Promoting Bird Exercise
As a pet bird retailer, it is important that you be able to provide your customers with a wealth of information on how to properly care for their birds. An important part of bird care, to the surprise of many bird owners, is exercise. In the wild, birds fly, play, and scavenge. Why would pet birds be any different? These actions promote health and happiness, and bird owners should be encouraged to have regularly scheduled exercise time with their pets.
Be sure to remind your customers that inactive birds run the risk for various health problems including obesity, heart disease, and other cardiac disorders that may negatively affect their length and quality of life. Not only that, inactive birds are often bored and unhappy, which can lead to feather plucking and other negative behavior. By suggesting proper toys and giving exercise tips, you can help your customers have healthy, happy birds.
Begin encouraging exercise for birds at the initial purchase. Explain to customers that bird cage sizes should be large enough to extend their wings and flap them. If the bird is going to be caged all the time, allow space for at least 3 wingspans. If a bird’s cage does not give it adequate room, the bird will not be able to stay active. Suggest toys, swings, and perches that will fit well in the cage while allowing for enough room to play. Also suggest toys that the bird can play with outside the cage to promote activity during exercise time.
Remind customers to set up a regular exercise schedule and give them information that will aid them in their scheduling. A few times a week may be adequate, but daily exercise is, of course, best. Out of the cage exercise is recommended. The best time is mid-morning or early afternoon, but not when the bird is hungry or just eaten. Birds usually rest during the late afternoon and in the evening, so it may not be the best time to exercise either.
Since most pet birds have clipped wings, recommend flapping exercises where birds “step up” onto a short dowel rod. Suggest toys that encourage climbing and other aerobic exercise such as ladders, swings, and other activity toys.
Active, exercised birds are happy, healthy birds, which equates to happy customers. If you have questions about which toys to carry or recommend, Wyld’s Wingdom is happy to assist you. Else, take a look at our extensive online catalog for numerous items that you can stock your store with in order to promote healthy exercise for your bird-owning customers.