Do Pet Owners Value Larger Birds More than Smaller Ones?

December 13, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

M. Scott Echols, DVM, ABVP, owner of Echols Veterinary Services, discusses whether or not pet owners value smaller birds as much as they value larger ones.

M. Scott Echols, DVM, ABVP, owner of Echols Veterinary Services, discusses whether or not pet owners value smaller birds as much as they value larger ones.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“I think that there’s a different perception and a different reality of [how people care for different sized birds]. I think the obvious perception is that you have this large, expensive, say a macaw, or cockatoo that people are going to spend more money and time [on], and have a richer social interaction with that bird. I would say that that’s not necessarily true, though. A lot of people have very small birds, say budgies or parrotlets that may be 30-35 grams, and those people love those birds and they do everything possible for those birds and they include surgeries and advanced diagnostics just like we do with the larger birds. We have other species, such as chickens and ducks, which had become quite popular [pets]. A lot of people are going the extra mile and doing all the requested care, and doing what’s necessary to help ensure the proper health of those species as well.

I really think that people are certainly capable of caring for a small bird or an undervalued bird, as opposed to a larger, more expensive bird. I really think it depends on the person. I think, again, the perception is the larger birds get more attention, [but] in private practice, that’s not exactly what I see, though.”