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7:05 AM   August 28, 2014
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Practical Tips for Safe Travels with Birds

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Whether bird-owning customers drive their pets to the veterinarian or fly to a destination vacation, they’ll need to plan their trips well in advance. Retailers can help their customers by reminding them of these tips for safe transport:

  1. Purchase the right travel carrier. As reported in February’s Pet Product News International magazine, travel carriers come in many varieties, from colorful about-town cages to sturdy airline-approved crates. If a customer is looking for a travel carrier, ask why she needs it and what type of bird she has. Then help the bird owner choose an appropriately sized carrier and cage accessories designed for her needs.
  2. Latch the bird in. If a bird owner plans to drive with his bird, remind him to secure the carrier with a seatbelt to prevent it from becoming a deadly projectile in case of a sudden stop or crash. Also recommend putting the cage or carrier in the back seat, if possible, especially if the car is equipped with airbags. A sudden blow to the cage could have enough impact to be fatal.
  3. Consider a cage cover. Some birds travel better with a cage cover, while others like to watch the world go by. Talk to bird-owning customers about the benefits and drawbacks of covering their bird’s carrier, reminding them that a cover can help protect a bird from harsh weather.
  4. Mind their sensitive constitutions: Birds can easily be irritated by loud sounds, temperature extremes and powerful smells. Remind customers to pay particular attention to their pets’ surroundings when traveling, being careful to avoid things like loud music, chilly air conditioning, cigarette smoke and air fresheners.
  5. Stock up on snacks, toys: Depending how long a customer will be traveling with her pet bird, recommend she create a travel kit packed with the pet’s favorite food, treats and toys. A special brand may not be available in another city or state. Also suggest a second set of bowls and a no-spill water bottle for the travel carrier.
  6. Know your destination’s regulations: If a bird-owning customer plans to travel out of state or through several states, remind him to check with the local departments of agriculture for regulations, restrictions or quarantines regarding his particular bird species.
  7. Pack a portable first-aid kit: In case of emergency, bird owners should keep a first-aid kit with them when they travel. It should contain things like gauze, tape and gel foam, as well as tools like a magnifying glass, tweezers, cotton swabs, penlight and net. For more information about what should be included in the kit, refer customers to their avian veterinarian for advice.

Reminding customers of these simple tips will help them enjoy a stress-free excursion with their pets--and help retailers develop long-term patrons who feel confident going to their neighborhood pet store for friendly, useful advice. <HOME>

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