Would Your Parrot Benefit From Professional Grooming?

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There are approximately 4.8 million pet dogs in Australia. You might think that cats are the second most popular pet, but you would be mistaken. While there are around 3.9 million pet cats in Australia, feathered friends are more popular than felines, with some 4.2 million pet birds in the country.

All pets require some degree of grooming, and many pet parents opt to do the basic stuff themselves at home. You might consider pet grooming services to handle other more complicated services. If you own a pet bird, here are some ways your pet could benefit from this form of TLC.

The Pleasure of Preening

Like most pets, parrots take care of a fair amount of their own grooming. They demonstrate a form of behaviour known as preening. This self-care involves raking their feathers with their beak, and when you have more than one parrot, they will generally preen each other. You wouldn't bathe a parrot in the traditional way, but misting your parrot with water is the best bath substitute for a bird, essentially allowing them to preen with a bit of added water. So what aspects of a bird's care might be more appropriate for a professional?

Trimming Feathers

When it comes to clipping feathers and claws, you might be more inclined to leave this to a professional, since this clipping requires more precision than you might expect, depending on the ultimate purpose of the grooming. For example, you might wish to prevent your bird from flying, so its flight feathers must be appropriately cut at the shaft, without rupturing the internal blood vessel. Precision is required because you don't want to render your parrot entirely flightless, since they will need some degree of control if they were to fall from their roost. 

Claws and Beaks

Precision is also essential for clipping your parrot's claws. Enough of the claw's keratin will need to be removed so that your parrot doesn't inadvertently scratch you while you're handling them while retaining enough length so that they're able to grip when climbing and roosting. Other less-common forms of parrot grooming can involve buffing a misshapen beak, but only once your vet has confirmed that the deformity isn't caused by an underlying health condition. 

Not all pet groomers are equipped to handle parrots, so you might need to look around before you can find an appropriate groomer. If you should experience any difficulty, you could ask your vet for a referral.

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