Canaries need a good-quality canary seed mix and a large cage.
If properly cared for, a pet canary can live for up to 20 years. Proper care includes suitable caging and accessories, in addition to healthy diet. At the very least, the canary cage should have enough room for the canary to hop from perch to perch. Cage length is more important than height, because canaries fly back and forth as opposed to up and down. Another housing option is an aviary, which allows for free flight and housing of several canaries. Keep in mind, multiple food and water dishes are important if more than one canary are housed together. A well-equipped canary cage and/or aviary should have wood perches that are between 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch thick, separate food dishes for seed, fruit and treats, water dishes and bowls for bathing.
Seed is the canary's basic diet and should consist of well-balanced mixed seed such as canary grass seed, rape, hemp, niger, linseed and rolled oats. The diet should be supplemented with greens: mustard, cress and watercress lettuce, endive, grasses, and turnip tops; fruits: apples, bananas, pears, kiwi, watermelon, grapes and berries; vegetables:cucumbers, soybean sprouts, broccoli and grated carrots. Cuttlebone and grit can also be offered.
Diseases commonly found in canaries include feather cysts, canary pox (which is transmitted from bird to bird or by mosquitoes), air sac and tracheal mites, which infest the canary's respiratory system, obesity, cataracts and dry gangrene of the extremities. A sick canary often displays puffed feathers, closed eyes and diminished appetite.