There’s lots of reasons that you might want or need your parrot to take a car ride with you.
Maybe you need to take them to the vet, perhaps you want to take them along on a vacation with you, or maybe you simply want to get them out of the house and take them for a ride.
Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to know how to do so safely.
For us, safely driving in a vehicle means wearing a seatbelt.
But can parrots even ride in cars, and if yes, what safety measures need to be taken?
The answer to this question is yes, parrots can ride in cars. With that being said, some are better travellers than others. Every bird has their own personality and each will react differently to the car. With that being said, larger parrots tend to do better in vehicles than smaller ones. Most Amazons, for example, love to travel. Smaller birds like budgies, on the other hand, often become easily stressed out from the car.
Of course, there are many other questions that we can ask about car travel as well:
What are the benefits of travelling with my parrot?
Will my parrot be a good traveller?
Can my parrot get carsick?
What safety precautions do I need to take with my parrot in my vehicle?
And so much more – so let’s not waste another minute!
What are the benefits of taking my parrot along with me?
The main benefit of taking your parrot along with you on drives is that they get to spend more quality time with their favorite person (you).
Parrots are very social birds and they love nothing more than spending time with their owners.
Some breeds of parrot don’t tolerate being left alone well (ie. cockatoos and macaws), and may suffer separation anxiety when you are gone, thus leaving you no choice but to take them along with you for longer rides.
But not only can car rides be good for your parrot, they can also be good for your soul.
Just as it is therapeutic to take any other pet along on journeys with you, taking your parrot can be a good form of therapy as well.
Parrots make excellent companions and may even keep you laughing while on route.
Will my parrot be a good traveller in the car?
The answer to this question will vary from parrot to parrot. As mentioned above, there are some breeds of parrot (like Amazons) that do better in the car than other breeds (Budgies), but this can also be very variable depending on the personality of your individual parrot. Here are some things you need to consider to determine whether or not your parrot will be a good candidate for driving in the car:
Is my parrot accustomed to a routine?
If your parrot thrives on routine, taking them on a car ride could stress them out. Car rides are better suited towards birds that can adapt to different routines and schedules.
Is my parrot healthy enough to travel?
If your parrot isn’t used to travelling in the car, it could be a stressful situation for them. If your parrot isn’t healthy, this stress could trigger certain health conditions to present themselves or worsen. Always make sure to have a full checkup with the veterinarian if you plan on taking your parrot on extended or multiple car rides.
How long will your bird stay in its cage?
When driving in the car, your parrot needs to be in its cage. If it’s not used to being in confined spaces for longer periods of time, driving can really stress it out. Always be sure to familiarize your parrot with it’s carrier before taking it on long trips to avoid unnecessary stress.
Can my Parrot get Carsick?
Yes! Like humans, parrots can get carsick and some are more prone to it than others. Motion sickness in vehicles happens when your brain receives conflicting messages. Your body is staying still, but your eyes are watching things go by. Some birds get it and others don’t – just like us. Similarly, some birds get motion sickness right away, while others may only get it if they are going on a long drive.
The only way to know if your parrot has motion sickness is to take them on a short car ride and look for signs. Signs of motion sickness can include but are not limited to:
- Huddling behavior
- Ruffled feathers
- Loss of balance
- Drooped wings
Of course, these are not the only signs of motion sickness. If your parrot is acting at all out of character, it may be that they are feeling ill and could be from the motion of a moving vehicle.
How can you deal with motion sickness?
While motion sickness can’t always be cured, there are some things that you can do to help your parrot during a car ride:
Keep rides short
If your parrot has severe motion sickness, they might not be a good candidate for travelling long distances. Keep car rides short and only take your parrot along when necessary.
Avoid feeding your bird a few hours before you leave.
Travelling on an empty stomach can help to prevent your bird from getting physically ill on the ride.
Give your parrot some Ginger tea before you go.
This can be given in place of their water and can sometimes help to settle an upset stomach and prevent motion sickness.
Cover the cage.
If your parrot won’t freak out with their cage covered, it may be worth covering it up during the drive. If they can’t see the world whizzing by they will be much less likely to suffer from motion sickness.
Safety Precautions for travelling long distances with parrot in a car
When it comes to traveling in a car, we all need to take measures to stay safe. As humans, we wear seatbelts. Obviously we can’t put our parrots in a seat belt, but there are other things we can do to keep them safe during travel:
Bring plenty of water if you are going on a long trip.
It’s important to keep your parrot hydrated, especially during hot weather.
Have a medical checkup before you go.
If you are travelling in the car for long distances, be sure you have your parrot checked out by a veterinarian first. Car rides can be stressful for parrots, so they should only travel long distances in the car if they are in good health.
Take ID along with you.
Yes, your parrot should have ID too. Pack a wallet that contains a photo of your bird, their health certificate, and it’s microchip or band number.
Plan ahead for emergencies.
Hopefully there will be none, but if there is you’ll want to know where the nearest emergency vet is. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Take plenty of breaks
Check in with your parrot and make sure they are not hungry, thirsty, or stressed out.
Keep car temperatures stable.
Parrots can be sensitive to temperature, so it’s important to keep it regulated during a drive. Never take a parrot on a ride if your heating or cooling system is not working properly.
Purchase a travelling cage.
Chances are that your parrots regular cage will be too large for your vehicle. If you intend on taking your parrot on long or multiple car rides it’s recommended that you invest in a travelling cage that can be buckled into the seatbelt.
Keep the cage in the backseat
Prevent injury from airbags. Bird cages should never be kept in the front seat.
Never travel with your parrot loose.
Always make sure they are in a cage and fastened in.
In conclusion, yes you can travel with your parrot in your vehicle but there are certain precautions that you need to take to ensure their safety. Always be sure to adapt your parrot to the car slowly. Start with a short ride and then work your way up to longer rides. Jumping into a long car ride before your parrot is adapted could cause overwhelming stress which could lead to illness or injury.