Moving to a new home or apartment can be an exciting yet stressful time — especially when you have the added responsibility of moving your indoor birds.
Like any pet (or person), birds naturally become accustomed to the comfort and familiarity of their homes and can react with stress and behavioral problems in response to a new space. In addition, the journey itself — whether it's just across town, or to another state — can put a strain on your pet. If they become agitated, you may notice some telltale signs: increased vocalization, aggression, thrashing, withdrawing, or self-harming behaviors.
While it's important to recognize the signs of stress in your pet, it's even more effective to prevent anxiety in the first place. Not only will this lead to a smoother transition for your bird, but it will also grant you peace of mind as well. Let's take a look at some easy ways to keep your bird calm when moving to a new apartment:
1. The Power of Song: Use Music to Keep Your Bird Calm During a Move
As a bird owner, you're already aware that our avian friends have a special affinity for sound. In fact, researchers at Emory University determined that birds have very similar neural (brain-based) responses to music as human beings. This means they respond to beautiful and soothing music in much the same way we do.
When moving your bird, you can use the soothing effects of music to your advantage. Before the move, pick a melodious, calming soundtrack to play for your bird. Keep the soundtrack on in the background while you are playing with or feeding your bird so that they not only enjoy the music but also associate it with positive circumstances. Then, play the soundtrack during the move to trigger feelings of calmness and relaxation in your indoor bird.
2. A Safe, Comfortable Stroller Can Work Wonders
For a successful move, it goes without saying that you need to make sure you have a safe, reliable, and comfortable carrier available for your pet. It's important that the carrier feels secure for your bird and prevents them from jostling while traveling out the door of your old apartment, into the vehicle, and then into the new home. To this end, the Pet Stroller with a detachable carrier can help keep your bird calm and is a valuable asset for many reasons:
- It's a lightweight, foldable stroller that can easily fit in your vehicle
- The design includes both open and closed areas so that your pet can see — but still feels secure
- Contains sufficient space to set food and water down for a long ride
- It's specially designed to safely accommodate birds without risk of injury
Once in the vehicle, make sure that your carrier is safely secured where it won't jostle. In addition, keep an eye on your vehicle's internal temperature to ensure your bird stays comfortable.
3. Choose an Ideal Location for Your New Home's Cage
It's inevitable that moving to a new apartment or home will involve noise, activity, and clutter. Without careful planning, your indoor bird can get caught up in the shuffle. Think about these elements in advance:
1. The set-up. To prevent extra stress, to set up their cage as soon as possible upon moving into the new apartment. If you're not moving far, you can even set up the cage in your new home before you bring your bird over to ease the transition. Ideally, use their familiar, trusted cage — so that they don't have to adjust to many changes at once. Ensure that their cage is well-stocked with food, water, and a toy or two so that they can begin to feel at home right away.
2. The location. Choose the cage's location carefully in your new apartment. If you put your bird in a dark, unfamiliar room far away from everyone, they might become agitated and bored. On the other hand, placing the cage in the center of a busy room teetering with boxes will expose them to unnecessary stress and noise. Instead, find a spot for the cage where your bird can see their surroundings clearly. However, the spot should be far enough away from the shuffle that they won't be stressed by the increased noise.
4. Plan Ahead: Manage Stress for Both You and Your Bird
Birds are incredibly sensitive animals that are in tune with human emotions. In fact, many people have birds that are trained as Emotional Support Animals (ESA), and parrots have made headlines for helping veterans with PTSD. Because of their natural sensitivity, birds can react with distress when they sense you are having a hard time with the move. To prevent yourself (and therefore your bird) from stressing, take care of the nitty-gritty details at least a month before your move:
- Schedule a check-up. Before your move, take your bird to the vet for a check-up to ensure they're in tip-top shape for the move.
- Moving out of state? Certain states require entry permits and certifications when it comes to moving your pets. Check out state-by-state resources ahead of time to see if the state you're moving to requires anything special.
- Airplane accommodations. If your move involves a flight, ensure that you call the airline far ahead of time to ensure accommodations for your pet.
- Staying at a hotel? If you'll have to stay at a hotel overnight during your move, ensure that you make it clear while booking that you are traveling with a bird.
5. Take Frequent Walks to Acclimate your Bird to Change
There are so many reasons why it's important to take your birds for frequent walks: it offers them necessary UV light exposure, provides fresh air for their delicate respiratory systems, and helps keep their minds engaged and stimulated. When it comes to preparing for a move, taking your indoor bird for frequent walks has a few more perks:
- It gets them accustomed to leaving the home
- Helps acclimate them to the carrier that you will be using to move
- It helps train them to cope with new sights, sounds, smells, and situations
- It reassures them that it's safe to leave their usual cage
Ensure that you have a safe and comfortable pet stroller that's designed to accommodate pet birds safely. You can start with short walks and then gradually build up to longer strolls throughout the neighborhood. When it's time to move, they'll associate their pet stroller with a fun, stimulating outing — which will keep them calm.
6. Stick to the Routine as Much as Possible
In the wild, birds stick to certain routines every day. In fact, birds have been called "nature's alarm clock" due to their propensity for launching into birdsong at set times in the early morning. Your indoor bird thrives with routine as well. They are used to eating food at the same time of day. They probably have a set time in which they preen their feathers. And in many cases, they expect a certain degree of stimulation every day. To keep your bird calm and stress-free during a move, try to adhere to the routine on moving day as much as you can.
For example, try to ensure they're well-fed and satisfied before you leave for a long day of moving. If possible, set aside time beforehand to play and socialize with your bird. Put their favorite toys into the carrier with them so that they can self-soothe during the trip. Though many birds will actually enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and stimulation of a new environment, sticking to a routine will help your bird feel comforted.
Get Comfortable with Your Pet Stroller Ahead of Time
As with all aspects of a move, planning ahead will make you and bird's transition easy, smooth, and as stress-free as possible. It's never too early to choose a soothing soundtrack for your pet and plan for their traveling accommodations. In that same vein, it's important to assure that you have a pet stroller in advance of your move. This way your bird can get comfortable and accustomed to leaving the house. With the Pet/Pigeon Stroller, you can ensure a safe and calm traveling experience — and a smooth transition into your new apartment.