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Are Parakeets Good Pets? Pros & Cons Explained

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

derbyan parakeet bird perching

Parakeets are quite popular in pet stores, always seeking to be front and center. However, whenever you reach your hand in the enclosure, they quickly flit away, not wanting to be touched. If you’re brand new to the idea of having a parakeet, we have lots of information to share!

These birds can be very rewarding pets if you have the right expectations. Birds can be very challenging for some owners—but they can also be suitable for some individuals with the proper education on bird-keeping. Let’s explain further.

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The Responsibility of Owning Birds

Owning birds requires way more than buying a cage and filling a food dish. These animals require socialization, exercise, and interaction. Sometimes, we get in over our heads, committing to something before we fully understand the care required.

Birds are creatures of flight. Without this capability, their overall sense of being is diminished. You have to consider that owning a parakeet means they will no longer be able to fly as much as they would in the wild. Therefore, you have to be ready to enrich their lives in other ways.

male blue budgie parakeet bird sitting on tree branch
Image credit: UniqSnaps, Shutterstock

The 5 Pros of Parakeets

Every animal comes with positive and negative aspects regarding owning them. When it comes to parakeets, there are certainly many categories one should consider before committing to the pet.

Here are the positives of owning a parakeet as a pet!

1. Parakeets Bond Intensely with Owners

Like many birds, parakeets bond very well with their owners, permitting you spend enough time with them. They can be extremely loving, wanting affection, and even grooming you! Grooming is a huge part of their love language.

So, if your parakeet starts to nibble at your ears or other parts of your body, consider yourself loved.


2. Parakeets Are Great Apartment Pets

Thanks to your parakeet’s compact size, they often make great apartment pets. These birds require significantly smaller enclosures than many other larger varieties. That is not to say you should skimp out on your parakeet and get them too small of a cage.

Make sure any cage is the appropriate size for your parakeet. However, there are some suitable choices for more compact living spaces.

indian ring-necked parakeet bird enjoying a treat
Image Credit: lucsim75, Shutterstock

3. Parakeets Are Quieter Than Many Other Domestic Birds

Parakeets are smaller and also a lot softer in tone. While sometimes they can create quite a ruckus, they are often much less troublesome than other more vocal parrots.


4. Parakeets Are Generally Affordable

Parakeets are significantly less expensive than other bird varieties. So, if you’ve never owned a parrot species and want to start out with a good beginner, a parakeet is a top-notch choice that won’t break the bank.


5. Parakeets Are Easier to Transport

If you ever have to take your parakeet to the vet or travel, they are a much easier and more manageable bird to bring along.

Indian Ring-Necked Parakeet bird perching on a log
Image Credit: KLiK Photography, Shutterstock

The 5 Cons of Parakeets

Here are the negatives of keeping a parakeet as a pet.

1. You Need More Than One Bird

Parakeets are highly social creatures that require their own species to thrive. A solo parakeet can get extremely depressed and even agitated if they are alone for too long. While they love human companionship, nothing beats the company of their own kind.

So, if you were looking for a single pet, a parakeet is not the best selection. Plus, two parakeets means a larger cage and more money spent on supplies.


2. Parakeets Are Messy

Parakeets, though less messy than their larger cousins, can still dirty up the place. Be prepared to clean up poop out of the enclosure and sweep up flying pieces of grain and seed daily.

sun conure parakeet birds perching
Image Credit: svand, Shutterstock

3. Parakeets Require Regular Care

You will need to take care of your parakeet by keeping a very close eye on their general well-being. They will require wing trims to make sure that they remain flightless and don’t get injured in the home. Also, finding a vet that specializes in birds can be difficult, so you may have to travel a long way for proper vet care.


4. Parakeets Can Be Difficult to Keep Healthy

Parakeets can be very fragile creatures. Even something like a slightly drastic temperature change can lead to severe sickness or even death. It’s an important part of care to understand signs of distress and sickness so you can treat it early or divert it altogether.


5.Parakeets Don’t Make Good Pets for Small Children

Parakeets can make very good first-time pets for older children. However, small children do not understand enough about how to care for a bird. Parakeets are too fragile to be handled roughly or left in undesirable living situations.

bourke’s parakeet bird perching on tree branch
Image Credit: Irina N, Shutterstock

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All About Parakeets

In order to understand all you can about parakeets, it is a good idea to know about the origin of the animal and the special care it needs. Here, we will cover all of the basics for you.

Parakeet Origin

You see parakeets all over pet shops, but where did they come from? Parakeets come from the grasslands of Australia, their natural habitat. They typically fly in large flocks, ignoring wetter areas, preferring meadows and open spaces instead.

Parakeet Personality

Many who own parakeets would describe them as loving, curious little creatures. They form strong bonds with owners and love to interact with those they trust. Parakeets can be quite particular about this as well.

Sometimes, they can bond with more than one person, especially if you spend lots of time with them. However, it’s much more common for them to form a strong bond with the person who interacts most with them.

They love being able to explore, so it’s a good idea to provide them with many forms of entertainment. Parakeets are intelligent and adventurous, so offering them mazes, scavenger hunts, and other fun activities can perfectly stimulate these critters.

a parakeet in the cage
Image Credit: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

Parakeet Housing

Parakeets require adequate housing to thrive. Despite their small size, most cages designed for parakeets are simply too small. Think about it, your parakeet has free rein in the wild, flying wherever they wish.

Skip the expensive but tiny bird cages that a parakeet would fit so snugly in. Instead, try to buy a cage that is at least 18 by 18 by 24 inches with ½ inch bar spacing. Ideally, it would be much bigger to give your parakeet (or parakeets) room to explore and play.

Parakeet Diet

Diet is such a crucial part of parakeet care. They rely on us to fulfill basic needs like knowing what food to feed them. First, your parakeet will need a commercial diet specially designed for a parakeet’s overall nutrition.

However, they need more than that to keep them healthy—and not all commercial diets are crafted alike. Some parakeets might be cherry pickers, taking out all the goodies in blended recipes and leaving less desirable but nutritionally packed items that could benefit them.

Many owners choose to feed pellet diets to remove the risk of cherry-picking. This way, they have evenly distributed nutrients without overeating too much of one type of seed or fruit.

Parakeet Vet Care

You can’t take a parakeet to a standard cat and dog veterinarian. You will need to locate an exotic animal veterinarian who handles avian species. Depending on where you live, locating one of these veterinarians might be slightly difficult.

For example, if you live in the city, there might be several avian veterinarians to choose from. However, if you live in a less populated or rural area, you can have some trouble and travel may be involved.

Bird Vet
Image Credit: Lucky Business, Shutterstock

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Parakeet Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is becoming an increasingly popular form of medical security for pet owners. However, while dogs and cats are covered in almost all cases, more obscure animals like a parakeet are not. So, are there any pet insurance companies that cover birds?

Here are some coverage options.

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide Pet Insurance is the only major insurance company that covers exotic animals such as parakeets at this time. There are other options and savings plans when it comes to vet care.

However, this is the only major insurance company that has adapted to fit the needs of avian species. As companies continue to fight for the top tier, we should see the development of more plan offerings from multiple sources.

Nationwide offers coverage in areas like diagnostic and lab tests, examinations, hospitalization, operations, accidents or injuries, parasite treatment, cancer treatment, prescription medication, and pre-existing conditions that have not recurred in a specific time frame.

Nationwide also offers a wellness and preventative plan that covers things outside of the emergency scope, such as physical exams, parasite treatment, cultures, panels, parasite testing, complete blood counts, nail trims, beak trims, and wing trims.

veterinarian sharpening the claws of an amazon parrot bird on a perch
Image Credit: Stanislav71, Shutterstock

Pet Assure

Pet Assure is a company that’s active all across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. At participating veterinary clinic offices, they give you a 25% discount on existing vet care. One major upside to this company is that they do not exclude pre-existing or hereditary conditions that might already exist in your bird.

However, if your bird has any prescribed medications, Pet Assure does not cover this. You also don’t have to deal with deductibles, payout limits, age limits, and waiting periods. Another major upside is that they offer a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Monthly payments are generally inexpensive for most families.

Wells Fargo Health Advantage

You can save money with Wells Fargo Health Advantage. The service is displayed as a credit card that you can use to pay for medical expenses whenever needed. You get a credit to purchase the medical service without exclusions.

It is basically a loan that you pay for an overtime period, so it covers everything up front, and then you pay it off after that. So, while no actual savings are happening, it can come in handy for emergencies or times when you just can’t cover the cost upfront.

white parakeet in wooden floor
Image Credit: vintage_genes, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

The fact is that parakeets can make a good match for certain families, but certainly not all. You must understand their special needs to give them the best life possible. Knowing the pros and cons of having a pet parakeet and how to care for them can help you make a decision on whether you truly want to take on one of these pets.

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Featured Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock

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