Only Dogs Make Good Pets?


Take a puppy away from his mother when he is two weeks old. Tube feed him for two


weeks. Transfer him to a pet store where he is bottle fed for a few days, then sold to someone who has never had a puppy and doesn't know anyone else who has ever had a puppy.

The new owner is thrilled with having a puppy. All the warm, fuzzy puppy things are there and this person carries the puppy around constantly - except when he needs to go to work, make dinner, or sleep. At those times, the puppy is put in a small crate where he can stand up, turn around and lie down. The puppy has no room to run or play. The puppy is hohhled so that he can't jump on people or run away.

He is fed saltine crackers and water in the crate and food from the owner's plate at mealtime. No one else is allowed to play with or hold the puppy because the owner wants the puppy to grow up and love only him.

\Xthen the puppy cries or harks, the owner gives him a dog biscuit and a pat on the head to shut him up. Eventually, the routine of daily life returns and the owner spends less and less time with the puppy. By now, what the owner possesses is a dog that harks constantly, is physically stunted, sick and malnourished, kennel shy and a fear biter that tries to mate with the owner's leg. Would this dog he a good per' N01

Why then do we expect birds who are hrought up in the same way to make good pets' The fact is: they don't. ls this the bird's fault? Does this mean that birds and dogs do not make good pets? Of course not. Most people know that puppies need good food, exercise, proper socialization and training to he good pets.

Surprise' So do hirds. The results of hringing up a bird the way this puppy was treated are exactly the same. Most people do not have the experience with hirds that they have with dogs.

Most people know not to huy a puppy before it is seven weeks old. Puppies need to stay with their mothers and their litter mares long enough


to identify themselves as dogs and learn appropriate pack behavior. This also avoids sexual confusion later in life.

The rnany species of birds all mature at different rates and have different developmental windows at different ages. There is much debate among knowledgeable bird people because each species matures on a different schedule. Knowledge in one species does not always transfer to another species. just because a person has raised Cockatiels, does NOT make him an expert on Amazons. But that is another topic.

just like puppies that are carried around everywhere they go and kept crated the rest of the time, birds that are constantly carried or caged have no opportunity to develop their muscles and hones. They do not develop the physical skills that they need to grow up as healthy confident birds. They become fearful of any new situation or person. Puppies are usually not reliably house trained either.

\Y/e know a lot more about dog nutrition now than we do about bird nutrition. However, we do know that a diet of just seeds, no matter how "fortified", is not a nutritious diet for a hi rd. Because of their high metabolic rate, proper nutrition at every meal is even more important for birds. Birds are designed for flight. Their digestive systems are short and fast. Since they must fly, food needs to he fairly concentrated and nutrient-rich. Birds are not designed for high-fiber diets. It's why they hull seeds and throw away the skin on fruits, beans, corn and peas. They chew up and spit out carrot pulp, while drinking the juic Many people don't realize this and assume that the bird is just making a mess playing with his vegetables.