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Advice re Petsitters

Hjarta5

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Hello! If anyone has had a petsitter come to the house while they were away, I would be interested in hearing your suggestions as to what your petsitter can do/have done to help stave off boredom.

For me, after the stress past petsitters have given me, I recently hired a "professional" sitter to come over to the house twice a day while I am away on vacation. In addition to the food, water, and paper changing duties, I also scheduled extra time for the sitter to talk or read out loud to the birds in order to provide some socialization for them. (I also have a Nestcam, so I routinely check in on them through its speaker function.)

At this time, I dont believe my birds would be comfortable with stepping up or out of their cages to hang out with this new person, so they may be limited to the toys they have in their cages during the week I am gone. But I will have treats and fresh veggies available that can be passed through the bars to help lessen the anxiety a new petsitter may be for them.

Any suggestions that have worked for you would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

Clueless

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Can you introduce that person before they are on their own there?
 

sunnysmom

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I too have gone the professional pet sitter route. For me it works so much better. I don't feel like I'm asking friends for a favor and I feel like I can give instructions without worrying about offending people or seeming too demanding. LOL. I have the pet sitter come over a few times to get to know my bird. The first time or two while I'm there. I'll have them come over during the day. And then I'll also have them come over in the evening to see how I put them to bed. I then also have the pet sitter come over for a few hours and leave the house. That way, they're alone but I'm still near by if something goes wrong. Then I also usually have a run through putting them to bed with my being out of the house. I also have a typed list of instructions that I go over with them. (At this point, my fiancé usually rolls his eyes and leaves the room, LOL, because the instruction are about 4 pages long.) I leave emergency contact numbers and vet numbers and addresses.

When I had Sunny, my tiel, he adored my pet sitter and Sunny also lived cage free (except at night). She would come over in the morning and let him out of his cage. Get him his food, toys, etc for the day. She would stay for about an hour. Then she would come in the afternoon and just hang out with him. He was a cuddle bug so she would give him scritches etc. Then she came for another hour at bedtime and put him in his cage for bed.

With Elvis, I initially would let my bird sitter get him out. Same thing- she would come in the morning. Change his food and water etc and let him out for about an hour. Now, however, Elvis is not so easy. So I don't have her let him out. But she still comes 3 times a day. She basically talks to him. Hangs his clips. He unclips them. She rehangs them, etc. I hope to get back to the point where she can let him out again. At least for awhile in the morning but we're not there yet. I think for Elvis, just having a person pay attention to him is enough for him, at least short term.
 

Hjarta5

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Thanks @Clueless @sunnysmom !

Last week, I had the new petsitter over for an hour so she could see how I interacted/handled the birds. Wally definitely returned over and over again to the crook of my neck where she felt safest, while Luna definitely had a strong lean away from any attempts to meet the new person :shy: I have a little bit of time to have a couple of more visits before my trip but I dont know if any one of my birds will become a cuddle bug -- which I know is also my fault for not exposing them to more people :unsure1:
 

Hjarta5

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@sunnysmom I definitely hear you on the fiancé eye rolling part! If my partner was in charge, our pets would get someone who'd drop in 5-10 mins a day. Last time, he persuaded me to have one of our mutual friends be the petsitter. I was furious when she cancelled 2 days before our vacation to tell me she decided to take a trip herself :dead: Luckily, I had already arranged for a second person to come to the house (to make sure I had two visits for the birds, my person being the one I actually could rely on to care!). Being A-type has its advantages :wacky:
 

faislaq

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I haven't had anyone pet sit the birds yet, but years ago my next door neighbor pet sit my rats. She was actually afraid of rodents so I did my best to make it easy for her. I stockpiled toilet paper tubes in advance, 1 for every day I would be gone. Then I stuffed each day's food into the center and held it in place with a paper towel wadded and stuffed into each end. That way she could just open the cage door and pop one in.

Something like that might work for birds, little treat or toy bombs? I know if we ever had someone sit for our birds, I'd have to make one of beads and toy parts for Luv Bug. :xflove: The sitter could either put in their food bowl or set it on a platform shelf under the breeder door if the cage has one. Then they'd have something to tear up for a little while at least and it would work for more hands-off birds, too. :)


If you have a bird who likes to shred paper, you could save partial rolls. Just make sure they're small enough to fit.
 
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sunnysmom

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Thanks @Clueless @sunnysmom !

Last week, I had the new petsitter over for an hour so she could see how I interacted/handled the birds. Wally definitely returned over and over again to the crook of my neck where she felt safest, while Luna definitely had a strong lean away from any attempts to meet the new person :shy: I have a little bit of time to have a couple of more visits before my trip but I dont know if any one of my birds will become a cuddle bug -- which I know is also my fault for not exposing them to more people :unsure1:
It's not your fault. Some birds take to certain people. Sunny really wasn't exposed to that many people. He just loved my pet sitter (who sadly moved away) on first sight. Elvis who really is more people orientated, won't really let me new pet sitter touch him. But I do think at least having them get used to the pet sitter helps even if there's no touching involved. Elvis recognizes my pet sitter and isn't afraid of her. (It's actually the opposite- I think he scares her a little bit- which with Elvis you can't show fear or he'll walk all over you. :rolleyes:)
 

Fergus Mom

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She basically talks to him. Hangs his clips. He unclips them. She rehangs them, etc. I hope to get back to the point where she can let him out again. At least for awhile in the morning but we're not there yet. I think for Elvis, just having a person pay attention to him is enough for him, at least short term.

I love this... Elvis unclips, she clips, Elvis unclips, she clips...
It reminds me of the I Love Lucy show where Lucy is telling Ricky how her day went with Little Ricky.
Something like: I put his snowsuit on, he had to go potty, I took his snowsuit off, I put his snowsuit on... etc. etc.! We went to the park and he slid on the slide, I chased him, this went on and on and she had the most exhausted look on her face telling the story!
 

Clueless

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I put daily food in snack bags (instructions to dump old food, replace with food that's in a snack bag).

Thankfully my daughter does the care.

One page of notes with vets phone number and numbers of local bird people they can call for help.

My son-in-law says the parrots have more instructions than our grandsons.
 

Peachfaced

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My son-in-law says the parrots have more instructions than our grandsons.
:lol: They totally do...

Parrots are complex individuals and I dare say they are experts in finding trouble.
 

nu2birds

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Well, so far I have gone the other route, and that is to take my birds to their breeder and have her watch them. I just don't know anybody I trust to come and do all that I would want done and to be careful of all the things and toxins that can harm birds. My breeder knows the birds and with all the other birds and their squawking they have plenty of company and in fact come home flock calling for days looking for their buddies! So far I am sticking with this, but I am always on the lookout for someone who I would feel comfortable with coming here!
 

Princessbella

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Hello! If anyone has had a petsitter come to the house while they were away, I would be interested in hearing your suggestions as to what your petsitter can do/have done to help stave off boredom.

For me, after the stress past petsitters have given me, I recently hired a "professional" sitter to come over to the house twice a day while I am away on vacation. In addition to the food, water, and paper changing duties, I also scheduled extra time for the sitter to talk or read out loud to the birds in order to provide some socialization for them. (I also have a Nestcam, so I routinely check in on them through its speaker function.)

At this time, I dont believe my birds would be comfortable with stepping up or out of their cages to hang out with this new person, so they may be limited to the toys they have in their cages during the week I am gone. But I will have treats and fresh veggies available that can be passed through the bars to help lessen the anxiety a new petsitter may be for them.

Any suggestions that have worked for you would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I had Buddy my first tiel stay with friends who knew her because I left for a trip in a snowstorm and the boarders were closed. I told my friends just to keep her in her cage and change her food, water, and papers. Well, my friends thought that Buddy was lonely in her cage and took her out. Buddy happily sat on their laps while they read or were on the computer, my friend hand fed her vegetables, and homemade gnocchi, but the problem came when it was time to go back to her cage. She was having so much fun that she took off running and my friends had to chase her around their house to get her back in the cage.
 

Hjarta5

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I had Buddy my first tiel stay with friends who knew her because I left for a trip in a snowstorm and the boarders were closed. I told my friends just to keep her in her cage and change her food, water, and papers. Well, my friends thought that Buddy was lonely in her cage and took her out. Buddy happily sat on their laps while they read or were on the computer, my friend hand fed her vegetables, and homemade gnocchi, but the problem came when it was time to go back to her cage. She was having so much fun that she took off running and my friends had to chase her around their house to get her back in the cage.
That sounds so great! Both of my birds are like that, too, but even I have to chase Wally around when it comes to bedtime or otherwise going back to the cage. As for Luna, I'm just afraid that he will give the petsitter a good bite -- which can be surprisingly nasty. Luna once gave my partner a temporary eyebrow piercing -- just half an inch away from a permanent eye patch :piratenbird: But I told the sitter about these things and to assess based on her comfort level and the birds' body language... Hopefully her prior experience working at a zoo will be beneficial :)
 

faislaq

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I wish we lived in the same neighborhood, too -- and not just for the petsit :xflove:
This made me think, how neat would it be if there was a real Avian Avenue? :pinklol3: It'd have to be more like a subdivision but still, how great would it be to live around the corner from one another? And free, local pickup from all of our vendors?! Oooh... real sidewalk sales! :fairy2:
 

Love My Zons

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When we went on vacation, we used a local Women many times over the years. She had macaws in her early life. I load up their cages with lots of toys.

I ask her to check toys for safety and remove any that look questionable.

I pre bag everyone's dry food in baggies for each day. I also fill foraging toys with some pellets and treats.

I get update pictures sent of everyone and a written log of each day from the time she came to the time she left.

She has my # and we either text or email.

:)
 

Hjarta5

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This made me think, how neat would it be if there was a real Avian Avenue? :pinklol3: It'd have to be more like a subdivision but still, how great would it be to live around the corner from one another? And free, local pickup from all of our vendors?! Oooh... real sidewalk sales! :fairy2:
OMG, if I had our vendors in the same town as me, I would have to give my partner control of my money so I dont spend my last penny on bird toys, food, supplies, etc! :shop2::shopcart::merlieshops::broke:
 
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