Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How To Treat and Prevent Separation Anxiety In Parrots

Separation Anxiety is a Common Problem in Pet Parrots
Does your parrot yelp, scream or otherwise pitch a fit when you leave the room? If so, it could be suffering from a psychological condition known as separation anxiety. Parrots with separation anxiety tend to cry out in distress when their owner leaves their sight.

All parrot species -- big and small -- are susceptible to this condition. Parrots are instinctively social creatures that crave the attention and companionship of others, which is why they travel together in flocks in the wild. Parrots still possess this innate desire for companionship when they are brought into the home as pets, and leaving their side can trigger an emotional response of them trying to cal you back.

Don't Feed Into Your Parrot's Separation Anxiety

It's often heartbreaking to see a parrot yelping helplessly for its owner. Even if you know there's nothing physically wrong with the parrot, you may still feel obliged to return to their side in an attempt to calm them down. Unfortunately, going back to your parrot only feeds into their separation anxiety, making them believe their scheme of yelling makes you return.

It may be hard to handle at first, but you must learn to ignore your parrot's cries for attention. Going back to its cage to pet, talk or otherwise provide it with attention will increase its separation anxiety.

Socialization: The Secret To Treating and Preventing Separation Anxiety

Socialization is critical to the treatment and prevention of separation anxiety in pet parrots. Parrots that are left cooped up for days on end will do anything in their power to gain their owner's attention, including yelling and screaming. On the other hand, exposing your parrot to new sights, sounds and smells will satisfy their instinctual desire to explore; thus, helping to prevent separation anxiety.

Here are some easy ways to socialize a pet parrot:

  • Take your parrot out of its cage for a couple hours a day.

  • Purchase a bird harness so you can take your outside.

  • Introduce your parrot to new people.

  • Pull open the curtains so your parrot can look out the window while you're gone.

  • Take your parrot to the veterinarian for routine checkups and grooming.

  • Bring your parrot on car rides.

When you're forced to leave your parrot's side, try turning on the radio or television. It's certainly no substitute for your company, but it may help preoccupy their time with some mental stimulation.

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