Have you ever wanted to go away and decided not to because you worried too much about your pet cockatiels? Well you are not alone, we have and so have many others. This is quite a dilema for many pet bird owners.
Do You Suffer?
Holidays are suposed to be a great adventure and lots of fun. They are often saved up for and planned well in advance. The one thing you don’t want to be doing is worrying. Lets get one thing clear, as a pet owner, you will always worry about your babies. It is a fact of life that pet owners worry about their clossest buddies 24/7. If you are yet to treat yourself to a pet cockatiel then please take this and other reasons into consideration before you rush out and get your feathered friend.
I don’t know any bird owner that doesn’t worry about their flock and even when they have friends or family looking after them. They are an extension of your family and you just can’t leave them without feeling bad. So what do you do?
What Are Your Choices
I guess that depends on your situation and how long you intend to go away for. If you are traveling locally, could you take them with you? lets assume your going overseas for a week, so taking them with you is out of the question. You could ask a friend, but are they animal lovers? Have they got enough time for you? How about asking a neighbour, but do you want your neighbour in your home while your away?
How about taking them to a vet? This might sound good but would you like to stay at the doctors practice with all those sick people? No I didn’t think so. What about bringing them to another bird loving family. Do you know that their birds are healthy? Will they have enough space? See there are lots of reasons for and against. So what do you do?
What about a pet sitter? They are going to cost money, are they bird lovers? How reliable are they?
We never had a problem until we moved town. We had very good friends that had cockatiels in the same area. They would come twice a day and stay for a while looking after our munchkins, changing water, feeding them, adding some treats, cleaned out the cages, allowed them to fly. We always left them with detailed instructions and plenty of food. They bought fresh food daily. When we got home we took them out for dinner, gave them presents and $$$. We did this with pleasure as we knew that our darlings were in safe hands.
So what do we do now?
Well we have plenty of friends yet none of them have birds as pets, go figure. That made it hard for us to find someone to care for our cockatiels, not to mention they are all busy people as well and the distances in this larger town/city is greater. So we searched for a pet sitter. And we found one…The past week was our first trial week. All went well and the cockatiels are all fine. The pet sitter came twice a day and changed water, topped up seeds, made fresh foods (fruit vegetables, pasta etc), cleaned the cages. We received SMS updates daily that included video, also we had a skype call…
We were naturally very concerned and had to make sure that the lady knew what to do. Twice before we went we arranged for her to visit and we demostrated all that we do for our birds, she took notes etc. We also left detailed instructions and gave her access to the eBook and Facebook page for lots of information. We left details of emergency vets in the area.
The week went by and we enjoyed the SMS and comunication. The most important thing was that our cockatiels were safe and well looked after and that they were. So now that we have tested and had a great result we will be able to plan a few more trips away.
You never know what might happen, but if you have somebody that you can rely on then that is good for the peace of mind.
Checklist For Carer
- are they animal lovers
- have they enough time
- do you trust them
- have they got birds
- do they have experience
- do they have a back up plan
- can you afford it
- are they smokers
What You Must Do
Make a detailled list of DO’S and DON”TS, leave numbers and address of many vets in order of preference, not all vets are open 7 days a week. Make sure whoever you get has a back up plan. Be confident that everything is going to be just fine.
How Much Will It Cost?
This depends on who you get. I would say that no cost is too much for the safety of your closest buddies. What we paid our pet sitter is no more than what we would have given to our friends to do the same. We don’t look at it as a cost, it is a necessity that allows us peace of mind and the chance to go away.
P.S. If you get friends or neighbours to look after your pets then make sure that you look after them very well, I don’t mean a bar of chocolate or a scratchy… really show them that you care and are very grateful for their time and effort. After all if they were not taking care of your pet cockatiels then what would the cost be…