Before you hit the road for that awesome vacation, remember that not everyone in the house can just jump in the car and go like you. Your pets, especially your bird, need some extra TLC and security when traveling in a car.
Here are 6 tips for a safe trip with your bird:
- Pack enough food, toys, and other supplies you’ll need to keep your bird’s cage clean while you’re away. Look up the phone number and address of the vet near where you staying that treats birds. Planning ahead can reduce stress if your bird becomes ill or injured while you’re away.
- When making pit stops or taking breaks for lunch, take your bird out of the car too but leave it in the carrier or cage so s/he doesn’t get away. If you have one, use the avian harness if your bird needs to spread its wings and get some exercise.
- The carrier that your bird is traveling needs to be secure and should be firmly belted in the backseat. Carriers aren’t very heavy and a sudden stop could propel the carrier and your bird onto the floor of the car or hit your seat. The front seat is not recommended in case you are in an accident and the air bag in the passenger seat goes off. Do not let your bird fly around the car, that is distracting and your bird could end up poking around under the brake and gas pedals.
- During the drive, if your bird seems to be stressed, talking can help soothe the anxiety s/he is feeling. You can also try putting a sheet over the cage, but let some light in. Birds that are in the dark can sometimes stumble or fall off the perch if the carrier moves or jostles with the rhythms of the car.
- Keep the temperature of the car comfortable for you, your passengers, and your bird. Driving with the windows open might feel nice for you, but your pet may not appreciate the blasts of winds in the backseat. Also, if you smoke, do not smoke in the car with your pets.
- When you get your destination, set up your bird’s cage in a secure place, make sure it’s not near any dangers like smoke, a window, or near air fresheners. If you are staying with friends who have cats or dogs, find a space that’s out of their reach so that your bird is safe.
Your bird can read your mannerisms and body language. Try to retain a sense of calmness and relax during the trip. Even if your bird isn’t ready to be completely social and act like s/he does at home, it helps reduce anxiety.
Have a safe trip!
photo by C.P.Storm