How to transport a pet bird

Whether you’re transporting your pet bird to the vet, home from the pet store or merely on a fun day trip out of the house, these tips will ensure that your feathered friend has a safe, stress-free travel experience.

Travelling can be stressful for any pet, and birds are no exception. When transporting your pet bird, you will need to plan ahead and have the supplies handy. Don’t wait until a few minutes before you leave to prepare for the excursion.

Keeping the bird calm and secure is your main goal. We will look at two sorts of arrangements for transporting your pet. One is best for a short hop, while the other is better for longer road trips, such as a move to your new home.

Even going to a nearby vet's office can cause stress for your bird. The best environment for him on short road trips is a dark, quiet box. You can use a cardboard box or purchase a small pet carrier at your local pet store. be sure that you punch holes in the cardboard box, or the pet carrier has proper ventilation.

Eliminate any perches or toys from the carrier you choose to use for your short trip. Put a small, dry washcloth or tea towel in the bottom of the box or carrier, along with some of the old bedding from your bird’s cage. The familiar smells will help calm him.

Using a smaller, less-spacious carrier is recommended. The bird should not have too much room to move about. You don’t want him to get flustered and try to flap his wings. Most birds will snuggle into the tea towel, in a nesting position. For such a short trip, you don’t need to worry about food or water.

Preparing for longer road trips or a move will involve a different set-up. Purchase a small, travel-size cage and remove all the perches. Toys that can be secured to the walls of the cage are allowed, as long as they can’t swing freely and hurt your pet bird.

Fill the food and water bowls halfway, and put a small towel on the bottom of the cage for the bird to sit on. Bring an extra towel to drape over the cage, to make it a darker, calmer environment. When you stop for bathroom and meal breaks, uncover the cage and allow your bird to look around. Talk with him throughout the trip so he hears a familiar voice.

Bring an extra container of water to refill the bird’s bowl periodically. Although he won’t each much while travelling, bring an extra container of bird food as well. Non-perishable treats will allow for some one-on-one interaction during rest stops.

Place your pet bird’s cage or carrier in a secure spot in your vehicle. You don’t want it sliding off the seat. Setting it in a footrest area, securing it with seat belts or wedging it between heavier items are your best options.


Never let your bird out of his cage or carrier while the car is in motion. If he gets spooked by a loud noise, you run the risk of creating a traffic hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Travel carrier
  • Travel cage
  • Towels
  • Bird food
  • Water
  • Toys
  • Non-perishable bird treats
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About the Author

Angela Tague writes marketing content and journalistic pieces for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.