Travel is an inevitable part of life. Like a migratory bird flying south for the winter, there are going to be times when travel is a must for you. Photo above relevant :)
For pet owners, travel can be a burden. Especially if you are like me and regularly find yourself driving halfway across the state to visit your family for special occasions. Pets add an extra dimension to your travel planning and for good reason: you don't want to trust just anybody with the task of watching and caring for your furry or feathered friend.
Although there will be times when you will need to leave a close friend or family member in charge, you can certainly create opportunities to bring your animal friend along for the ride. With the right preparation and planning, traveling with your pet doesn't have to be a pain!
Better yet, you can turn it into an opportunity to spend more time with and enjoy new experiences with your beloved birdie.
Below are our top 4 tips for enjoyable travels on the road with your parrot:
1. Acclimate Your Parrot to Car Rides
Would you ever try to run a full marathon without first being able to run a single mile? Me neither. The same concept applies when acclimating your parrot to being a passenger on the road. It is crucial to take your parrot on short car rides first so that they become accustomed to riding along with you.
It is okay to start off small here. Just take your parrot for a quick spin around the block and build up from there. The important part of the process at this point is to get your bird used to the new environment. Then, once your parrot is used to being in your car, start to increase the duration of each ride.
When the weather permits, I like to take my loving budgie on errands with me. If I am alone, I am sure to crack the windows to allow him to get plenty of air for the few minutes I will be in the store.
Before you know it your bird will be used to your car and ready to make the trek with you across the city, state, or country!
2. Get a Travel-Appropriate Cage
This should go without saying, but it is a very important point. Not only can your bird's regular cage be a bit cumbersome to load in the car, it might be too heavy or take up too much luggage space on the backseat for your voyage.
You can fix both of those problems by getting an inexpensive travel cage for your parrot. These smaller cages are light and will easily fit on the backseat or floorboard of your car.
Getting a travel-specific cage also creates an association with your bird each time they are in it. When you put your budgie in the cage, they know they are about to go for a fun ride!
The best travel cage we stock is the Avian Adventures Poquito Hotel, available in both textured Platinum and glossy Ruby Red. This cage only weighs 23 pounds and even has a dual-purpose handle: the ingenious handle is a convenient way to carry the cage and also is affixed with a perch to become a playtop cage when your parrot needs to get some exercise!
The modest dimensions of 14" Width x 18" Depth and 14" Height allow your bird sufficient room to roam and play around in (for short periods of time) while simultaneously maximizing your luggage space. Not too shabby ;)
3. Keep Your Parrot in its Cage
This tip is fairly obvious and might not be appreciated by the more adventurous bird owners out there, but it is a very important point that needs to be made.
Your car is a new and exciting environment for your bird that can also be dangerous, especially when the car is in motion. I know I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something bad happened on a road trip to my budgie just because I decided to let him out of his cage for a little bit.
Although it may be tempting to let him roam free, the best place for your bird is in its cage while in the car. Ensure that the cage is secured in place either on the backseat or on the floorboard so that your pet is as protected as possible.
4. Bring Along Plenty of Food and Water
Keeping hydrated while on the road is a great idea for both you and your parrot. Bring along several water bottles, pellets, as well as a few treats for your bird.
For long road trips, be sure to stop as often as possible to give your parrot some food and water. Ideally you want to make a pit stop every 60-90 minutes, but try to avoid staying on the road for over 2 hours at a time.
It is a good idea to make frequent stops to attend to your bird as well as to stretch your legs! Frequent stops give you a break from staring at the road and will keep both you and your parrot happy. The stops also allow you to be updated on the status of your parrot and to make sure he is a happy camper.
Time to Hit the Road!
Use these tips to get both you and your parrot ready for your upcoming travels. Even when I don't have any road trips coming up I still like to take my budgie for a ride at least once every month or two. It keeps him ready for any longer car rides that may pop up and also allows us to go on a little adventure together!
So start with small trips, get a travel-ready cage, keep you parrot secured in its cage, and keep your bird fed and hydrated. Simple enough, right?