The Importance of Nail Trims for Pet Birds
Do you have a pet bird, or are you thinking of getting one? Have you ever heard other bird owners talk about nail trims for their pet birds? Would you want to find out more about the importance of this upkeep?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics you should to know about nail trims for your bird. You’ll learn about just how important this process truly is for the health of your pet, and you’ll find out about its benefits as well. Read on to learn more!
Why Your Bird Needs Nail Trims
Birds Have Long Nails in Captivity
When they live in the wild, birds perch on many different kinds of surfaces throughout their lives. They may land on almost anything at any point, which means their nails are able to grate against many textures. This behavior makes it easy for birds in the wild to keep their nails at an acceptable length that still allows them to hunt properly too.
However, in captivity, birds don’t have the benefit of landing and climbing on different kinds of hard or coarse surfaces. Even if you provide your bird with a few different branches and perches in their cage, they still don’t have the experience of using multiple surfaces that they may have in the wild. Therefore, their nails are not exposed to these different surfaces and they are not able to wear them down naturally. They continue to grow, and they may become quite long in a short amount of time, depending on the individual bird and the setup you have for him/her.
Bird Nails May Become Very Sharp
As a bird’s nails grow long, they also grow very sharp. The longer the nail, the sharper it is likely to be. When a bird’s nails become too sharp, they can damage the bird during their normal grooming and scratching behaviors. They may also become uncomfortable or harmful to you, if the bird happens to land on you and scratch you.
Long nails can also become flaky as they grow too sharp. Flaky nails can become broken and damaged easily, and they are harder for birds to take care of. If a bird’s nails are too flaky, the nails may become snagged in the bird’s feathers when grooming and scratching or become entangled in toys or rope/fabric type material in the cage. The longer birds’ nails go without being trimmed, the more likely these problems are to occur, so regular trims are a requirement.
Bird Nails May Get Caught
If a bird’s nails grow too long, they may easily become caught in different materials. Fibers and fabrics are most likely to snag long bird nails, but some nails can become so long that they are trapped in the wires of the bird’s cage as well. Leaving your bird’s nails untrimmed can easily lead to this serious problem, which is one of the most important and crucial reasons to keep up with their nail grooming.
If your bird’s nails become trapped in something, they may try to get away. In their panic, they may rip the nail out completely, which can cause a lot of pain and significant bleeding. In some instances, birds may even break their toes or feet trying to get loose from something that has snagged a nail.
These may sound like extreme situations, but these situations do happen more often than you may realize, and it’s important to give your bird the best possible chance at avoiding these types of injuries. Regular nail trims can do that and more for your pet.
Bird Nails Can Be Painful
If your bird’s nails grow too long, they may become painful for them. They may not want to put weight on their feet properly because the nails are getting in the way and causing them to hurt. If they begin standing or perching with incorrect posture, this may cause damage to the rest of their body over time. By keeping up with their regular nail trims, you can cut down on this risk significantly in your bird.
Additionally, if your bird injures their overgrown toenail, this can also cause a lot of pain. The longer the nail, the more painful the injury is likely to become.
We Can Help with Your Bird’s Nail Trims
Based on this information, it’s easy to see why bird nail trims are so crucial to the health and wellness of your pet. If you plan on becoming a bird owner in the near future, or if you already have a pet bird, it’s a good idea to learn consult with an avian veterinarian about setting up an appointment for a proper nail trim. While at the office, ask if you can be shown how to trim your bird’s nails at home.
Trimming a bird’s nails is not an easy task and needs proper lessons to accomplish this task. If not performed properly, you can cause pain to your bird or cause substantial bleeding if the nail’s quick is cut.
If you do not think you’ll be able to perform nail trims for your bird yourself, reach out to us at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana. This way, your pet will still be able to get the care required for a healthy, happy life.
About Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana
Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana, formally West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic, is Louisiana’s only veterinarian that provides care exclusively to avian and exotic pets. From parrots to rabbits and ferrets to a wide variety of reptiles, as well as a multitude of small mammal exotic pets, we welcome them all to our practice!