Taking Your Parrot on a Car Trip
Each year thousands of families hit the road for vacation with plans to take the family pets, even parrots, on their excursion. Before embarking on a cross country trip, though, review our Six Tips for Car Travel with Parrots to insure hassle free trip where your pet bird is safe, secure and fun to be around.
- PACK PET BIRD SUPPLIES: Since your parrot will do best with minimal disruption to its usual routine, bring along familiar bird food and bird toys. Also pack bird cage cleaning supplies such as Poop Swoop Wipes, Aviclean and paper towels. A bird harness and a portable bird stand like The Percher will keep your parrot safe and give it out of cage time.
- SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Make an appointment with your veterinarian to provide grooming services and issue a current health certificate. Make sure that you prepare a packet that contains the health certificate, a current picture of your parrot and a record of its leg band number and microchip number. Ask your avian veterinarian to refer a Vet in your destination town in case your bird has a medical emergency in route. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- TRAVEL BREAKS: When you take travel breaks, check on your bird to insure that it is not too stressed, has fresh water and food and its cage is not too soiled. If weather permits, your bird may appreciate some fresh air and sunshine. A harness trained bird will welcome putting its bird harness on and stretching out.
- SECURE THE BIRD CARRIER: A loose bird can distract you, crawl under the gas and brake pedals and pose a risk of flying out an opened door. Always travel with your bird in a secure carrier in the back seat, secured by a seat belt. A sudden stop may propel an unsecured bird carrier off of the seat and slam it into the back of the front seat. NEVER put the bird carrier in the front seat because if the air bag deploys it can kill your bird.
- SAFETY DURING THE DRIVE: If your bird is not used to traveling, it will find the trip stressful. Motion sickness is not uncommon. Some people find AviCalm or Herbal Relaxation Calming Formula soothes their parrots’ nerves. If your bird experiences motion sickness, reduce the amount of feedings and cover the cage. Talk to your bird to sooth its anxiety. Keep the car temperature as stable as possible and insure that your bird is not exposed to drafts from air conditioning or open windows. If you are using an enclosed carrier, make sure it is out of direct sunlight. Also, please be sure to not smoke in the car with your pet bird.
- ARRIVING AT YOUR DESTINATION: One you arrive at your destination put your birds’ temporary cage in a quiet, draft free location. If you’re staying in a place that has dogs, cats or a lot of commotion, your parrot will feel more comfortable near where you sleep. Insure your bird is not exposed to holiday fragrances or other dangers. Take your bird out of the bird carrier and allow it to exercise on its portable bird stand at least twice daily. Stick to your birds’ usual routine as much as possible.
With these tips, you should have a safe and pleasant holiday with your pet bird!