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Flying High

Pet Age Staff//December 3, 2013//

Flying High

Pet Age Staff //December 3, 2013//

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Preparing for a family trip can turn into an all-day event.

Parents need to make sure each of their children has everything they need to get them through their journey, a fully stocked diaper bag, snacks, a change of clothes and enough toys to keep their interest for hours.

Studies show that some species of parrots exhibit the same IQ as a 3-year -old human child, which makes traveling with them in tow just as involved as setting out on an adventure with a toddler.

Mary Wyld, owner and founder of Wyld’s Wingdom, suggests that parrot owners adopt that similar mindset in order to be better prepared during travel.

“Think of traveling with your bird, just as you would traveling with a child,” she said. “They need to be safe and secure with proper equipment.”

Just as a child requires the proper car seat, a bird requires the correct carrier. Making sure that the size of the carrier is appropriate for the species of bird will ensure safety.

“A practice trip around town will help acclimate the bird to travel conditions and allow you to test out the perching and food accommodations in your travel cage,” Wyld suggests.

Style and Ease

My Bird Store, a family owned and operated exotic bird specialty store with over 30 years in business, offers a plethora of different travel carriers and accessories to suit any size companion bird.

The Wingabago Acrylic Bird Carrier comes in small, which can accommodate species the size of conures and cockatiels, and large that can house cockatoos and mini macaws comfortably. The Wingabago is made of clear plastic and allows the bird to observe its surroundings as well as for the owner to monitor the bird’s safety.

The cage’s “open air” construction makes it extremely beneficial for birds who suffer from claustrophobia.

The Wingabago line also offers model which features a stainless steel bar door to allow for greater ventilation. This model was originally produced to meet airline regulations to allow birds to travel safely during long distance travel.

“They are also great for birds that like to hang on, birds that prefer water bottles, bird companions that like offering a comforting finger, and for added ventilation” according to the website’s product description.

If customers prefer a fabric carrier, the Come Along Bird Carrier is a good option. This carrier comes in small, medium and large and has two doors that zipper open and closed. The easy carrying handle makes traveling simple and comfortable for bird and owner.

Wild Side Carrier By Sandy Perch is another fabric carrier for the customer who likes to travel in style. It features a removable bottom lining to allow for simple cleaning. It also includes a sandy perch and toy hook to provide stimulation and distraction during travel.

Petmate offers a line of bird travel products as well. Amanda Peterson, corporate communications coordinator, recommends the Petmate Cabin Kennel, the Compass Kennel and the JW Moving Mirrors for customers who want to safely travel with their birds.

“The Petmate Cabin Kennel features a durable, solid, swing-top design, convenient carrying handle and ventilation holes to promote healthy air flow for pets” Peterson said. “This kennel is great for smaller birds and for breeders who ship chicks as it and comes with a solid top that helps insulate and retain heat inside the kennel. For bigger birds, other Petmate kennels like the Compass Kennel  work well”

This kennel can be used for cats and dogs as well, and therefore features a wire front door where food and water bowls can be attached. If customers prefer their birds to travel with a perch, they can be attached and bolted through the ventilation holes on the sides of the Compass Kennel.

“Placing the perch closer to the kennel door is important for large birds so their tails have adequate space and are not crushed or damaged during travel,” Peterson said.

Keep Them Playing

In addition to perches, toys should be offered to birds while in travel to keep them interested and calm their nerves while being temporarily removed from their homes. JW Pet’s line of bird Activitoys can keep birds entertained while on the go.

Peterson recommends the JW Moving Mirrors as a travel accessory.

“Birds are naturally curious and fascinated with motion,” she said. “The JW Moving Mirrors bird toy is brightly colored and has five rotating shiny mirrors that spin with each interaction and attaches easily to either horizontal or vertical bars.”

– Erin Salley