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Family Friends Aren't Always Furry - Think of Feathery Friends!

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Transitioning a Bird into Your Home

When including a bird of any size and species in your household, take time before the transition to prepare.  Use these tips to welcome your new bird and create a happy experience for your family.

  • Choose housing with bars or slats that are only half the width of its head. All the bars should be parallel to try to prevent the bird from injuring a wing or foot.
  • Decide where your bird's cage will be placed before you bring your new pet home.  A sunny room where the family spends most of their time is best.
  • Always place your bird's cage at your eye level to discourage dominance and encourage obedience.
  • Plan to socialize and train your bird so it will learn supportive behaviors and not focus on destroying its cage or plucking its feathers.
  • Provide appropriate toys, treats and food choices for your new bird.

Your home may be one of the many households enjoying a bird as a pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that birds, though not nearly as popular with Americans as cats or dogs, reside in 4.5 million households. Birds aren't always the first pet that comes to mind for children requesting that perfect pet from their parents, and parents should be wary of letting children handle birds as they are easily injured and do frequently bite.

What is it about birds that make them good household pets?  Friends of a Different Feather by Michelle Sathe indicates that there are positives to pet bird households.  When you want to add a  pet to your family and think you'll enjoy a feathered friend, remember to check with your nearby veterinarian for recommendations, adoption opportunities and guidelines for wellness and good health. 

Size
Birds are available in many sizes.  The size of your new pet should be appropriate to the size of your home and the space you have available for it.  Your bird choice can be a big parrot or a tiny canary - and everything in between.  Birds have various life expectancies.  Generally, the larger the bird the longer it will probably live.   Large birds of the parrot family can have a life expectancy as long as a human. 

Maintenance
Your pet bird will need care, though you won't be out for a walk like your neighbors who have dogs.  Your bird will require a cage and space that is free from debris, feces and trash.  It will need a cage-cleaning on a regular basis.  Your bird will have specific nutrition needs. Veterinarian Marlene Anschultz advises that each bird species requires its own special diet and maintenance.  You'll want to establish a relationship with your local veterinarian and have regular checkups and nutrition support.

Health
Birds can be vulnerable to certain illnesses, viruses or diseases like other pets.  Your veterinarian will help you learn how to care for the bird species you select.

Remember that larger birds can have longer lives.  Dr. Anschultz also advises that "small birds are social among each other and are better off in an aviary, so you can get two or three of them and put them in an enclosure.  Bigger birds, such as parrots, need constant affection, attention and holding."

She admits that some people find birds irritating, disturbing or unpleasant.  These people are not willing to enjoy life with a pet bird.  Other people get enjoyment from birds and realize that birds can provide companionship, make you laugh and make your family smile with delight.  "Some birds cackle along with your jokes and make fun of you afterward," she says.  "They can be real characters."

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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