Obesity is a major health issue in the United States, and doctors are working hard to counter the many health effects that being overweight can have on people. However, overweight pets also suffer from health issues. If you allow it, one exotic pet that will eat itself into an early grave is the parrot.
Obesity in Parrots and Other Exotic Birds
Actually, this applies to various bird species and many varieties of parrot. Why are birds so prone to obesity?
We love our pets and want them to be happy. Pets always seem to be happy when we give them food, right? So we end up feeding them way too much, and most birds don’t know when to say no.
The truth is that when a bird spends most of the day in a cage, it gets bored. Guess what a bird does when it gets bored? The same thing we do. It forages around and eats.
If a person makes it into his or her middle years without ever having a healthy diet or exercise, it can be difficult to make a lifestyle change, even if a doctor says that it is vital for the person’s health and well-being. The same is true for a parrot. If your bird lives for 10, 20, or more years eating anything it wants while living a sedentary life, it is going to be tough to teach that old bird some new tricks. It is better to train your feathered friend starting at a young age.
But don’t give up if you have an older bird. It’s really important to encourage a healthy lifestyle for your pet in order to avoid things like arthritis and diabetes (yes, birds get those too).
How can you keep your pet in shape? Try a pellet diet instead of always using seed. Also, if you can’t let your pet fly around your home—sometimes a bird’s wings may have been clipped, depending on where or how you got it—at least let it out to walk around outside its cage every day.
If you are putting your pet on a diet, keep in close touch with your vet so what you do is done in a safe manner.