How to Take Care of a Bird

Pet bird in a cageBirds are very interesting creatures, which is exactly why it’s important to give your new bird enough attention to feel loved but not smother him or her. As easy as it might seem to spoil your new bird, spoiled birds tend to become unhappy, uncooperative members of your family that will end up only causing ruckus in your home. In order to develop happy and healthy birds as family pets, here are some easy to follow tips.

Establish boundaries

Just like any other animal, you need to teach your new pet what the boundaries are now that they’re living with you. Birds are very quick to adapt to new environments, but you need to make sure you teach them right off the bat what’s acceptable and what’s not. For example, when taking your bird out of the cage, teach them the step up rule to avoid any biting or nipping at your hands. This will in turn teach the bird that they have to behave this way with not only you but everyone else as well.

Prevent single bonding

Unfortunately this rule is pretty backwards compared to how you’d teach a dog that you’re his master. With a bird, single person bonding does help to establish a bond between you and the bird and decreases any fears between the bird and any human handlers, but it shouldn’t just be taught with a single person. Each caregiver in the family should have the opportunity to help your bird feel secure with all family members in order for the bird to feel comfortable with each and every one of you.

Be realistic with attention

CockatielSo you’re excited about your new bird and you want to spend as much time with it as possible, but this isn’t exactly a good indication of the future relationship with your bird. If you initially show your bird this much attention, they’ll get used to it and think it’s the norm. You want to be realistic with the amount of time you’ll be spending paying attention to the bird and do this from the very beginning in order to avoid giving any false expectations.

Develop a healthy diet

If you’re new to being a bird owner, you’ll learn quickly that food is one of the most abused sources of comfort and appeasement for birds. In order to help your bird grow healthy and lean, you need to be aware of the type of food your bird is eating and how much he’s consuming. Avoid spoiling your bird with too many seeds and other treats and you’ll be in the clear.

Bird-proof your home

213..365 | Birds > CatsJust like you have to prepare for any other pet, preparing the home for a new bird is imperative to ensure that nothing can get damaged in the process. Birds go off of visual, audio, and olfactory stimulation, but birds tend to use their mouths to explore and like to give everything a taste at least once. Before bringing your new bird home, put away any plants, toxic substances or anything that could prove to be harmful to your bird. Also, if possible, try to cover any electrical sockets or chords.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on !

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Preventing Hypothermia and Frostbite in Dogs

As the temperatures continue to drop into the lowest temperatures of the season, we’ve all started to pull out the warmest of sweaters, socks and any other accessory that will shield us from the cold. Unfortunately for our pets, there’s not much they can do to protect themselves from the freezing temperatures like we can. Hypothermia and frostbite are two of the most common winter problems that your dog can suffer from, which is why it’s important for you to know the facts and how to prevent these problems from happening to your beloved pet!

What causes frostbite?

DogFrostbite is the name given to tissue damage that’s caused by exposure to extremely cold conditions. In order for dogs to conserve their heat, they reduce the amount of blood flow to the peripheral parts of his body, such as his ears, paws and tail. Without blood in these areas, they lack warmth and oxygen and as a consequence, ice crystals may form in the tissue which can then cause that tissue to die.

Symptoms of frostbite

The difficulty with frostbite in dogs is that because dogs are covered in hair, it’s challenging to find areas that might be impacted by it. The signs to really look out for are very pale skin, usually found on the belly area, which will be very cold to the touch.

You’ll also notice that once the skin starts to warm up, it will become red and swell, which will also prove to be very painful for your pet. After just a few days, the skin will then become dry and will appear to be scaly.

How to treat frostbite

Trapper in the SnowIf you notice an area on your dog that you think might be frostbite, bring your pet to a warm area and put heat on the area immediately. Most importantly for frostbite, make sure that you resist the urge to rub or massage the affected area since rather than helping, you’d really be hurting your pet, releasing toxins that can further cause damage to the tissue.

Call your vet and describe the severity of the frostbitten area. The vet can then determine whether it’s better for you to bring your dog into the office or if it’s better for you to stay home and monitor him for the next few days. If you do see your vet, they will likely prescribe your pet pain killers and antibiotics to help ease your dog’s pain and look at removing any dead tissue.

What causes hypothermia?

Sally in the snowHypothermia occurs when your dog’s temperature falls and stays below its normal range of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When a dog is suffering from hypothermia, this means that he is losing body heat faster than he can replace it. This can happen when you’re walking your dog outside or even when he’s playing around outside in the backyard during the winter.

Symptoms of hypothermia

  • shivering;
  • lethargy;
  • muscle stiffness;
  • lack of coordination;
  • low heart and breathing rates;
  • fixed and dilated pupils;
  • collapse;
  • coma.

How to treat hypothermia

Wee Westie Under Wraps

In order to treat your dog for hypothermia, you must focus on warming them up so that their core temperature returns to normal. If you’re walking with your dog and notice he is suffering from the cold temperatures, you need to immediately prevent him from losing any further body heat by picking up your dog and running him into the house (if he’s small enough!) or walk quickly back to the house to warm up.

Once you’re in a warm environment, make sure you’re in a heated room where the floor is well insulated and find a blanket to wrap your dog in. It would be ideal to keep him in this position until his internal temperature returns to normal. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t fret, as long as you pay close attention to him and get him to the point where he’s no longer shivering and appears to be acting normal again, it’s a pretty good indication that your dog’s temperature is back up.

The next time you’re getting bundled up to take a long walk with your pup, remember that while you might be able to go the distance in the cold weather, they might not be able to go quite as far. By reading the information above and preparing your pet for the cold, you now have the knowledge necessary to keep your furry friend safe from hypothermia and frostbite!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter