Bird Bath Tips:Good Habits
In their natural environments,birds keep themselves clean by finding puddles of water,splashing around in a river or stream,playing in wet morning dew,or getting caught in the rain. A quick hop about in a small amount of water is all it takes for a bird to get clean. In captivity however,bird bathing habits are a bit of a different story. The captivity of pet birds means that you,as owner are responsible for providing the proper bathing environment or else your pet bird may suffer from dry skin and lackluster plumage.
To create the perfect birdbath at home,we recommend the following suggestions:
- Simply purchase a misting spray bottle and give your bird a few sprays for a quick freshwater rinse. Note that there are several excellent commercial sprays on the market to help with dry skin conditions,soften plumage,and neutralize odors. Remember to avoid spraying any water directly into your bird’s face!
- Never use soap. Soap can include harsh chemicals that can negatively affect your bird’s skin and feathers. Instead,stick to just water or a commercial spray.
- Lukewarm water is the best temperature for your bird’s body. Ensure that the room is warm to avoid chilling your pet after bath and leave enough time for them to completely dry before it’s time to go to bed. Larger birds may allow you to gently dry them with a soft towel by rubbing in the direction that the feathers go.
- Supervision is important when bathing your bird. Strong water streams and cold water temperatures can be dangerous so be vigilant and pay attention. If filling a sink,you only need a few inches to represent a small puddle of water for your bird’s cleansing needs.
- Don’t force it. Some birds absolutely love bathing and will happily hop to every day while others make it a special occasion. For starters,offer a bath at least twice a week and see how they react. You can tailor your schedule from there!
- Since birds are highly susceptible to germs,if bathing in the sink,be sure to completely clean your sink with a mild and unscented soap. You should once again clean the area thoroughly after you are through bathing your bird for the health and safety of your household.
- If you find yourself in a situation where your bird gets into a sticky substance that will not come off with just water,talk to your veterinarian about options to preserve the health of your pet!
As a natural activity,the regular bathing of your bird can encourage preening,remove unwanted dirt from feathers and lead to a happier and more contented pet! Plus,it’s a great social exercise for you and your pet.
For more information about Wyld’s Wingdom please contact us at 800.366.9953 or www.wingdom.com.
Keys to Boosting Community Involvement for Retail Pet Stores
By Wyld’s Wingdom
As a destination for numerous different items of care for a range of household pets,retail pet stores are places that people with hearts gather. To help turn this involvement towards your greater local community,here are a few tips for setting up a successful marketing plan and harnessing the power of caring for the greater good.
When it comes to successful businesses and giving back,the first step is to establish an effective and imaginative marketing strategy. Consider your audience and include tech savvy options such as starting a blog,conducting an ongoing email newsletter,or creating and maintaining an ongoing social media presence.
Once you’ve set yourself up for engaging with customers,veterinarians,groomers,local shelters,other pet businesses and enthusiasts,building a strong network is an excellent way to strengthen and widen your reach. Developing this network by attending events,cross-pollinating customers,and establishing mutually beneficial relationships within the pet industry can help set the stage for community involvement.
Consider setting up events that showcase that you are a caring business. For example,start an online and in-store campaign requesting donations of pet food or supplies for a local shelter or rescue group. Another great way of getting involved is to set a day where a percentage of sales goes to a worthy cause of support for an animal hospital or other likeable institution. These types of activities can help rally the community and boost support. You can raise awareness and build contributions by using your network and ongoing marketing campaigns!
Be the Source of Info
For great information,teach your clients and community to look to you. By creating original content,providing key information,offering specials,and more,let your clients know that you are the go-to source for good information when it comes to their loving animals.
With a mission to bring the community together to help those that are less fortunate,your store can be a contributor to increasing local well-being. Once you establish a precedent of giving and create a regular group of patrons and volunteers interested in furthering the goal of community involvement,it’s amazing how much of a difference you can make!
For more information about Wyld’s Wingdom please contact us at 800.366.9953 or www.wingdom.com. Pets In The Classroom can be reached at www.petsintheclassroom.org.
How to Encourage Foraging for Pet Birds
As essential components of natural bird behavior,foraging and play are two fundamental categories of instinctive behaviors that are integral to a bird’s happy life. Since wild birds spend a great deal of time seeking food,shelter,and water,birds in captivity need to be able to use their skill sets in order to feel satisfied and avoid negative bird behaviors.
For birds,foraging is the act of searching for and discovering food not readily available. This process engages both physical and mental skills and can occupy a good portion of your bird’s day. One benefit that stems from recreating this act for pet birds includes alleviating boredom and other behavioral problems by presenting fun challenges and obstacles through exercise and activity reminiscent of a bird’s natural habitat. Another benefit of encouraging foraging for your feathered friend is that this process promotes the use of your bird’s beak and feet to strengthen physical aspects and stimulate problem-solving skills that require a physical finesse.
Several examples of setting your pet bird up for foraging success include:
- Wrapping food pieces inside other items like lettuce,other green leaves,or in a safe material like a coffee filter then tying with twine,rope,or tape can aid in the act of discovery and present time-absorbing challenges for your bird to find the food reward hidden inside.
- Another great way to encourage foraging is by hiding or covering regular the areas where your bird usually eats with unusual items that present challenges. For example,place a paper towel on top of their regular food dish to add that extra layer of fun and problem-solving to get to the food source.
- Hanging items from cages is third way to have you bird keep an eye out for unexpected food opportunities. This can be done with fruit and twine as well as toys meant for this exact purpose.
- And finally,toys! There are many different commercial pet bird toys available on the market that can help your bird enjoy interactive fun by encouraging foraging for rewards while enticing physical and mental stimulation.
As a critical component,playtime for birds is part of what makes birds such fun,entertaining,and interactive companions. Encouraging natural skills through foraging behaviors and time spent with stimulating toys can promote instinctual behaviors that are part of a happy and healthy lifestyle for any captive bird.
Wyld’s Wingdom carries a variety of bird foraging toys. Contact Wyld’s Wingdom for more information on wholesale orders. Phone: 757.858.8090 or Toll Free: 800.366.9953.
Tips to Prep Your Pet Bird for Fall
With the cooler temperatures and less daylight,the end of summer is often a relief to you but it’s important to consider how these changes impact your pet bird. To help prepare your bird for a new season,there are several things you can do to ensure the health and happiness of your pet!
As the leaves start to change,now is the best time to take advantage of the warm temperatures and to allow your bird to revel in the natural UV rays from the sun. Since most birds are native to tropical environments or else migrate away from winter-heavy environments,sunlight is an essential component to their health. To prepare for the lack of daylight hours and the minimal exposure to UV rays,investing in a broad spectrum UV light to shine on their cage for at least 6 hours a day during the winter months is an excellent tool to keep your bird happy and healthy through the new season.
When the seasons shift,it’s possible that you will notice new and potentially unwanted behaviors in your bird. Examples include aggressive behavior,chewing,and an uptick in vocalization can all be attributed to stress levels from the changes in weather. To help keep your pet mentally and physically occupied,new toys,perches,and wooden chew toys can provide stimulation and the necessary opportunities for play and excitement.
With the reliance on furnaces and heaters as the weather turns downright chilly,these bursts of warm,dry air and accompanying spores and dust can be particularly hard on your bird’s respiratory system. To properly prepare for fall and winter,you should clean all air filters,run a humidifier,and keep your bird away from any of the vent openings. Look out for any debris in your bird’s nares (nostrils) and watch for tail bobbing that accompanies each breath as this is a sign that something could be wrong with your pet bird’s respiratory tract.
One other task you should perform to prep your bird for fall is a big clean. Since with cooler weather,it can be harder to remove your bird from their cage to do necessary cleaning duties,now is the time to do an intense cleaning and get into all of the hidden corners of your bird’s cage. Since many birds are encouraged to molt with the onset of cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours,dander may be a big part of what you need to clean out!
The Importance of Dietary Differences Among Birds
A balanced and nutritious diet is key in helping your pet bird live a long and healthy life. In fact,the ideal avian diet is comprised of much more than just birdseed. Depending on the type of bird you own,you should discuss their needs with your veterinarian to provide the right building blocks for health and wellness.
When it comes to different types of bird diets,there are five main categories of primary diets each with their own nutritional recommendations:
- Granivore – Primary diet of grains and seeds
- Frugivore – Primary diet of mostly fruits and flowers with some additional nuts and seeds
- Florivore – Primary diet of seeds,fruits,nuts,bark,roots,and berries
- Omnivore – Primary diet of seeds,fruits,insects,and invertebrates
- Nectarivore – Primary diet of nectar,pollen,and some insects and seeds
Since in the wild birds have access to a great diversity of food,it is important to recreate this component for any pet bird. Luckily on the market today there are many formulated base diet options available. These excellent food choices often come in the form of pellets,crumbles,nuggets,or cakes and make up approximately 65 to 80% of your bird’s diet.
Fruits and Veggies
As great snacks to enhance your bird’s eating habits and to keep things interesting,there are a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your bird’s daily life. As a source of vitamin and minerals,you should shoot for an additional 15 to 30% of your bird’s daily diet to fall into the vegetable category and another 5% to fruit. Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly and remove any pits or seeds before offering to your bird to prevent health complications. Several great vegetable offerings include carrots,radishes,kale,tomatoes,broccoli,corn,and cucumber. For fruit,look to fun items such as peaches,pears,cherries,berries,apples,kiwi,and mango to provide new exciting flavors for your bird.
The Do Not Feed List
Just like other pets,there are several types of foods you should avoid giving to your bird due to their ability to cause health complications. The “no list” includes items such as high-fat junk foods,chocolate,alcohol,table salt,avocados,apple seeds or fruit pits,onions and mushrooms. If you are unsure about something that you’d like to offer your bird,do your research and talk to a veterinarian to maintain the health of your bird.
Tips for Pet Retailers to Prepare for the Holiday Season
With the biggest season of spending on the horizon,now is the appropriate time to get a head of the game. In order to get your ducks in a row to maximize holiday business,here are several noteworthy tips to prepare your retail store for the season of merriment (and not to mention Black Friday and Cyber Monday!).
Prep Your Team
In the fast paced and comparison shopping market that is today’s economy,you need to anticipate your customer base’s needs. Tackling this through education enables your employees to have knowledge about products and creates a better shopping experience for your clientele. Not to mention a refresher course on return policies,price matching,and product guarantees means that each and every transaction is a confident one complete with stellar customer service.
With new technology on the market,getting mobile can mean your employees are no longer stuck behind a counter tethered to a register. With Smartphone and tablet technology your staff can perform point-of-sale procedures where the customer needs them. This includes being able to empower your employees with the ability to refer to videos,product reviews,and other items at the touch of a few buttons. As a result it can help your team make better sales and engage your customers with a multi-sensory shopping experience.
Not only can setting up the expectation for bonuses,commission,and contests help inspire your team,it can create a fun and festive environment where everyone steps up their game to meet the holiday demands. Bring up the subject now and entice your employees with the future knowledge that you appreciate their hard work and will reward their efforts.
Now is also a great time to solicit feedback from your employees on how to merchandise the store. Since they are on the ground floor,having your staff contribute creative ideas is a great way to get everyone involved!
We know it’s only July but there’s no time like the present to start your holiday strategy in order to make the most of the coming holiday season!
Pet Bird Safety Tips During the 4th of July
4th of July Safety Tips for our Feathered Friends
The American Pet Products Association’s 2013-14 National Pet Owners Survey indicates an all-time high of 53.4 million multiple pet owning households. When talking about pet safety all household pets,not just furry friends can be at risk and must be remembered especially during 4th of July celebrations.
Our feathered friends also have challenges during the 4th of July celebrations. Just like dogs and cats,pet birds react to the loud noises and bright lights. Here are a few suggestions to help prevent panic and help keep pet birds calm during the festivities:
- Keep pet birds indoors during the fireworks.
- Keep tempting colorful glow sticks away from birds. They are toxic to most pets.
- Cover the cage only if the bird is familiar with a cage cover. This will help mute the noise and bright flashes of light.
- Keep birds away from any fumes caused by fireworks and/or sparklers.
- Turn on the radio or TV to help drown out the loud sounds of fireworks.
- Provide a distraction like a favorite bird toy(s) or cozy bird tent.
Celebrating the 4th of July is a great American tradition for us humans. Most pets however will prefer the quite calm safety of home as much as we enjoy the loud bangs and bursts of lights while observing Independence Day!
How To Delight Your Customers and Keep Them Coming Back For More
By Wyld’s Wingdom
In this day and age,customers can be fickle. With the plethora of options available on the market,if you don’t deliver,your customers can and will walk away to find a company that does. That being said,conversely,if you delight and awe your customers and win their loyalty,you can keep them coming back for more. With these tips,here’s how you can do the latter instead of the former:
- Show Them Love
Following up or corresponding with your customer base with something unexpected can help nurture a loyal and loving relationship that encourages your customers to continue to shop with you.
Delivering coupons,promo codes,specials,and free goodies are another way that technology can help foster that sense of delight with your customers. Strive to deliver something thoughtful and desirable.
- Ask For Feedback
Another great and simple way to invest in developing a real and rewarding interactive relationship with your clientele is by requesting user-feedback. From how your store hours fit your customer’s schedules to what they like and dislike about their shopping experience in your store,by allowing a platform for feedback,your customers feel that their opinion counts!
- Personal Touch
With expertly trained and knowledgeable staff that receive empowerment to do what needs to be done to ensure happy customers,you can rest easy relying upon your employees to help direct and engage with clients in your store. A great customer service experience can make or break any shopping experience.
When it comes to converting an individual into a loyal customer in your store,remember the inbound marketing methodology “attract,convert,close,and delight.” These four steps are the bread and butter of serving potential individuals and converting them into future repeat customers.
How to Stock Your Bird Department for Success
By Wyld’s Wingdom
Birds are special creatures that require much different care and attention than the typical furry family pet. Our feathered friends need stimulating and engaging environments that replicate challenges and obstacles naturally confronted in their wild habitats to live a happy and healthy life.
When it comes to stocking your bird retail department for success,there are several different factors that can play into how your products are received and thus how happy your customers are with their experience in your store. Three main components of any shopping excursion are as follows:
As with any retail niche,the presentation of the products you carry can exert tremendous influence on how your customers make their selections and purchases. Thoughtfully laying out your products in a methodical fashion can help new customers navigate your store and return customers find what they are looking for easily. An eye-catching display that includes,a bird cage,toys,cage accessories,perches,bird food,etc. can help customers visualize a healthy bird environment. Any particular items that are featured should be placed at eye-level with enticing signage and information regarding specials. We recommend asking for customer feedback. Knowing your customer’s experience will help your team evaluate how user-friendly your presentations are and what needs to change. This user-feedback loop can allow you to access important insight into both the organization and presentation of your shelves.
From specialty products to cages and houses,food and treats to vitamins and supplements,toys and educational materials to exercise equipment and other accessories,the amount of pet bird products on the market today can be overwhelming. Properly educating your staff on the products you carry can help them inform and direct customers to what they are looking for. Also,you should only stock top-of-the-line,quality products that you believe in,by companies built on solid reputations.
One critical component for your store’s personnel is great customer service skills. This requires ongoing educational opportunities to empower your staff with knowledge about your products. As pet-lovers,enthusiasm and first-hand knowledge can translate into better sales for you. Encouraging your staff to try out different products themselves with their own birds can help educate them on giving better advice to customers and also lend a boost in forming a confident sales team that is invested in the best selection of products for any bird’s health. Great advice and attentive sales teams means loyal customers!
Stocking Up:The Perks of Carrying Healthy Products for Pet Birds
By Wyld’s Wingdom
As a pet retailer,offering a variety of healthy products for pet birds does more than keep our feathered friends in optimal condition. It can also provide an education for bird lovers and pet lovers alike on the proper care routines critical to maintaining a healthy and happy pet bird.
Requiring much different care than that of a dog or cat,the many different types of birds have their own set of nutritional requirements that can often seem confusing or overwhelming to novice owners. However,there is one new trend emerging on the market:the importance of offering a varied,rich,and interesting diet. At Wyld’s Wingdom,we carefully select our product lines for both quality and effectiveness. Here’s a bit more information on the many different types of bird care items. Be sure to share this information with your staff and customers:
Feed the Birds
Meeting the nutritional needs of a companion bird may take a bit of research since factors other than breed can come into play. Examples of this are age,environment,stress levels,and breeding situations. These can all lead to changes in nutritional requirements. Bird diets have also changed over the years beyond the typical seed diet into other complete food options that contribute to the right nutritional elements for pet birds. While stocking a variety of food it is also important to educate bird owners about the importance of avian health.
Treats are a great way to bring interesting flavors,textures,and colors to a bird’s life. From edibles to toys,many products on the market today are shifting towards more simple and safe ingredients for birds to enjoy. The boost in all-natural bird products is a result of pet owners investing more in natural products which in turn helps promote healthier and more sustainable practices in the industry.
A bird’s diet isn’t complete without the proper supplements to ensure the correct intake of vitamins and minerals and to avoid deficiencies. Many of the most popular supplements for birds include a complete multi-vitamin to boost health and support a healthy immune system,calcium to help build strong beaks and bones,and avian probiotics to support intestinal health.
Avian health is important to pet bird owners. Offering a variety of progressive products from bird food to special treats,supplements and toys as well as educating customers about pet bird needs helps build a successful retail pet bird department.