Over the years, our pets have transitioned from property to companions to family members to leaders of the roost. We depend on them more and more for comfort and all that unconditional love they’re willing to dole out. So, it’s no wonder we are spending more and more on their care, their gadgets and tech products.
According to a recent Fast Company report, last year the sale of pet food and care products exceeded $100 billion worldwide.
However when you analyze which pets get the lion's share of those dollars, the majority of those sales go to our cats and dogs. So where does that leave the growing number of pet bird enthusiasts — owners of parrots, cockatiels and conures? Well — there are some new products starting to address the needs of pet birds and their owners. Today, we'll take a look at several that are gaining traction for our flight-worthy friends.
Chip off the ‘ole Beak
While leg bands have been around for some time now, the practice doesn’t guarantee your lost pet will be retrieved. Those bands can wear down or be cut off [particularly in the case of birds being stolen.] So, in addition to bands, technology has made it possible to now safely equip our feathered friends with a microchip for permanent identification — similar to what's been done for cats and dogs over the years.
Most veterinarians offices and animal control agencies now have universal scanners, which are capable of displaying the unique alphanumeric code of the microchip. There is a one-time fee for the service, which is designed to last for the lifetime of the bird.
Clean-up on Aisle 13
The term “eat like a bird, poop like an elephant,” refers to how often our pet birds like to eat. My conure, for example will eat as often as I put food in front of him. However, more often than not, his request for food is often a ‘social activity.’ When he sees me eat, he automatically wants in on the action.
However as a result, a lot of that food is either scattered outside of his cup or defecated onto the floor. This leaves clean-up duty for the pet owner. Well, to attend to that laborious task, the folks over at iRobot have invented a gadget that is a bird-lover's dream. The ‘Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot” is a handy-dandy-all-purpose vacuum that will suck up all those little seed hulls, tossed food debris, chewed up toys, molted feathers and yes — poop!
Important to note however, owners should take care to comfort your bird when you activate the Roomba the first couple of time. They should be made aware that the device is harmless. But just as an extra precaution, make sure they are caged and moved a distance from the area being vacuumed.
Another Poop-filled option . . .
If you’d like to avoid cleaning up after your bird altogether, you might be interested in dressing them up in a bird diaper, aka ‘FlightSuit.’
The FlightSuit is a reusable garment that collects droppings in its patented poop-pouch. This protective underwear-of-sorts keeps droppings away from you and your bird. With FlightSuits, your bird can enjoy more out-of-cage-time without the inconvenience, mess, and frustration that comes with cleaning up soiled carpets, hardware floors, furniture — let alone, your clothes.
Also produced by the FlightSuit folks, ‘Leashettes,’ allows bird owners to spend some quality time with their birds outside the cage. By attaching them comfortably around the bird's back, you'll feel confident when taking a walk or simply enjoying the outdoors, your pet won’t be able to take flight.
Each leashette comes with a Velcro tab that attaches to the FlightSuit's back closure. They are non-invasive and completely safe for your bird. This harness comes in three styles and a wide range of colors to match every FlightSuit diaper — so that in addition to protection, your bird can also be making a fashion statement.
Getting your parrots, cockatiels and conures to talk is a major challenge for most pet owners. If you are one who has limited time to interact and teach them to talk, this is great gadget for both you and your bird.
At Amazon, you can purchase Talk ’N Play gadgets that come with buttons that provide an endless number of phrases they can learn to mimic with a simple click of their beak. While they are reasonably priced, I would suggest you buy-up to offer your bird the opportunity to build a substantial vocabulary.
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In my research for this post, it became quite obvious that tech for pet birds today is limited in the marketplace. This opens up the possibility for inventors and tech-savvy Millennials to design and create some new gadgets, toys and forward-thinking products. Got an idea? Drop me a note below and let me know what new kind of tech you think would not only be appealing, but also needed by our pet birds and their owners.
Primary Source: Fast Company