Traveling and Vacation with a Parakeet

There are many situations that will require a parakeet to travel with you. It could be that you're moving to a new house or apartment. Maybe you have a summer home you go to for many months. Parakeets travel each time they go to the vet's office. Here is advice on the variety of situations you might face.

To Take or Not Take the Keet
Of course, some situations require the keet to travel, if the whole family is moving or if the keet is going to a vet. But if you're just going away for a few days, it's wiser to leave the keet at home. Moving in a car or other vehicle in a cage is inherently dangerous for a keet - sudden stops or turns can throw them within their cage. There are no parakeet seatbelts, even if you do seatbelt the whole cage to the seat. Keets can stay home alone for up to a week as long as you fill their cage up with seed and water, and play some soft music for them to listen to. It's better all around, during the short trips, that the keet just stay put and is comfortable.

Travel by Car
You need to have a small, travel cage for your keet - not the large one that has lots of "projectile" room within it. You don't want ANY toys in the cage that might swing and hurt the keet. No swings, either. This travel cage should be as small as possible with one perch to sit on, and a small holder for food and water. That lets the keet stay fed, but minimizes the chances of injury. Have a towel to put over the cage to keep out drafts and hot sun depending on the time of year. Make sure you pre-warm or pre-cool the car to a reasonable temperature before the keet is moved into it, and go quickly through the ambient outside air if it's not a gentle temperature.

I highly recommend twist-tying shut the door of the cage, just in case. The last thing you want to happen is have your keet escape while you're moving from one place to another. It's hard enough for a keet to find their way home when they escape FROM home.

Try to seatbelt the cage into place as much as possible. Sure, it's nice to think you will hold the cage - but believe me, in an accident you can't control what your arms do. You want the keet's cage to be as secure as possible so it does not become a flying projectile - injuring the keet and others.

Even if you're stressed out, try to keep things quiet and calm. Your stress will agitate the keet and make her really nervous about what is going on. She looks to you for guidance and stability. Talk to her in quiet, even tones and let her know everything will be OK soon. Keets are very smart and learn to settle in to new locations very quickly, as long as they are reassured by their "flockmates" (i.e. you) that everything is OK.

Travel by Train / Bus
Many of the same guidelines apply for train and bus travel. Ask in advance with the transit company if there are any rules regarding parakeets. Most will say that the keet is fine as long as they stay on your lap. Unfortunately most busses and trains do not have seatbelts, but you just do the best you can.

Travel by Airplane
You will usually need to go to your vet in advance of the trip and get a health certificate, saying the bird is fully checked up and healthy. Then you'll need to pay a fee to the airline for the pet transfer. Again, make sure there is just a small cage with nothing in it but food and water, and check on the water every once in a while to make sure it hasn't all spilled out.

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