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BIRD / new pets

A Set-Up Guide for New Parakeet Parents

Tips from home to health to food and fun.


6 things to know about your parakeet

  1. Your parakeet’s friendly, loving personality makes him the most popular companion bird
  2. Your parakeet likes to be handled for at least half an hour a day
  3. Smart and easily trained, parakeets can be taught basic commands such as “step up” on to your hand and “step down” when putting them back into their cage
  4. With his raspy voice, your parakeet can sometimes learn to speak
  5. Your parakeet has an average life span of 7 to 10 years
  6. Your parakeet is also called a budgie (same bird, different name)

Your parakeet’s home

Your parakeet’s cage should remind him of his natural environment. This means that the bigger the cage, the better. For sleeping, your parakeet may like to snooze in a fleece-lined hut that hangs at the top of his cage. On the bottom of the cage, you’ll want to put down corn cob bedding, aspen wood pellets, recycled paper or cage liners. Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed every month.

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Feeding your parakeet

Parakeets fly far and wide in the wild, so they enjoy a range of foods. Of course, standard birdseed is the mainstay of their diet, but your winged friend also enjoys veggies and sprouted seeds. Try a little fruit once a week for a special treat. And don’t forget fresh, clean water everyday

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Playing and grooming

Parakeets love to interact with their owners and entertain themselves inside their cages with toys. Outside of the cage, a T-stand or playpen makes a good home away from home.

Your pet bird loves to preen and clean. Offer him a warm bath two or three times a week, or a refreshing mist from a spray bottle.

Keeping your parakeet healthy

To make sure your parakeet stays happy and calm, refrain from handling your new bird for three or four days — he needs to get used to his new surroundings. If your parakeet displays any of these symptoms, check in with a vet:

  • Less active than usual
  • Preening less than usual
  • Droppings don’t look like they usually do
  • Sitting on the bottom of his cage for long stretches of time
  • Sneezing or has discharge around his nose or mouth
  • Feathers are fluffed up for long periods of time

PETSMART CARES: Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets. Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.

The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.