Keep Your Bird Safe in a Multi-pet Household

Birds, dogs, cats, oh my!    One rule to never break is indexalways supervise pet birds when they are out of their cage. When other pets are present, supervision is even more critical.

Birds and Cats – If a cat bites or scratches a bird, it can infect it with Pasteurela bacteria, which can be fatal. A scratch may not even be noticeable underneath feathers.

Birds and Dogs – Whether or not a dog and bird can live peacefully together is a very individual matter. Never assume it will be a match made in heaven. If a dog jumps or barks whenever the bird flaps its wings or makes any kind of movement, this is cause for concern. This situation can cause undo stress for the bird and is a warning that the dog is in predator mode.

Birds and Snakes – Snakes are predatory and many parrot species are instinctually fearful of snakes. Never house a snake in the same room as a bird.

Birds and Fish – A tank with fish can be visually entertaining for birds but, there is the possible danger of the bird falling in the tank and drowning. The tank should be covered at all times. However, it is possible that the noise of the filters and pumps could interfere with your bird’s sleep.

Birds and Small Mammals – Rabbits and guinea pigs are prey animals so there is no need for concern. However, most small mammals are active at night and this could interrupt your bird’s sleep.

However, there is concern for ferrets. They may be small but ferrets are true carnivores and have a natural desire to hunt. Never allow a ferret to be housed in the same space as a bird.

Birds as Aggressor!

Of course there are occasions when you need to protect other pets from your bird. Some birds are territorial around the cage, especially when hormonal. A larger bird like a cockatoo or macaw might climb down and chase another pet. A parrot’s bite is certainly strong enough to inflect injury.

Another concern is if your bird is in the habit of throwing down bits of food. Nuts and raisins can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Rabbits , too, might look for spilled food and develop digestive problems. Also, a vocal parrot can be irritating to the sensitive hearing of other pets.

Bottom line: always supervise your pets and wash your hands especially after handling litter boxes or using flea/tick treatments on your dog/cat fur. If washing handsyou are lax on proper hygiene, you are likely to transfer harmful bacteria or chemicals to your bird.