Posted: May 6, 2009, 5:00 a.m. EDT
Set Up Your Carrier Before You Head Out
- Remove toys, which could swing into your bird during transit.
- Help keep the travel cage clean by cutting several layers of newspaper to fit, and roll up and discard the top layer as needed.
- You’ll get to know how your bird adjusts to traveling after a few trips. Be sure to have a light cover with you. If your bird is over stimulated by passing scenery, cover the carrier.
Cioli & Hunnicutt/BowTie Studio
Make sure your travel carrier is prepared for your trip before you set out.
- For hot weather, pack a plant mister filled with clean water. Mist your bird occasionally when it’s hot to keep it cool. Signs that your bird is hot are panting and holding its wings away from its body. Birds lose heat through their feet, as well. If you pick your bird up and its feet are warm, it is a sign that it's time for a cooling mist.
- Instead of using a bowl of water, which can slosh around in the carrier, provide a bowl of freshly-washed greens or a piece of sliced fruit. Accustom your bird to drinking from a water bottle, which you can attach to the side of the carrier.
- Keep a few paper towels on hand for clean up.
On The Road
If you’re staying in a hotel, pack a light sheet to put under your bird’s cage. Be responsible about your bird so all birds owners can retain the right to take our birds into hotels and airplanes. That’s a benefit to all of us.
If you’re traveling by plane, contact your airline beforehand. Usually, only one pet (or one carrier with multiple small birds) is allowed in an airline cabin and you’ll need to make a reservation. You may also need a health certificate for your bird, which you can get from your avian veterinarian close to the date of your flight.
If you’re flying internationally, you’ll need to fill out extra paperwork. Find out what permits you will need, and start making arrangements at least a couple months before your trip.
If you’re visiting relatives or friends, be sure they know that you’re bringing a bird! Discuss where the bird will be kept to keep it safe from resident pets and for the comfort of other people in the household, as well as of you and your bird. Some people are allergic to birds’ dander, and others have a fear of birds. Give your friends and relatives the most positive experience you can. Be aware of others' comfort levels around your bird; don’t allow your bird free range of the home you are visiting.
And remember, while on a vacation, have fun!