Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Travel Tips

Summertime and the living is easy.  

Well, that is unless you are planning a vacation or trip.  In that case, you may be busy planning, packing, and trying to figure out what to do about the bird.

Here are a few tips that might help you with the planning and packing.

It really is possible to vacation or travel with your bird in many circumstances.  Just do a little planning ahead and be as prepared as you can for just about anything.

If you will be driving on your trip, know that most birds travel well in cars.  You will need a travel carrier or small cage for the trip.  Some birds do experience motion sickness, either caused by the actual motion, or by the stress of what's happening, so if your bird is one that does, you may want to practice short drives around town in preparation for the longer trip.  A few trips around the block may be all you need to do.

Decide whether your bird travels best in a covered carrier where he or she cannot see any objects moving by the windows.  Lay down a small towel inside the carrier with some layers of paper towels on top for the trip.  If you feel you need a perch, a  free standing small perch, or a dowel type perch attached to the sides of the carrier are better.  Keep them low so if an unexpected quick brake happens, your bird won't fall causing injury or panic.  If you can use a seat belt with the carrier, even better.

Long trips are better without a water dish inside the carrier as that will probably just slosh around getting everything wet.  Better to provide juicy fruits such as orange, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, peach, even apple slices will provide moisture as needed.  Add some spray millet, a small dish of favorite seeds and/or pellets.  If you bird doesn't like juicy fruits, better get started training him or her to like them, or you will need to stop every couple of hours to offer a small dish of water.  Just remember every time you need to open the door to the carrier, a possible escape can occur, causing a bird to panic, fly into the window, or worst case scenario, escape through an open window or door.

If you bird does not willingly go into the carrier, start practicing now.  Set the carrier next to the cage on a table top or secure stool,  Place very special treats just inside the door and act like you don't know it's there.  As your bird gathers up courage to snatch the treat, move the next one a little farther into the carrier.  The goal is for your bird to associate the carrier with a fun place to visit that holds extra special treats.

I highly recommend you never ever leave your bird alone in the car.  Cars heat up fast and a bird can have a heat stroke within minutes if it reaches too high a temperature.  Not to mention, birds do get kidnapped from cars.  Someone should stay with the bird at all times.  If you are traveling alone, you will need to take the bird with you when you leave the car.

Make sure your hotel, condo, etc. allows pets when you call to make reservations.  As well as any friends or relatives you might be staying with.  Make sure they are ok with a feathered visitor too.  Double check your vacation spot and specifically ask if they spray pesticides inside the room in-between visitors.  Practice all safety regimens that you would naturally at home.  

Once settled in, set up a play area for your bird, whether it's a small travel cage with toys or a play gym set on top of the carrier, make it your bird's vacation area.

Wherever your bird will be spending time, cover all furniture surfaces where your bird's cage or play area will be with paper towels, newspapers, or bed sheets to help keep the area clean of food and poop.   Don't forget the floor area too.  Remember your bird is going to be just as messy on vacation as at home.

You may also want to remember to put out the do not disturb sign whenever you are not in the hotel room.  Just a precaution to make sure no one disturbs or scares your bird when you are not there to supervise.  In fact, you may even want to ask family members who your bird does not know to only interact with the bird when you are also present.

Here is a list of a few things to pack in your bird's suitcase.

Paper Towels (lots of them)
Newspappers (lots of them)
Bed Sheet
Wash cloth (for quick cleanups)
Wet ones (for even quicker cleanups)
Night or car cover (even if you only use it as a partial cover)
Container of food
Container of water brought from home
Bird First Aid Kit
extra set of dishes
A hand held vacuum or hand broom & dustpan
A few new fun toys
And lots of special treats
(If you plan to feed fresh foods you may also want to include a small cooler)

I hope this helps give you some ideas on planning and preparation for a fun family vacation that includes your bird.  Maybe next week we will discuss vacationing without your bird as many people just can't take their bird along.

No comments: