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Frequently Made Excuses

"I've had budgies for 3,918 years and they've done fine on all seed diets/no vet care/plastic perches/tiny cages/etc."

Just because an animal can live under certain conditions does not mean these conditions are ideal or that the animal is not suffering in some way. The effects of an all seed diet don't always cause noticeable changes in the bird, especially if this is all you've done for years. After implementing changes in the diet, you would be more likely to notice the positive changes that occur. For instance, feather quality will improve and your budgie will have more energy. There is no excuse to continue doing something that is now scientifically proven to be wrong once you've learned the right way. Why not take steps that will improve your budgie's quality of life and maybe even its overall lifespan?

You now know that budgies don't get enough nutrition from an all-seed diet. You know that budgies need vet care just as dogs and cats do. You know that budgies need spacious cages. There is no excuse not to do everything you can in order to provide these things.​

"He looks perfectly fine, no need for quarantine."

Just because he looks fine today doesn't mean he'll look fine tomorrow. Budgies often "hide" their illnesses and show no symptoms until the illness is quite progressed. There are even budgie diseases that can be carried and passed from bird to bird without showing symptoms. Quarantine gives you the opportunity to carefully monitor the new bird before it is introduced to the ones you already had. It's also a great time to schedule your new budgie's first well bird checkup. The last thing you want is for a new budgie to pass disease onto your others. Not only do you risk losing all your budgies but the cost of treating multiple birds is often much higher than it is for one. Not to mention, it's likely you would end up having to get medication into all your budgies and that isn't always an easy task.​

"I can't afford the vet."

The avian vet is not cheap and how you're going to pay for this is something to consider before even getting your budgie. However, if life has put you into a financial bind there are often other ways to get your bird to the vet. Some avian vets will work out a payment plan if you express a need for this, especially if you are a regular in their office. The point is, don't give up or allow your budgie to suffer because you "can't afford" vet care. There is always a way, even if that means sacrificing some material things to pay for the vet bill.​

"I can't afford a larger cage."

Again, this is something that should have been planned for but even if you didn't, it is not that difficult to find a decent sized (and safe) budgie cage. Save up your money until you've got enough for a better-sized cage.

"I've tried getting him to eat a healthier diet, he refuses."

Converting the seed-junkie budgie to a healthier diet is a very tough process. Sometimes it takes months and months of persistance. The result of a good diet is a longer life and a better quality of life. There's no good excuse not to do everything you can to give this to your budgie.

"I've had him outside without a cage tons of times and he never flew away before. Besides, his wings are clipped!"

Budgies are very light little birds. Even with clipped wings, a breeze can send them so far you may never see your bird again. Cats, dogs, and other predators are also a danger to a budgie that is taken outside with no restraint. The safest way to allow your budgie to enjoy the outdoors is a securely-shut travel cage. Never leave your budgie outside unsupervised.​

"The pet store said this product was fine so you must be wrong."

Most pet stores will say just about anything to sell a product. Often, the staff aren't being malicious, they simply don't know that much about birds so they have no clue that certain products are harmful. Never take a pet store clerk's word for it. Do the research yourself and ask your avian vet. Pay attention to the ingredients in foods and other products and don't buy something until you're confident that it is safe for your budgie.​

"The pet store said he's healthy."

Again, the pet store staff are not avian veterinarians and can't guarantee a bird's health to you unless their birds are thoroughly checked out by an avian vet first. Don't assume that a budgie is healthy because someone at a pet store says so. As mentioned earlier, don't skip the quarantine for this reason either.​

"It was a gift, I didn't ask for the responsibility."

Pets make horrible gifts but for some reason, people keep on giving them. If you've received your budgie as a gift but you really don't want it, you are still responsible for its care until you find it a new loving home. Do the best you can to care for the bird and find it a forever home. Don't just give it to the first person who asks, try and find someone who you believe will genuinely love and take care of the budgie. Also, ask for a small "adoption fee" just to weed out the people who just want a free pet.

"It's not really my budgie, it belongs to my sibling/parent/friend/etc."

Even if the budgie doesn't belong to you, it wouldn't hurt to try and improve its life if that seems necessary. If nothing else, try and pass on the information you've learned to the owner of the budgie and convince them to take better care of their pet. Chances are, if you're online searching for information on budgie care you probably care about the bird at least a little. Use what you learn to help in any way possible. If you feel that the budgie is in a neglectful or cruel situation, contact your local humane society, A.S.P.C.A., animal shelther, or rescue organization. If all else fails, contact the police.

"It only cost $10, why should I pay hundreds for a vet when I can just get another bird??"

Because it's a living, breathing creature that depends on you to take care of it. No animal should be left to suffer just because it had a small initial pricetag. If you love an animal, you do what you can to make it comfortable and happy. Please keep these things in mind before acquiring a pet of any kind. If you already have one and don't think you'll be able to provide proper vet care, please find it a home with someone who will.

"My parents won't let me spend that much on a bird/take it to the vet."

Your parents need to be educated on what responsible pet ownership is and how to properly take care of a budgie. Please do your best to inform them and if they are still stubborn, try and rehome the budgie. As unfair as it sounds, it would be selfish to keep a pet when you can't give it all the care and attention it needs. Some parents prove to hinder a child's good intentions. Maybe if you show them just how much you love your pet and how far you would go to give it a good home, they'll change their minds. If they don't, at least the budgie will have a good home.

Alternatively, if you're old enough to do some sort of job (be it an actual part time job or just chores for your parents and neighbors) maybe you can save enough to take care of your budgie more independently.​

"It's not how I thought it would be; the budgie doesn't even like me."

Whether or not your budgie is the way you expected him/her to be, you're still responsible for its care. Many pets go from home to home because they aren't what their owner expected and this is very unfair. They didn't ask to go home with you, you chose them. Please fulfill your committment to your budgie whether or not he fulfills your hopes and dreams of what a budgie should be. It's also possible that with time, patience, training, and love your budgie will warm up to you and be even better than what you expected. Pets are full of surprises and each one is an individual. Love your pet for the individual he/she is.​
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