Lm - Dr. Chuck Burmeister joins us for this weeks pet check and this time we're focusing on more exotic animals like our friend here, roy.
Dr - Roy is my african gray. She has become part of our family. She has different needs than a dog or a cat. So, my emphasis here today is that exotic pets, birds, reptiles, pocket pets like hamsters and that, have different needs than dogs and cats so it's important to know what those differences are. We emphasize preventative medicine, annual exams, but the first exam is really important. Teaching the owner how to take care of the pet. When we talk about birds, specifically, they really, really, need different foods other than just a box of seeds from the pet store.
Lm - i'm sure alot of people think they can just go to the pet store, they just bought this new bird, and they think that box of food on the shelf is going to be all that bird needs.
Dr - right, and they can expand that birds diet so much. Also, the things that a bird does on a daily basis. They sit in a cage all day long. They get bored. Well, we can see feather picking. Foraging is something we talk about that's really really critical. Hiding food for the bird. Let him go and search for the food. Those are some things we talk about with birds.
Lm - i'm sure alot of times people do want their birds to fly, but then they're afraid they'll never go back in the cage. As a vet, that's something i'm sure you can help owners with, as well.
Dr - we can help with that. You can get play pens to play around on outside the cage. We sometimes recommend a perch away from the cage so the bird can be in another part of the house so they're not confined to just that little cage.
Lm - these make great pets, don't they?
Dr - they're extemely intelligent. They make wonderful pets.
Lm - Dr. Burmeister, thank you so much for your great advice.