Posted: November 22, 2011, 12:00 a.m. PST
Keep those happy holidays healthy for your parrots, canaries, finches and other pet birds by following these basic 10 Yule Rules when visitors come to your house.
Don’t pet the bird unless the bird’s owner is supervising.
Don’t put your fingers in or on the pet bird’s cage.
Don’t feed the bird people food (especially chocolate!) unless you have the owner’s approval.
Don’t offer any drink to the pet bird, other than water with the owner’s approval.
Do not open the cage door and let the bird out unless the pet bird’s owner is supervising.
Do not scream, yell, dance or play loud music in front of the pet bird’s cage unless the bird is fine with this much chaos.
Do not yell at the bird or hit the bird’s cage if the bird is screaming or to get the bird’s attention.
Do not approach the bird if its feathers are ruffled or raised, or if the bird is hiding in a corner of its cage.
If you were foolish enough to put a part of your body around the pet bird and got bitten, don’t shake the pet bird off you and throw it on the ground.
Always wash your hands before handling the pet bird, after getting permission from the bird’s owner to handle the bird.
Many pet birds are afraid of hats and nail polish, if you have either of these on, stay away from the bird unless the bird’s owner says it is OK.
Do not kiss the pet bird on the beak, as people can transmit disease to birds.
Reminders for Bird Owners
Do not throw a blanket or towel on the bird’s cage for the day and think that will keep the bird quiet and happy.
Do not allow the bird anywhere around the kitchen when cooking.
Put the bird in a well-ventilated room far away from the stove when cooking with nonstick cookware.
Do not put scented candles or spray scented room deodorizer around the bird.
Do not allow cats to “play” with the bird, as a cat’s scratch or bite can be toxic and fatal to birds.
Do not allow the bird to snuggle with you while you take a post-holiday meal nap, as a pet bird can be easily squished or suffocated.
Do not allow the bird to walk on the floor, as birds are small and can be easily stepped on.
Do not squirt the bird with water as a punishment.