Birds make wonderful indoor pets. They are intelligent, social creatures that are known for their relatively long lifespans. But birds also require care and stimulation on a regular basis. Taking your birds for a stroll is a wonderful way to provide stimulation while serving as an activity that you and your birds can share together - even as the temperatures drop. Below are some important things to remember when taking your bird for a walk during winter.
Why is it a good idea to continue taking your bird for a walk during the winter?
When temperatures begin to drop, you might be less inclined to lace up your walking shoes and take your birds for a stroll. But maintaining your walking routine is important for you and your birds. Here are a few reasons why it is a good idea to keep walking your birds during the winter:
1) Maintaining a consistent routine is important for pet birds
"Establish a routine that fits in with your lifestyle and your bird will quickly learn the times of day for feeding, foraging, learning, entertainment, and rest. These are the key factors to maximizing your bird's happiness and cognitive intelligence and encompass our holistic approach to pet bird stewardship."
- Dr. Rob Marshall, Bird Health
A consistent routine is the cornerstone of a happy existence for pet birds. Timely, structured meals, established times for rest, and regularly scheduled times for outdoor strolls and other leisure activities will keep your bird sharp and well-adjusted. You may find that your bird begins to anticipate his or her walk as daily leisure time approaches!
2) Indoor birds enjoy their strolls outdoors
Most pet birds love being outside with you. In fact, a recent article by PetCoach describes trips outdoors as "a treat" for indoor birds. PetCoach notes that being outdoors "stimulates natural behavior, keeps her alert, and provides the exhilaration of fresh air, sights, and a variety of sounds she cannot experience indoors."
3) A stroll outdoors offers health benefits
Like humans, birds need vitamin D to maintain their physical health. Even if your bird's cage is located near a window, your bird may not be receiving the full benefits that he or she would receive through a stroll outdoors. This is because sunlight through glass windows is not full spectrum light, thereby limiting the amount of vitamin D and other vitamins offered through sunlight.
What is the best way to take your bird for a stroll in the winter?
There are essentially three ways to take your bird for a stroll. Some people try to hand carry their birds or allow them to simply sit atop their shoulders while walking. This method has obvious drawbacks, and just one mishap or scare could result in the loss of your pet. Your bird also has no protection from winter's harsh winds and cold temperatures.
Using a harness or leash is another way some people attempt to take their birds for a walk. But walking in the cold snow is not healthy for many birds. Also, Linda Roberts with Bird Medicine and Surgery, notes that "many birds just plain won't accept a harness and it's too stressful to try to force them." Roberts also notes that a sudden noise or the sight of a dog or cat could cause your bird to try to fly away in fear and your bird could "become entangled in the harness or hit the ground hard."
The single best way to take your bird for a walk is to use a customized stroller designed specifically for birds. A pet stroller features a windshield that provides protection from the cold weather. Here are a few of the many other benefits pet strollers offer:
- Ventilation: Pet strollers allow your bird to enjoy all of the sights and sounds of the outdoors from a well-ventilated compartment
- Padding: Your bird will be delighted with the soft, comfortable padding offered in top model pet strollers
- Convenience: Bird strollers are lightweight and easy for one person to assemble and use
- Utility: Their compact design allows for easy storage of your pet stroller in your garage, storage shed, or indoor closet
- Versatility: The world's best strollers are available in double-decker versions to enable you to take multiple birds on a stroll
- Affordability: With a price tag of just $99, bird owners across the globe are able to comfortably invest in a bird stroller
What are some important items to remember to bring on your winter strolls?
If you have officially taken the plunge and invested in a pet stroller, the next step is to make sure that you are ready to hit the streets and walking paths when temperatures drop. Here are a few items to make sure that you have on hand when taking your bird for a walk outdoors:
Just because the temperature is colder outside does not mean that your bird will not get thirsty on your walk. Make sure you bring some water for your bird and do not worry about the possibility of spillage. Bird strollers are easy to clean and maintain.
Your bird will always look forward to your outdoor strolls together if you get into the habit of keeping a small collection of their favorite treats on hand. You can reward your bird with a treat when she enters her compartment, provide treats at various intervals during your walk, and cap off your walk with a final treat for good travel behavior.
3) A small blanket
A small blanket can be used to cover your stroller compartments and provide the welcome warmth that your bird craves during a chilly walk outdoors. You can also use the blanket to help provide warmth when you remove your bird from their compartment.
The Bottom Line
Taking your bird for a walk is a wonderful way to provide safe stimulation and enjoyment. But when the temperatures drop, that does not mean that you and your bird have to also drop your walking routine. The keys to a pleasurable cold weather stroll are a customized bird stroller and a little preparation. By following the tips above, you can keep your beloved birds happy and healthy on their winter strolls. To learn more tips about strolling with your birds, we invite you to visit our website and check out our latest strollers and news. We look forward to hearing from you!