Jan 09 2020

Who’s a Pretty Bird? Bird Grooming Tips

Why should poodles have all the fun? Bird owners deserve to pamper their pets, too! Our feathered friends do require some extra care to stay healthy, and Paws, Purrs, & Exotics Animal Hospital has all the best tips for bird grooming. 

Feather Care

Birds do a lot of their own feather care through a process called preening, in which they smooth the feathers by running them through their beaks. While you can certainly expect your pet bird to do the same, some additional help is often needed. 

  • Birds will need to be allowed to bathe periodically. Provide a container of water that is large enough for your bird to wade in. Alternatively, you can mist the feathers lightly.
  • Do not use bird shampoos or sprays as these can disrupt the oils secreted for preening. Plain, room temperature water will do. 
  • Be sure to allow your bird to dry thoroughly in a warm, sunny area. It is best to bathe your bird during the warmest part of the day to avoid a drop in temperature.
  • Be sure to give your bird the opportunity for dust baths as well. 

Bird Grooming Tips

In a wild setting, birds wear their beaks and claws naturally. They also need full flight capabilities, which are not necessarily safe in a home environment. A good bird grooming routine should include:

Feather trimming – Your bird’s flight feathers should be clipped to keep your bird safe as flying in a home is very different and more hazardous than flying outdoors. If you choose to trim the feathers yourself be sure to trim both sides, restraining your bird safely and with scissors pointing away from the body. It’s important to also know how to properly avoid blood feathers. Call us to schedule an appointment for us to trim or demonstrate a feather trim for you. 

Beak trimming – Beak trims are important to keep the beak, which grows continually, from becoming too long. This can result in a poor bite and difficult eating. Beak trims should be done with a veterinary professional. 

Claw trimming – A bird’s nails will also grow too long without routine trims. The claws are trimmed with nail clippers, much like a dog’s. Similarly, there is a blood vessel that can be nicked if cut too short. Avoid the temptation to use sandpaper perches as they are not effective and may damage your bird’s feet. 

Properly caring for a bird does require a little effort, but we are here to help you. Never hesitate to call us with any questions you might have about your feathered friend. Bird grooming or otherwise, we are your resource for avian care.

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