Bird Care

Trisha Consunji: 916-649-0599 (California Veterinary Medical Association)



Veterinarians Offer Advice on Caring for Feathered Friends

Sacramento, CA – The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) reminds pet owners to remember birds when marking National Pet Wellness Month this October. The annual observation traditionally focuses on well care for dogs and cats, but California veterinarians say this is an opportune time for bird owners to reassess their bird’s nutritional and behavioral needs.

Healthy birds can be long-time companions if owners follow a few basic pet care steps: balanced diet, behavior management, and regular veterinary examinations.

“The life expectancy of a bird can be 30 years or even much more,” says CVMA past-president Eric Weigand, DVM. “But many birds die much earlier because of poor diets. Malnutrition can result in numerous disorders that damage the respiratory and digestive system as well as the skin, liver, bones, feathers, and beak.” This is preventable if bird owners feed their winged pets properly. The CVMA recommends all bird owners consult their veterinarian about the best nutrition for their birds.

Our feathered friends should see a veterinarian regularly, throughout their long lives. “Many times, I won’t see a parrot for a first check-up until it’s 20 years old, and that’s too late,” says Dr. Alan Fudge, owner of Bird Doctor House Calls and president of the California Avian Laboratory, “by that time, a condition is chronic or life threatening.”

Regular checkups with an avian specialist, who looks at behavioral and environmental issues as well as nutrition, are preventative medicine. Owners are often pleasantly surprised to see how a change in care routines eliminates a bird’s nervous habit or health problem. “Birds by nature are highly intelligent and social creatures and benefit from attention by their owners,” says Dr. Fudge.

If your winged friend hasn’t seen a veterinarian, take advantage of this Pet Wellness Month opportunity. It will lead to a longer and healthier relationship for you both.

To access past CVMA press releases, visit the CVMA Media Center in the News Room at


The California Veterinary Medical Association is the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, with more than 7,000 members. Founded in 1888, its mission is to serve its membership and community through innovative leadership and to improve animal and human health in an ethically and socially responsible manner.

© 2020 California Veterinary Medical Association

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