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Category: Bird (Page 2 of 3)

Caring for Your Bird’s Beak and Claws

Caring for your birds beak and claws.

As a bird owner, you know your fragile pet has a beak and claws that need special care and attention. While there are some things you can do at home, bird grooming tasks generally fall under three categories: upkeep supported by bird products, grooming you can handle yourself at home and grooming that should be handled by a vet. These tips will help you decide which is which…

Maintenance with bird products
Your bird’s natural activities, such as beak rubbing, chewing, foraging and eating will help him stay in shape, but only if you provide the means. Offer bird cuttlebones, natural perches, sanded bird perch covers and foraging toys to keep him happy and his beak and claws healthy.

Grooming your bird at home
Just as we trim our own nails, a bird’s claws need constant trimming. It may take a bit of practice, but trimming can be done at home. This will keep your bird’s nails healthy and prevent him from having perching problems. Before starting, make sure you have styptic powder in case you cut into the quick. Losing blood is very dangerous for birds as just one teaspoon can equal 10% of a bird’s total blood volume. Start by first wrapping your bird gently in a towel, then using bird claw clippers to trim the sharp tip at the very end of the claw only.

Grooming at the vet’s office
The one thing you should never try doing at home is trimming your bird’s beak. While this may not be necessary for most birds, there are times when a bird’s beak becomes overgrown or abnormally shaped. If this happens, visit an avian vet. The vet will use a tool to gently file down your bird’s beak. This is stressful for your bird and may be painful if done improperly, so make sure you leave it to a professional. If you find it hard to trim your bird’s claws, you might want to have your vet take care of that as well.

Is Your Bird a Rock Star or a Jock? Choosing Toys for Your Bird

Choosing toys for your bird.

Whether he’s a singing star or a shy one, your bird has his own personality. Why not get toys to suit his character? If your bird fits one of these profiles, get a toy that will suit him.

Rock Stars
Does your bird love to sing, make music, groom himself and be the center of attention? Your rock star will love toys with bells, toys that make sounds and mirror toys.

Smart Jocks
If you have an active bird who loves challenges, try interactive toys like Birdie Basketball, Birdie Bowling and Birdie Skeeball. Skeeball prizes are optional.

Master Foragers
Your bird may love to hunt and forage for every last nugget. If so, test his skills with the Corn Stalk or Corn Kabob treat toys.

Dancing Dude
Dance lovers who sway to music will like Dancing Spools and mirror toys.

Chewing Champ
Does your bird love to munch and chew? He won’t be able to resist toys like the Crunch & Munch, Tiki Takeout and the Mini Rainbow Bridge.

Play up to your bird’s singing, dancing or chewing skills with toys he’ll love!

Common Dangers for Birds during the Holidays

Common holiday dangers for birds.

The holidays present special safety challenges to bird owners. It is important to keep your birdie safe and stress free. Below is a list of the most common dangers for birds during the holiday season:

  • Christmas tree: If you let your bird loose in the house, he will naturally flock to the Christmas tree. A decorated tree may include tinsel and artificial snow that can be toxic to birds. Christmas trees are also adorned with lights that can become hot and cause burns. Remember to keep your bird away from the Christmas tree.
  • Holiday Plants: Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe and other plants commonly used to decorate during the holidays can be toxic to birds and other pets.
  • Fire: If you are going to light candles or start a fireplace, remember to keep your bird in his cage, away from open flames that can pose a danger.
  • Decorations: Tying ribbons or bows to decorate a bird’s cage can be dangerous since the bird may become entangled or tempted to pick at the decorations. Most ribbons and bows contain inks and metals that can be toxic.

The safest place for your birdie during the holiday parties is in its cage. At Pet Supermarket, we want our customer and their pets to be safe. Do you have something special in mind for your birdie? See our selection of Toys and Cage Accessories online or at our stores.

Why are bird toys important?

Choosing toys for your bird.

In the wild, birds spend lots of time playing. They strip bark from trees, swing on vines, and fling leaves and twigs. Treats and toys provide a substitute to what is found in the wild. Toys and treats offer reward, exercise, and relief from boredom for your birdie. Specifically, toys can help your bird in the following ways:

  • Mental Heath: Playing is essential for healthy mental development. Birds who aren’t intellectually stimulated may display stressful behaviors like feather picking, screaming, and biting. Exposure to a wide variety of objects encourages the bird to be more confident and less fearful.
  • Physical Health: Toys encourage movement and muscle contractions that increase blood circulation, coordination and dexterity. Toys can be outlet for natural aggression and an opportunity to spend energy.

Toys will help protect your feather friend from boredom, depression and poor physical health. At Pet Supermarket, we have everything you’ll need to create the perfect avian habitat for your bird. We carry a large selection of toys, perches, cuttlebones, and grooming aids. Stop in today!

Beak And Claw Care For Birds

Beak and claw care for your pet bird.

A happy bird is a healthy bird, and this includes having a healthy beak and claws.

Here are some tips on checking your bird’s beak and claws to make sure they’re in prime condition:

  • Check your bird’s beak daily for signs of overgrowth, discoloration, or cracks. If any of these signs are present, consult your veterinarian to determine any underlying causes and to obtain proper care instructions. Provide your bird with plenty of chewing toys made from various materials such as rope, plastic, or wood. A cuttlebone is a necessity for many breeds, as it provides minerals and contributes to a healthy beak. A sturdy, properly sized cage is also important, because it will reduce the chance of your bird chewing through the bars.
  • A bird’s claws are much like human fingernails in that they often grow quickly. If they become overgrown, they can curl around and cause problems in perching or become infected. However, a variety of perches in different abrasive-type materials can prevent this, in addition to manual trimming. If you’re wary of trimming your bird’s claws yourself, consult with your vet for a reputable bird groomer.

At Pet Supermarket, we have everything you’ll need to create the perfect avian habitat for your bird. We carry a large selection of cages in every size, perches, cuttlebones, and grooming aids. Stop in today for everything you’ll need for a happy, healthy bird.

Beginner’s Tips for Feeding Your Parakeet

Beginner's Tips for Feeding Your Parakeet.

Parakeets are a favorite among bird owners, and they’re a great choice for the first-timer.

Here are some care and feeding tips for these cheerful chirpers:

  • Select a high-quality, fortified seed or pellet mix, and provide a couple of teaspoons of it each day (per bird). A parakeet’s diet should also be supplemented daily with fresh fruits and veggies. Apples, grapes, shredded carrots, broccoli, or sweet potatoes are all great suggestions, and should be offered in a separate cup. Plenty of fresh water is crucial to your bird’s health, so clean and change your bird’s water on a daily basis.
  • Another parakeet cage necessity is a cuttlebone. Cuttlebones provide calcium and minerals, and aids in keeping your bird’s beak trimmed. Some other cage goodies that your bird will enjoy are acrylic honey stick holders, millet holders, or the Clip-It(R), which allows you to clip treats to the bars of the cage. Perches in a variety of shapes and sizes are also important, because they give your bird a chance to “stretch” its feet.

Pet Supermarket has a large selection of cages, foods, toys, and treats for your bird-we even carry toys that contain treats inside! Stop by your local store for everything you’ll need to create the perfect habitat for your feathered friends.

Caring for Lovebirds

Caring for your Lovebird.

If you’re looking for a new feathered friend, then you might want to consider a lovebird.

Here are some tips on caring for these cheerful, chirpy little birds:

  • As with all birds, purchase the largest cage you can afford, because lovebirds are quite active. Bars should be positioned horizontally for climbing and perching, and should be spaced no more than one-half inch apart. Lovebirds often bond closely with their owners, and contrary to myth, they don’t always need to be kept in pairs. However, if you don’t think you can devote plenty of time to your new lovebird, consider pairing it with another.
  • Select a high-quality pelleted food for your lovebird, supplemented with seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables. A cuttlebone is also good for extra calcium and a healthy beak. Lovebirds adore toys, so rotate them often in order to provide mental stimulation for your lovebird. Just make sure there are no loose items that can become detached and possibly strangle your bird, and no loose strings that could cause them to become entangled.

Pet Supermarket carries a large selection of cages, bird foods, treats, and toys. Visit your local Pet Supermarket today to see all the things you’ll need to create a beautiful avian habitat for your bird!

Is Your Home Safe For Your Bird?

Is your home safe for your birds?

If you’re a new bird owner, then you need to make your entire home safe for your new friend. Here are some common things around the house that can be dangerous to your pet bird:

  • Birds are extremely sensitive to the air around them; they can be poisoned by everyday household products. Fumes produced by aerosol products, insecticides, ammonia, bleach, glues, nail polish remover, and paint can all be harmful or possibly fatal for your bird. Additional dangers also include the fumes from Teflon® coated cookware, oven cleaners, cigarette smoke, and carbon monoxide.
  • If you plan on letting your bird out of the cage, then you also need to be aware of other household dangers. No open toilets, because birds can fall in and drown. Ceiling fans should be off, windows closed, and mirrors and other reflective surfaces should be covered to prevent your bird from flying into them. Also, since birds love to chew, exposed electrical wires should be hidden—or else your bird could be electrocuted.

Most importantly, if you have a cat, never leave your bird unsupervised with it; cats instinctively stalk birds, and the consequences can be deadly. The helpful associates at Pet Supermarket can answer any questions you have regarding bird care. Pet Supermarket also has everything you need to create the perfect avian environment, from cages and accessories to foods and treats. Come in and see our selection today!

How to Care for a Parakeet

Caring for Your Parakeet.

Parakeets make great pets, especially if you’re a first-time bird owner. They’re small, social, and easy to care for. Here are some tips on basic parakeet care:

  • Feed your parakeet a couple of teaspoons of fortified parakeet seed or pellet mix daily. A parakeet’s diet should also include a daily portion of fresh fruits and veggies, such as apples, grapes, broccoli, or shredded carrots. Offer these up in a separate feeding dish. Provide plenty of fresh water, and remember to change the water daily.
  • A parakeet’s cage should have plenty of perches in a variety of sizes to ensure that he or she gets plenty of exercise and entertainment. A cuttlebone is also a parakeet necessity-it provides calcium and minerals, and helps keep the bird’s beak trimmed. And don’t forget the toys and treats!

Pet Supermarket has everything you’ll need to set up your parakeet’s home. We carry a wide variety of parakeet seed mixes, treats, toys, cages, and neat accessories, such as treat holders that clip onto the bars of the cage. We even have toys with treats built right in! Visit our bird section today to choose all the things that are sure to make your parakeet chirp with delight.

How to Exercise Your Bird

How to exercise your bird.

Is your pet bird getting enough exercise? Even a very large cage doesn’t always provide enough physical and mental stimulation, and that can lead to behavior problems. Here are some other ideas:

  • Allow your bird some free-flight time by letting it out of the cage. Birds are social animals, so set up perches in the family room that will let your bird interact with you and your family-basically, the “flock”. Supervise your bird while he’s out, and make sure that ceiling fans are off and any plate-glass doors or windows are covered in order to keep your bird safe.
  • A large, secure enclosure in your backyard would make a wonderful playground for your bird. Birds love to be in their natural habitat, and providing them with their own safe space to enjoy the outdoors is a great way for them to stretch their wings.

If your bird is young enough, you can even train him on a flight harness so that you can enjoy the outdoors together. Pet Supermarket has plenty of information on how you can create a happy environment for your bird. Visit your neighborhood Pet Supermarket today and check out the “Big Fun for Big Birds” sales display, where you can find a variety of toys for large birds.

How to Tell if Your Bird is Sick

How to tell if your bird is sick.

Since birds often don’t show signs of illness until they’re very sick, it’s important to monitor your bird closely. Also, if you have more than one bird, it’s important to catch an illness early to prevent it from spreading. Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Changes in attitude: A sudden increase or decrease in food and water intake could indicate an illness. Other changes to look for are decreased singing or vocalization, inactivity, and increased sleeping. Also, you should watch to see if your bird’s personality has changed-for example, becoming more aggressive or submissive.
  • Changes in appearance: A change in your bird’s feathers such as lost or broken feathers, picking or pulling at feathers, bald spots, or abnormal feather color could all be signs that your bird is sick. Any swelling or discharge around the eyes as well as a discoloration of the beak could also mean disease.
  • Changes in stance: If your bird begins to exhibit behavior such as sitting on the bottom of the cage, sitting low or falling off perches, losing its balance, or walking in circles, you should have your bird checked out by a vet.

Symptoms such as weakness, bleeding, trauma, labored breathing, seizures, or collapse should be viewed as emergencies, and you should take your bird to the vet right away. For more information on birds and bird care, visit the associates at Pet Supermarket. They can help you keep your pet bird happy and healthy!

Choosing a Second Bird for Your Home

Adding another bird to your pet family.

In the wild, birds are part of an extended social group, their flock. Regardless of how much attention we lavish on our caged friends, often our birds become lonely because of the lack of natural social interaction. If you’re thinking of adding another bird to your household, here are some tips:

  • Stick with the same species: Unless you plan on keeping your birds in separate cages permanently, you should choose birds of the same or similar species. If birds are of the same size and temperament, they’re more likely to bond. After all, small budgies and cockatiels may not be able to defend themselves against larger parrots or macaws.
  • Start slowly: After a short quarantine period to ensure that your new bird is healthy, place your birds in the same room in separate cages. As they begin to adjust and trust each other, then you can allow them to interact outside the cage. Watch for signs of aggression or stress from each bird-if none exists, then you’ve successfully expanded your flock.

The staff at Pet Supermarket can answer all your questions about compatible birds, and will help you choose all the best cages, toys, foods, and other supplies to make your home aviary a success. Soon you’ll be surrounded by the sound of happy, healthy chirping!

Choosing the Right Cage For Your Bird

How to tell if your bird is sick.

Since your bird will spend a large part of his or her life in its cage, it’s important to choose wisely. Is it time for a new cage for your friend? Here are some pointers for creating a happy habitat for your bird:

  • Bigger is better: No matter what type of bird you have, purchase the biggest cage possible. Birds need room to maneuver freely about their cages. Since a bird’s primary form of activity and exercise is flying, they need plenty of space in which to do so. A larger cage will provide room for plenty of toys and perches to keep your bird happy, as well as allowing for future growth.
  • Shapes and sizes count: For smaller birds, cage length is more important than height, since they fly from side to side rather than up and down. For larger, long-tailed birds, cage height is crucial in order to give them room to play and stretch without damaging their beautiful tail feathers.
  • Choose correct bar spacing: The spacing and design of the bars on your birdcage is also very important. A cage with wide bar spacing might be fine for a large parrot, but could cause injury to smaller finches or canaries. To avoid injury to your bird, carefully check any decorative designs, doors, or latches that could trap your bird’s wings, beak, or feet.

Remember that birds typically have a longer life span than most pets, so choosing a cage of the highest quality materials available will be worth it in the long run. The staff at Pet Supermarket is ready and waiting to help you choose the perfect cage and supplies for your particular breed of bird.

Feeding Your Bird Properly

How to feed birds properly.

Improper nutrition is the main cause of death in pet birds. Since feeding requirements vary between species, here are some guidelines:

  • Birds can’t live on seed alone: It’s a common misconception that birds can live on seeds only. Although seeds are a favorite food for most birds, they don’t provide enough nutrition. Commercially prepared “pelleted” foods are a must for your bird’s diet– they’re formulated to be nutritionally balanced.
  • Variety is essential: In the wild, birds eat a little of everything. Supplementing your bird’s diet with greens, fresh fruits, and vegetables will add valuable nutrition. And, of course, fresh water must always be available.
  • Know which foods to avoid: As with any pet, some foods can make your bird ill or be fatally toxic. Foods included on the “do not feed” list are chocolate, alcohol or caffeine, fruit pits, onions, and mushrooms. And never offer avocado in any form-it’s highly poisonous to birds.

Remember, each bird is different, and each will require a specific diet. For more information, just ask the staff at Pet Supermarket. They can provide everything you need to ensure that your bird’s health and happiness.

Which Birds are Best for Beginners?

Birds are great pets for many reasons. They make wonderful companions, and with so many breeds to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your space and budget. Here are some tips to help you decide:

  • For the beginner… If you’re a first-time bird owner, finches and canaries are great choices. They’re low maintenance, and can thrive in a small cage. These birds prefer to be watched and heard instead of handled.
  • Want more action? For more interaction with your bird, choose a cockatiel, parakeet, or lovebirds. They’re slightly larger, so they need more space. But they also enjoy playing out of the cage, and are often able to learn to talk.
  • Get exotic! Cockatoos, African Parrots, Macaws, and Amazons are known for their dazzling colors and amusing antics. Just be aware that these large birds require a long-term commitment, but the investment is well worth it.

No matter what type of bird you purchase, remember that with any pet comes responsibility. If you need more information to help you decide, the staff at Pet Supermarket is there to help. They can help find the perfect “feathered friend” for you!

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