help your cat become more comfortable with being handled. You’ll also notice any potential issues more quickly if you’re checking your cat frequently.

Correcting Bird Biting Behavior

If your pet bird bites you-or someone else-it’s important that you spend time to correct the behavior. A bird’s biting can be playful, their attempt to climb on or to preen you, or just simple baby bird behavior.

Purposeful biting happens for one of two basic reasons, either out of fear or aggression, so the first step in correcting biting is to determine the underlying cause.

Fearful biting

Sometimes, the cause of fear is a rational one-a loud sound like a vacuum cleaner, for example. Other times, the fear appears illogical, but perhaps something happened in your bird’s past to cause the fear. Once you’ve determined the cause, remove it from the bird’s environment, if at all possible. If that’s not an option, try increasing the distance between the cause and the bird. Give the bird treats and positive reinforcement as you gradually move the bird closer (very slowly, over the course of days or weeks). Eventually, the bird will associate the cause of the fear with positive reinforcement, which should reduce its fear.

Aggressive biting

Some underlying causes of aggression include control/territorial dominance, lack of attention or hormonal or medical issues. There are right and wrong ways to correct this behavior-it’s important not to reinforce it. In your relationship with your bird, you should have established yourself as the “head of the flock” and he should already be trained to step up onto your hand on command. Birds react to facial expressions and praise. So if your bird is biting, you should:

  1. Calmly and firmly, but not loudly or dramatically, say “No”
  2. Give your bird a stern look to express that you are not pleased
  3. Then do what is known as “laddering”. This is where you calmly and firmly tell your bird to “step up” onto your finger, and then have them do this over and over (3 or 4 times in a row).

This puts you back in control and reminds your bird that you are in charge. You must be consistent with this technique and if you are, the biting should stop.

It’s just as important to know what NOT to do. Do not:

  • React by yelling. Birds love drama and yelling and think of it as a reward.
  • React with violence, under any circumstances. You will damage their trust in you and therefore your relationship.
  • Attempt to punish the bird by putting it in its cage. They won’t make the connection between biting and being put in his cage.

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