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4 Dos and Don'ts for First-Time Parrot Ownership

Parrot Pet
If you have never owned a parrot before, you need to consider several factors before bringing home a new avian companion. Parrot ownership requires much forethought, as it is a big responsibility. Many species of parrots can live for 40 or 50 years, and that is a lifetime commitment for many. Do your research, then consider the following before you bring a new feathered friend into your home.
1. DO Locate an Avian Veterinarian 
If you plan on adopting a parrot for the first time, you need to realize that not all veterinarians treat exotic pets such as parrots. You need to seek out a qualified vet who is experienced in the complexities of birds and their anatomy, their nutritional needs and health care, and diseases and illnesses that affect them. Once you've found a veterinarian for avian care, you can begin the process of welcoming a parrot into your home.
2. DON'T Adopt a Parrot on Impulse
Unfortunately, many individuals who have never owned a bird bring home a parrot without realizing their unique needs. Many parrots end up in shelters for this reason. Companion parrot care differs greatly from that of dog or cat care. Therefore, you need to consider all aspects of parrot ownership.
Do you have the space to house a parrot? Will the noise bother your family and neighbors? Do you have time each day to interact with your pet? Parrots are intelligent and social creatures that require stimulation, bird-safe toys, and interaction with their owners.
Buying a parrot on impulse without recognizing their needs for social interaction and a stimulating environment to play and explore may lead to a negative experience for both owner and pet.
3. DO Consider Avian Nutritional Needs 
Some first-time parrot owners believe that a seed diet is adequate for their companion bird. Feeding your bird an all-seed diet may lead to severe deficiencies. While your parrot's diet may consist of a portion of seed, companion birds need more. Seeds lack important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, and they are also high in fat.
Ask your vet about a good quality pelleted diet for parrots. Fortified pellets contain the necessary nutrients to support good health and healthy feathers. You should also feed your parrot fresh fruits and vegetables.
If your pet is reluctant to try new foods, introduce healthy choices gradually. You might try adding some healthy additions to your bird's diet each day.
Turnip greens, carrots, spinach, and kale are good choices. Apples and berries offer nutritional benefits as well. Chocolate and avocado should not be offered to birds, as they contain substances that may be harmful to their health.
4. DON'T Overlook Household Dangers
If you have ceiling fans, use them with caution. An unclipped bird may fly into one and seriously injure itself. Also, watch out for bathwater and toilets, as a bird may fall in and drown. You should also keep your feathered friend away from hot stoves when you're cooking.
Nonstick cookware and appliances also pose a serious threat to birds. When overheated, the fumes from nonstick coatings emit a substance that can be toxic or fatal to birds. If you use nonstick, be mindful about the coatings reaching high temperatures. Better yet, play it safe and omit all nonstick cookware and appliances in the home altogether.
You should also avoid using scented candles or plug-in room deodorizers. Both of these contain chemicals which are harmful or possibly toxic to birds.
Follow the above-mentioned tips to help to make first-time parrot ownership a positive experience. Remember that birds require wellness exams, just like dogs and cats do. Have your vet perform an avian exam annually. If you note any behavioral changes in your pet, inform your veterinarian.