How to Find a Good Bird Sitter

Person holding parrot on hand with food in Seoul Children Grand Park, Seoul, South Korea.
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It's not always possible to take a vacation with your bird, even if you'd really prefer to travel with your feathered companion in tow. Because of this, and the fact that it can be a challenge to travel with any kind of pet, there has been an influx of small pet sitting businesses that have popped up around the world in recent years. As someone who knows all too well how difficult it can be to explain bird care to people that have no experience with birds, I must first strongly recommend that you resist the urge to contact any advertised pet sitting business in your area unless they specifically mention that they have experience caring for birds.

Many of these businesses specialize in watching cats and dogs while their owners are away, and while they may be eager to get your business, they might not do so well taking care of an exotic bird that is likely to be stressed due to your unexplained absence, to begin with.


Don't get discouraged -- just because you might have to look a little harder to find a qualified bird sitter doesn't mean that you won't be able to find one at all. If you're completely adverse to boarding your bird with a reputable facility, then a good place to start looking for a bird sitter is at your avian vet's office. Discuss your travel plans with your vet and ask if he or she can recommend any competent bird sitters that might be right for the job. Chances are that your vet will know of at least two or three people who might be willing to take on the gig, and that may even end up being technicians who work in the clinic and who you might already be familiar with.

If your vet can recommend someone, then it's a safe bet that you'll be able to trust them to properly care for your pet while you are away. If your vet cannot think of anyone to recommend, try asking other bird owners you might know.

Once you have located a potential bird sitter, the best thing to do before hiring them is to ask them to meet with you at your home.

This way, you can assess how comfortable your bird is with them, and vice versa. Some birds may be gender biased if your sister is the opposite sex from you, or may have other reasons that they just don't "click" with the person you're considering. Be sure to "listen" to your bird -- no matter how qualified someone may be, it will make no difference if your bird is overly stressed while you're gone. If your bird seems okay with the sitter, then you should be fine to go ahead and discuss their payment and what you expect them to do while you're away. In most cases, the sitter will need to visit your home at least once a day to make sure that your bird is fed, watered, and that his or her cage tray is emptied. If the bird and sister get along fairly well, then you may want to work some supervised play time into the visit as well. Go with your gut!

Once your sitter is informed of their duties, be sure that they are also familiar with your bird first aid kit and your vet's contact information. Accidents can happen at any time, and they will need to be prepared. Knowing that you've got all your bases covered will help you relax too so that you can enjoy your vacation knowing that your bird is in good hands.