Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Key Largo, Florida Friends: Umbrella Cockatoo and Moluccan Cockatoo
The main reasons most parents do not want their kids to get a pet parrot, is because they don’t want to have to be the ones to take care of it. Parrots can be high maintenance pets as they need plenty of space, fresh food and water often and lots of stimulation through toys, training and attention. In order to convince your parents that you are ready for a pet parrot, you need to show them that you are prepared, responsible and reliable.
Do your research: Make sure you can answer any questions your parents might throw your way. What their diet should be, how often to feed them, what to feed them, how to feed them and when. Know how often to change their cage, what to use and how to do it. Know the best type of cage to buy, the size, the correct bar spacing and so on. You should pick a bird that YOU are right for, not that is right for you. Make sure you’ve done all possible research before approaching your parents on this topic so they see for themselves how dedicated and serious you are about obtaining this new pet.
Try to afford it by yourself: If you can’t afford everything yourself, try to keep the budget minimal if you know this will be an issue. It shows your parents you are responsible enough to budget your own funds for your own pet. However, don’t cheap out either. Budget in everything you need and the best of the best.
Make it fun for them: Let them know about all the fun things involved with owning a pet parrot so they see the fun in it, too! Let me know it will be fun for them as well as you. Show them various websites demonstrating tricks, training, and cuddling. Show them how cute your bird is, where you plan to get it from and what it is capable of. For example, people have no idea how capable parakeets are as pets. They think, “Mine is boring, I will get it a friend or give it a mirror.” When really, it’s a parakeet that holds the world record for the largest spoken vocabulary! Parakeets are also very smart and fast learners and are very capable of learning and performing tricks, even on stage.
Show responsibility: This is huge! I can promise you that your parents’ primary concern is having to care for your pet because you will forget about it, get bored with it or would rather be hanging out with friends. Especially the longer living parrots – what about when you go to college, what happens to your bird? Have a plan and show responsibility for your pet. Prove you will take care of it and they will have to do nothing. Find a vet ahead of time or a boarding facility for when you go out of town. Your parents want to know and be convinced that this new pet isn’t going to alter their current lifestyle or hold them back from doing things they usually do, so cover all your bases.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.