You’ve spent all year planning the perfect trip.
The tickets are booked and printed, the bags are packed, and you’re excited and ready to go.
But there’s just one last thing that needs to be tended to – your parrot.
There are some pets that do with very little attention – give your neighbor a key so they can come and feed your guinea pig twice a day.
Your guinea pig would probably be just fine on its own for the week, but parrots aren’t quite so independent.
If you are a parrot owner, you probably already know that they require a lot of TLC.
So what should you do with your parrot while on vacation?
The answer to this question is that your parrot needs to be tended to and looked after. This means that while you are away, you need to have someone come into your home and stay with your parrot. This way you know your parrot is getting the attention that it needs (and deserves) so that you can enjoy your vacation without worry.
I should say that whether or not you need someone to come into your home depends on what type of parrot you have and how long you are gone.
A parakeet, for example, might be okay on it’s own for a night or two provided you give it plenty of food and water.
It might also be okay on it’s own for a week as long as someone is coming in to provide it with the necessities that it needs throughout the day.
A Macaw, on the other hand, won’t be as independent.
For more social birds like Macaws and Amazon Greys, someone will need to come in and stay with them at your home.
But let’s talk more about this…
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Who can I get to look after my parrot?
Again, this depends on what type of parrot you have.
If you have a smaller parrot like a lovebird or a parakeet, it probably won’t matter who comes in to watch them.
A friend, a family member, or a trusted neighbor will do just fine.
When it comes to the more social parrots, you may need to be more selective.
Why? Because even though parrots are very social birds, they tend to bond more closely with specific people.
In the wild, parrots are strictly monogamous birds.
This means that they find a “partner” and mate with that partner for life.
When in captivity, humans take the place of a mate, and parrots become “monogamous” to their human.
This means that they tend to form a very close bond with the person that takes care of them.
While this bond is a great thing for owners to share with their parrots, it’s not always good news for strangers.
Parrots can play well with others, but it often takes them time to warm up to new people.
Remember, in the wild parrots always need to be on guard for predators.
For this reason, it takes time to earn their trust (or to prove that you are not a predator).
For a parrot, trust must be earned very slowly over time.
For this reason, whoever you have take care of your parrot on vacation should be well known to your parrot.
If there is a friend or family member that interacts with your parrot often (and that your parrot seems to like), they would be a good option.
If there isn’t anyone who regularly interacts with your parrot, it might be a good idea to have whoever is going to be watching them stop by and spend some time in the weeks leading up to your vacation.
Remember, leaving your parrot with a stranger can be very stressful, and can lead to anxiety or misbehavior in your parrot.
You wouldn’t leave your child with a stranger – so don’t do it to your parrot either.
If you don’t have any friends, family members, or neighbors that can watch your parrot for you, you can also try a reputable pet sitting agency like Trusted Housesitters.
These pet sitters will come to your house and look after your pets or parrots while you are away.
Again, if you use this option be sure to touch base with the sitter so that they can stop by and get to know your parrot in the weeks leading up to your vacation.
Leaving your parrot with a stranger is just asking for disaster!
What does a Parrot Sitter Needs to Do?
When it comes to watching your parrot, your parrot sitter should try to keep their routine as normal as possible.
Obviously, your parrot will need food and water replacement each and every day.
What type of food and how often will depend on which type of parrot you have, but try to keep food intake the same as normal.
If you feed your parrot twice a day with snacks in between, continue to do the same.
If your parrot takes well to the person watching them, encourage the sitter to let your parrot out of the cage for some daily interaction.
Social interaction is very important for some types of parrots, and without it they can become bored and depressed.
With that being said, safety should always be of utmost importance.
If your parrot is aggressive with strangers, don’t take the risk of letting them out of their cage.
Rather, just make sure they have plenty of toys to keep them busy while you are away.
Keeping your parrots routine as normal as possible will help to minimize the amount of stress that your parrot feels while you are away on vacation.
Can I leave my parrot alone for a week?
No. A parrot can be safely left alone for a day, but I wouldn’t advise leaving them much longer.
Parrots are highly intelligent and social birds who are accustomed to being around their flock (or in the case of a captive bird, you).
Positive interaction is required on a daily basis to prevent your parrot from becoming sad, anxious, or depressed.
Furthermore, parrots require fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, and food.
If left out for longer than a day, these things will go bad and spoil.
In return, they require fresh food on a daily basis.
And finally, remember that parrots are stuck in their cages all day.
Though cages are mostly a safe place – things can go wrong.
What if their water bottle clogs?
What if they get a wing caught in between the bars?
What if they cut themselves on a piece of cage wire?
Anything can happen at anytime, so you always want to make sure you have someone coming in to check on your parrot when you are away to make sure they are safe.
Can you take your parrot with you on vacation?
It really depends on where you are going and how you are getting there.
If you are travelling by car and have a small parrot, you may be able to take them with you.
But if you are flying or taking some other mode of transportation, taking your parrot along is not advised.
Should you decide to do so, you might need to invest in a travel cage like this one on Amazon.
Two is better than One?
Yes it is! If you are going away on vacation, consider having 2 parrot sitters instead of just one.
This way if someone gets sick or cannot make it to your home for any reason, you still have a backup plan.
Services like Trusted Housesitters have a huge selection of local petsitters that you can trust and choose from so that you will never be left stranded while away.
Asking other bird owners
If you know other bird owners, you could also ask them to watch your parrot while you are away.
The benefit of this is that if they have a parrot themselves, they already know what it takes to care for one.
Social media and the Internet
Facebook groups can be a good way to find someone to watch your parrot – especially groups related to birds or parrots.
This can be a great way to connect with other parrot owners and to find other owners who are willing to pet sit while you are away.
With that being said, I still recommend using a legitimate recognized website like Trusted Housesitters instead (because you can never be too cautious!).
In conclusion, you should never leave your parrot home alone if you are leaving for more than a day.
If you are going away on vacation, find a trusted sitter to come in and look after your parrot.
Someone your parrot knows and trusts is the best option, followed by other friends, family, neighbors, or pet sitters found on trusted sites like Trusted Housesitters.