Finding a pet sitter for birds

Don't Wing it When Choosing a Pet Sitter for Your Bird: Essential Considerations for Pet Sitting for Birds

Going on vacay? Don't wing it with your pet bird.  Learn how to find a pet sitter for birds, how to interview them, and how to instruct them so that your bird doesn't get its feathers ruffled while you're away.
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By Diane Burroughs

Revised 6/14/2022

Table of Contents

When it comes to finding a pet sitter for your bird while you’re on vacation, don’t “wing it”. Pet birds can be very sensitive, so t is important to carefully consider the essential elements of pet sitting for birds to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your feathered family member.

Choosing a pet sitter for birds requires research and dedication to ensure that your bird will be well taken care of while you’re away so start your search early. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key considerations when it comes to pet sitting for birds.

Do your research

 Before you make a decision about where to leave your feathered friend while you're away, it's important to do your research ahead of time. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to board your bird or have a pet sitter come to your home.

If you decide to go with a pet sitter, start by looking for a reputable and experienced bird pet sitter near you. You can ask friends and family members who have birds if they can recommend someone. You can also check online directories, social media groups, like the Next Door App, and local bird clubs to find a qualified pet sitter.

A professional pet sitter will have a professional intake process which will include taking a basic history, obtaining specific instructions, and obtaining permission to obtain veterinary care for your bird in case of an emergency.  I always look up the pet sitter to make sure that their business is legitimate.

Once you have a list of potential pet sitters, research them online and read reviews from other customers. Check if they are licensed, insured, and bonded. You can also look for professional pet-sitting organizations that can help you find certified pet sitters.  

Make sure to ask each pet sitter you're considering about their experience with birds. They should be familiar with the specific needs of your bird and be able to provide references. You can also ask for proof of insurance and bonding. 

Don't just rely on online research; meet the potential pet sitters in person for a meet and greet. A face-to-face meeting will help you gauge whether you're comfortable with the person taking care of your bird. It will also allow you to observe them with your bird. Ask them questions about their experience and training, as well as their availability and fees. 

By doing your research and taking the time to find the right pet sitter, you can enjoy your vacation knowing that your bird is in good hands. 

Pet sitter for birds

Ask questions

Once you've narrowed down your list of potential pet sitters, it's important to ask plenty of questions to ensure they're the right fit for your bird. Start by asking about their experience caring for birds and whether they've worked with your specific type of bird before. It's also a good idea to ask about their availability and whether they're able to come to your home to care for your bird or if you'll need to bring your bird to them. 

Don't be afraid to ask about their qualifications and any relevant certifications they may have, such as bird behavior or first aid training. You can also ask for their rates and whether they offer any additional services, such as grooming or training. 

It's important to find a pet sitter who is familiar with your bird's routine and habits, so ask about their feeding and care schedule. Ask if they will be providing fresh food and water, changing bedding, and cleaning cages. You can also ask about their experience administering medication, in case your bird requires any special care. 

Finally, it's always a good idea to ask for references from previous clients, especially if you're unfamiliar with the pet sitter or they don't have any online reviews. And remember, don't settle for just any bird pet sitter near me – take the time to find the right person who you feel comfortable entrusting with the care of your feathered friend. 

To make it easier to assess a pet sitter's qualifications for caring for your bird, here are the top 7 questions to ask: 

1. Can you describe your experience with birds, and have you cared for my specific type of bird before?

2. Are you able to provide fresh food and water, clean cages and bedding, and follow my bird's regular care routine?

3. Are you comfortable administering medication or any special care my bird may require?

4. Do you have any relevant certifications or training in bird care or behavior?

5. Can you provide references from previous bird owners you've pet-sat for?

6. What is your backup plan in case you have an emergency and can't get to my house twice a day?

7. Do you know what signs to look for to tell whether a bird is sick?  

Once you've asked these questions and gotten satisfactory answers, you should feel confident in your choice of a pet sitter. Just remember to trust your instincts, get everything in writing, and start your search early to find the best bird pet sitter near me for your feathered friend. And don't forget to ask for updates while you're away to ease any worries you may have. 

Request references and call them

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential pet sitters for your bird, it's time to request references. A reputable pet sitter should have no problem providing you with a list of satisfied customers who can speak to their experience and the quality of their care.  

When you receive the references, be sure to call them. This is an essential step to ensuring you're choosing the right pet sitter for your feathered friend. During your conversation, ask specific questions about the sitter's experience caring for birds and their ability to handle any potential issues that may arise.

It's also a good idea to ask about any feedback or suggestions the reference may have for improving the experience for your bird. This will help you to gauge the level of care your bird will receive while you're away. 

It's essential to keep in mind that references are only one part of the process of choosing the right pet sitter. Don't make your decision solely on what they say. Use their feedback to help inform your decision, but ultimately, trust your instincts and choose the sitter that you feel most comfortable with.  

Go with your gut

While it's important to do your research and ask questions when selecting a pet sitter for your bird, ultimately you should go with your gut. If you feel uneasy about a potential pet sitter or something doesn't sit right with you, trust your instincts and continue your search.

It's important to choose someone you feel comfortable with and who you believe will provide the best care for your feathered friend. After all, you want to be able to relax and enjoy your vacation knowing your bird is in good hands. So, listen to your intuition and choose a pet sitter that gives you peace of mind. 

Nothing will spoil your vacation and memories more than coming home to a sick, depressed, or plucked bird. Another important consideration when choosing a pet sitter for your bird is to request daily updates and photos. It's reassuring to see that your bird is happy and healthy while you're away, and it can help ease any worry or anxiety you may feel. Most pet sitters are happy to send daily updates, so don't be afraid to ask for this. 

When it comes to how long a bird can be left alone for, it really depends on the species and individual bird. Some birds like, canaries and finches, can be left alone for a day or two with no problems - especially if you use a water bottle, while others, like parrots which includes budgies, cockatiels, conures, and larger birds require more frequent care and attention. Before you leave, make sure to research your bird's specific needs and requirements, and communicate these with your pet sitter.  

Finally, it's important to consider how to ease your bird's discomfort when you're away, especially if you have a parrot. One way to do this is to maintain a consistent routine with feeding times, playtime, and sleep schedules.

You can also provide your pet sitter with a list of your bird's favorite toys and activities to keep them occupied and entertained. Additionally, you may want to leave a piece of clothing or a favorite blanket with your bird to provide a familiar scent and comfort. 

It may sound corny, but I like to tell my bird's that I'm leaving.  I feel that they understand me. This way, at least in my mind, they don't get so upset or feel abandoned.  As the owner of and a bird behaviorist, I've heard too many stories of a bird that started plucking when the family went on vacation.

Choosing a pet sitter for your bird can be stressful, but by doing your research, asking the right questions, and trusting your gut, you can find someone you feel comfortable with and who will provide excellent care for your feathered friend while you're away. 

Ask for daily photo's to be texted to you

I find it reassuring to see pictures of my bird's when I'm on vacation, especially if I'm using a pet sitter that I've not used in the past. Knowing that your bird is happy and healthy while you're away can help ease any worry or anxiety you may feel. Most pet sitters are happy to send daily updates, so don't be afraid to ask for this. 

Even if you board your bird, a photo can tell you a lot about how your bird is doing and whether it's adapting to its temporary surroundings. Seeing your bird eating, playing or simply perching comfortably can be a sign that everything is going well.

If your pet seems distressed, lost, or otherwise unhappy, call your pet sitter right away to explore potential resolutions.

If your pet sitter is a real bird lover, they won't mind allowing you to have a Google meeting with your bird every day. This can be a great way to check in on your feathered friend and provide a sense of comfort and security for both you and your pet. 

In Conclusion

Leaving your beloved feathered friend behind when you go on vacation can be tough. But with a little planning and preparation, you can ensure that your bird is in good hands while you're away.

Remember to do your research, ask plenty of questions, and trust your gut when choosing a pet sitter. Requesting daily photo updates can give you peace of mind, and be sure to take steps to ease your bird's discomfort when you're away. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to enjoy your time away knowing that your bird is happy and well cared for. 

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Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

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