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Caring for a Parakeet

February 15, 2018

Are considering adopting a bird? A parakeet may be a great option for you! These cute little birds are absolutely charming, and can make wonderful pets. Here, a local Glen Burnie, MD vet discusses basic parakeet care.


These friendly little birds do best with buddies, so you may want to get Polly a pal. If you do get just one bird, you’ll need to pay lots of attention to her every day, as otherwise she’ll get lonely.

Signs of Illness

Just like any other animal, parakeets can get sick. They can also harbor several dangerous bacteria, such as psittacosis, as well as parasites. Take your new pet to the vet immediately for a full exam. At home, watch Polly closely for signs of illness. Crusts around the cere; dirty vents; dull, sunken, red, or watery eyes; lethargy; unusual posture, behavior, or vocalizations; matted or discolored feathers; and discolored or abnormal droppings are some common ones.


A good cage is crucial to Polly’s health and happiness. You’ll need a cage that is at least 18 x 24 x 24”, though bigger is better. Parakeets mostly fly horizontally, so choose a cage that is more wide than tall. We recommend getting one made of stainless steel or another non-galvanized material, with bars spaced under ½ inch apart. These colorful little birds love to climb, so pick a cage with horizontal bars. For lining, you can use copy paper or paper towels. Polly will also need a variety of perches, food dishes, a water bottle, and, of course, plenty of safe, suitable toys.


Your parakeet’s diet will consist mainly of pellets. Parakeets also love seeds. However, seed mixes can harbor dangerous bacteria. Your vet may recommend offering them as a supplement, instead of as the main course. Your feathered pal can also eat fresh produce, such as beets, peas, carrots, and apples. Variety is key here: offer Polly something different every day. For treats, your winged buddy may enjoy millet sprigs or sprays. Just don’t go overboard with these fatty snacks! Ask your vet for more information.


Polly will need some free time out of her cage every day. You’ll need to do some birdproofing before letting your bird out to play. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about parakeet care? Please contact us, your Glen Burnie, MD pet hospital, anytime.

408 N. Crain Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Mon-Fri 8am–7pm
Sat 8am–4pm

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