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When You Select Safe, Appropriate Toys, You Can Relax


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Safe Appropriate Toys
ne of our store customers, Barbara J., was recently entrusted with the care of an active young Senegal Parrot, Petey. He was a gift from her grandchildren to keep her company after the passing of her husband. They also gave her toys to keep him entertained. One afternoon, Barbara was startled by loud screeching and a tremendous racket.

Petey's foot was caught in a toy, and he was struggling for freedom. Barbara gently extricated Petey and, though startled, he was not injured. Her initial response was to remove all the toys to eliminate any chance of future injuries.

Eventually, he started acting out due to lack of adequate mental stimulation. In order to explore safe options, Barbara made a trip to our retail store.

Select the Right Toys
Toys play an integral role in the physical and mental well-being of your pet bird. However, certain toys may not be suitable and some pose real dangers. Select toys that are appropriate for your pet bird. Toys intended for smaller birds can be dangerous for larger birds, and vice versa. The powerful beaks of large parrots make short work of toys made for smaller birds and fragments of damaged toys may cause choking, intestinal blockage, or even internal bleeding. Conversely, toys made for large birds can accidentally pinch or crush small birds.

Inspect Toys
Toys with chains, eye hooks, links, bars, or any openings should be examined carefully. Make sure the openings are either too small or too large for toes, beaks, or other body parts to get caught. Check for any sharp or rough edges. Small parts that can be a choking hazard should be removed to make toys safer. Hanging toys attached with strips of leather, rope, or string should be tied securely onto the cage. Injuries occur when pet birds – ensnared in chains, leather cords, or loose threads/strings – panic and struggle to escape.

Supervise
Watch how your pet bird plays with his toys and evaluate which toys can stay and which toys should be removed. Every bird is different, and a toy safe for most birds may not be suitable for an overly-active and rambunctious young bird.

Depending on the personality and play habits of your pet bird, any toy can be a potential risk.Check each toy regularly and retire toys that are falling apart or fraying. Though your pet bird may still love playing with them, well-used toys should be removed or used only under supervision.

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