Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leaving a Parrotlet While On Vacation


I have a cute little parrotlet who is three months old. We have a cabin and go there for the weekend quite often. Will the parrotlet be okay home alone from Friday night through Sunday evening with a visit from a neighbor on Saturday? What is the longest you can leave a tame friendly parrotlet with a once-a-day pet sitter before you need to be concerned about them becoming unsocialized?

And then when we go on vacation for three weeks over the summer we basically have three choices of where to leave her: 1) the breeder we got her from where she will be safe but probably not handled much, 2) my inlaws, where she will get lots of human interaction but probably not be taken out of her cage regularly, and my father in law smokes, not in the house but you can smell the smoke on his clothes—how bad is that for a bird? and 3) we could try to get a neighbor girl who has a budgie take the parrotlet into her house. She probably would play with it but a parrotlet is a lot different from a budgie and she is only 9. Any ideas of which would be best?

Thanks for your insight.


Dear Monica:

A few days absence should not be a problem however your bird may ‘punish’ you by ignoring you for a few days or not being as friendly. He will get over it.

As for your choices on vacation, it is always best to leave the bird in its own home where it is comfortable and have a professional pet sitter take care of it. They will follow your instructions to the letter, if possible, they will send someone familiar with birds and there is no chance that the bird will be exposed to diseases as it can in a pet shop, vet’s office or at a home with another bird.

I would not want to place her back with the breeder because of the disease risk as well as the lack of handling for that length of time but that is up to you. I have babysat people’s birds they have received from me with no problems.

Being in your parent’s house might not be so bad however, smoking is deadly to birds and not just the smoke itself. Nicotine is extremely toxic and if it is on the hands of someone handling the bird, it can kill the bird.

As for the child, I would never leave a pet with a 9 yo for that length of time. Especially if there is a budgie in the house – budgies are known for carrying a lot of diseases.

My recommendation? A professional pet sitter at home.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.

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