Whether you're simply going to the vet or traveling a long distance by car or plane, you may need to bring your parakeet along with you to your destination. Depending on which mode of travel you choose, you'll need either a special travel carrier or a small travel cage for your feathered friend to reside in during your trip so he stays safe and sound.
If you plan on bringing your parakeet along with you in the car, whether on a short or long trip, place him in a small travel cage. Choose one with a handle for easy carrying, with dimensions of something like 12 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches, with bars spaced 1/2 inch apart, the Me & My Budgie website recommends. Secure the cage in the backseat of your car with a seat belt to keep it from moving around while driving. Avoid putting the cage in the front seat to of the danger of an air bag deploying onto the cage, warns BirdChannel.com. Fill the dishes in the cage only half-full with water and seed so that Polly can eat and drink during the trip, but the contents won't spill.
Make your reservations well in advance of your trip because airlines only allow a certain amount of pets in the cabin, which is the safest way to transport delicate parakeets. While some airlines don't allow birds, some, such as United Airlines, allow small birds, including parakeets, according to the International Parrotlet Society. Purchase an airline-approved carrier, with hard plastic sides and a grate on the front, that will fit under an airline seat, no more than 17.5 inches by 12 inches by 7.5 inches. Install a perch near the entrance to the carrier and attach a food dish on the front door. Fill the food dish with watery fruits and veggies like cantaloupe, watermelon or green peppers, recommends PetEducation.com.
If you're traveling to another state by car or plane, have your avian vet issue you a health certificate for your little parakeet within 10 days of your departure. When traveling abroad, you may also need an International Health Certificate from a veterinarian accredited by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States. Unlike with other species, you won't need a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species permit ,because budgies and most other parakeets don't require this document for travel, according to PetFriendlyTravel.com. Check with your local U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service office to see if any additional paperwork is required for travel back to the United States with your parakeet.
Safe, Comfortable Travel
While you can cover your parakeet's cage with a towel to keep him calm, do so only partially so he's not in total darkness and stumbles off his perch during travel, warns BirdChannel.com. A soft towel on the bottom of his carrier may give him some traction during your trip, making him more comfortable. Have your vet trim your parakeet's wings before traveling to prevent him from flying off if he gets out of his cage at any time. If traveling with Quaker parakeets to another state, contact your destination state's local division of wildlife and ask if these birds are legal to own; some states don't allow them.
- The International Parrotlet Society: Aviation & Aviculture Successfully Traveling by Air With Birds
- PetEducation.com: Airline Travel With Your Bird: Requirements and Recommendations
- BirdChannel.com: No Hassle Pet Bird Travel Tips
- Planned Parrothood: Shipping Birds
- Me & My Budgie: Budgie FAQ
- PetFriendlyTravel.com: Travel With Pet Birds
- Winged Wisdom: Air Travel, Avian Style
- Bird & Exotics Veterinarian: Transporting Your Bird
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.