You can put a harness on a dog, you can put a harness on a cat, heck, you can even put a harness on your child.
But can you put a harness on your parrot?
There’s no doubt that a harness could come in handy for a parrot, especially if they don’t have their wings clipped.
With the help of a harness you could take your parrot outside for walks without worrying about them flying away.
But do parrot harnesses exist and are they safe for your parrot to wear?
The answer to this question is yes, parrots can wear a harness. In fact, there are harnesses designed specifically for parrots to wear. With that being said, in order for a harness to be safe you must first work on training your parrot to wear it and ensure that it is the right fit. How do you do that?
Today we will talk more about harness training your parrot and how to ensure that their harness is safe and comfortable.
We will also answer further questions about parrot harnesses including:
What are the pros and cons of harness training?
What can I do to keep my parrot safe on a harness?
Today we will answer all of these questions and more, so let’s not waste another minute!
What is a parrot harness?
As you have probably already concluded, a parrot harness is a type of harness designed specifically for a parrot to wear.
Parrot harnesses, like other types of pet harnesses, are designed to keep your parrot from straying from you while outside or on a walk.
Harnesses go on the body of your parrot and then attach to a leash which will allow them some roaming leeway.
There are several different types of parrot harnesses on the market, with these three being the most popular:
The Aviator harness
This is probably the most popular of all parrot harnesses.
It comes as one piece and slips over the head of the bird.
Then, the wings are placed through the appropriate slots and the harness is tightened.
This type of harness is probably the easiest to put on your parrot.
The Flight Suit
This type of parrot harness is a little different in that it actually encases your parrots body.
It leaves little room for escape, but could be hot on a humid summer day.
The Feather Tether
This is also a popular brand of parrot harness, but comes with a lot of buckles and metal pieces that make it difficult to put on your parrot.
With that being said, the type of harness you choose for your parrot is completely up to personal preference and what your parrot is most comfortable with.
What are the pros and cons of harness training a parrot?
The truth about harness training is that it is a very controversial subject among parrot owners.
Some owners will tell you that there is nothing wrong with training your parrot to be on a harness and that there are actually several benefits to doing so.
Others will tell you that harness training is dangerous, cruel, and risky.
Yet there seems to lie some truth right smack dab in the middle.
So to help you decide which side of the argument you fall on, here are some of the pros and cons of harness training:
Pro: Parrots can enjoy a change of environment.
Parrots are extremely intelligent creatures that, like humans, can get bored easily.
Not only can they get bored of their toys and own company, but they can also get tired of their environment.
Sometimes a change of scenery can be very therapeutic for your parrot.
But if your parrot doesn’t have their wings clipped or is likely to roam away, taking them outside or into new environments may not be safe.
With a harness, you can take your parrot out to explore without worrying about them flying off.
Con: Your bird can still fly away
Though it’s unlikely, your parrot can still fly away outside if you should accidentally drop the leash.
If you are going to take them outside, you need to be sure you have a firm grip and that the harness is attached securely enough that the parrot cannot get away.
Parrots are extremely social beings that crave human interaction.
Harness training them is a great way to take them outside to meet and greet new people – and your parrot will love the attention.
Con: There are risks
If your parrot is not properly harness trained before you take them outside, keeping them on a harness could be dangerous.
If your parrot attempts to fly off while the harness is attached, they could become injured.
Furthermore, if the harness is not put on properly, your parrot risks injury.
As such, proper application of a harness, as well as proper harness training is essential before actually taking your parrot outside on a harness.
Of course, there are other pros and cons to consider too.
If you take your parrot outside on a harness, they will be able to get fresh air and sunshine.
Plus, they make excellent walking companions.
These are both pros of harness training your parrot.
On the con side, you have to be extremely aware at all times while your parrot is on their leash outside.
Furthermore, you have the responsibility of explaining to people that not everyone should own a parrot.
Seeing a parrot as tame as yours may lead them to want one, but it’s important that they understand the many responsibilities that come along with it before making such a large decision and commitment.
How do I harness train my Parrot?
Choose an area to train where your parrot feels comfortable and where you can capture their undivided attention.
Put the harness in your hand and let your parrot explore it on their own time.
Give them a reward each time they play with the harness.
Once your parrot is comfortable with the harness, start snapping the clips together so that they can get comfortable with the sound.
Again, reward your parrot regularly during this process.
Continue to gradually adapt your parrot to the harness, first by placing it over its head.
Once the bird is comfortable with this, then put it on around the wings, then the body, and so on and so forth until the bird lets you put on the entire harness.
Adjust the harness to the appropriate fit.
Remember to continue rewarding your parrot whenever it cooperates and give it plenty of praise for staying calm.
When your parrot seems comfortable putting the harness on, gradually adapt them to wearing it longer and longer.
Once your parrot can tolerate the harness for 5 minutes or more, walk the parrot to another room with the harness on.
Once your parrot can walk around the house in the harness, start taking them outside for short periods.
You can then gradually adapt your parrot to longer and longer walks outside.
What can I do to keep my parrot safe on a harness?
Conduct all training sessions inside until your parrot is comfortable wearing their harness for long periods of time.
Never tie your parrot to their perch or anything else by their leash.
Should they become startled they could panic and become injured.
Never leave your parrot unattended on their harness or leash.
Always make sure the harness is the right fit.
You want it to be snug, but not too tight.
To ensure the proper fit, follow manufacturer instructions.
Always keep a close eye on your parrot when outdoors.
Watch for large predators like hawks and eagles when outdoors with your parrot.
Remember, when harness training your parrot you need to take it at their pace.
Some parrots will have no problem adapting to a harness while others will be terrified of it.
If your parrot seems scared, revert to a previous step and try again.
You don’t want to stress out your parrot or scare them.
Remember that harness training takes a great deal of time, effort, and patience, and even then, not all parrots will adapt well.
If your parrot does not seem comfortable wearing a harness, don’t force them to do so.
All parrots are different and some just prefer to stay in their own space.