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Should birds play with dogs & cats?

I recently posted the video below to our Facebook fan page. The comments were what I expected in regards to allowing birds to play with other species like dogs and cats. In the video below the umbrella cockatoo is barking like a dog and the dogs barking back and they are both having a grand time and getting a lot of exercise to boot.
 
I’ve also posted the past that I am not a big fan of parrots playing with dogs and cats because of all the things that go terribly wrong in a split second. Not to mention that cat saliva is poisonous birds. I’m reminded of the time back in the early 80s when I had a sled dog team of Malamutes and Huskies. I also had a cockatiel. It was winter and the dogs resided outside year-round.
 
I was playing with my cockatiel, basically trying to avoid getting bit at the time. Somehow without my knowing Jiger (pronounced gee-jer which turned out to be a terrible name for a lead sled dog because “gee” is right & “haw” is left so he spent a lot of time turning around we he should’ve just been turning but I digress), a rescued Husky who was also my lead sled dog and very scrappy, made it into the house. He was very fast and made a beeline for the bird. This obviously startled the bird and the cockatiel took off and the dog went airborne in pursuit.
 
cat in cat crate african grey on top of crate small dog next to crate
 
I was younger and quicker then and the bird’s head ended up in the dog’s mouth midair as my palm came crashing cross the dogs head simultaneously. The dog went down and the bird came out of the mouth. It looked as though the bird’s neck been broken but the bird was still alive. Jiger new although his instincts were correct his actions were wrong and curled up in a corner.
 
It was late and cold outside so I put the bird in the bottom of the cage, covered the cage fully expecting to bury the bird in the morning but when I came into the room at daybreak he was still alive. I wrapped him up and brought them over to Doc Haxby our vet not too far away. He looked at the bird, shook his head and said I didn’t have enough to pay him to fix this BUT he had an idea. He made a phone call, and wrote an address down which was not too far away, on a slip of paper and said go there and give her the bird.
 
I went about 2 miles down the road and pulled into a farmhouse driveway which I passed 1000 times before and met Ellen, Doc Haxby’s fiancé – who knew? She to shook her head just like the doc and asked me how it happened. She said I’ll call you, took the bird and that was it.
 
I just assumed the bird was dead but about six weeks later the doc calls me and said he had arranged to get my cockatiel back after he “pulled few strings”, I was stunned. This time I went back to the house and Ellen met me with her sister at the door.They walked me to the back where there was a large barn and in the barn must’ve been 500 birds and parrots. They were bird and parrot breeders, something I didn’t know but they hadother known just what to do.
 
Ellen had wrapped the cockatiel’s neck in a baby sock using it as a cast. Because she was feeding baby birds around-the-clock my cockatiel was added to the mix and was hand fed every two hours 24 seven for six weeks with a special food and vitamin mixture the sisters had used for a number of years.
 
The sisters did not want to return the bird to me for fear that it would happen again but the good doctor assured them that I was very good with dogs AND bird had actually rescued a couple. This was just a freak accident of nature would never happen again. They wouldn’t take a dime of my money but I’ll never forget the goodness they provided and never let any of my birds near a dog again.
 
 

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground.Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care.He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis.He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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