If your budgie becomes unwell, you’ll have no choice but to drive it to the vets.
Budgies dislike car rides, which can be stressful for a confused and sick small bird. You’ll need to consider the budgie’s physical safety and emotional well-being while transporting it.
To take your budgie to the vet, use a travel carrier that can be secured with a seatbelt. Also, cover your budgie’s cage with a blanket to avoid car sickness and jostling the cage too much.
Drive slowly, avoiding bumps or making any sudden stops. If you have time, let your budgie get acquainted with the carrier in advance.
How To Take A Budgie To The Vet
According to Behavioral Ecology, budgies are small, fragile creatures that are easily stressed.
If you were to place the cage in the car and drive off, every shake or rattle of the cage would spook the budgie. This could lead to the budgie injuring itself due to panic and long-term emotional distress.
So, you need to consider the right means of transporting a budgie. You should avoid transporting your budgie in a cardboard box or the main cage your budgie lives in.
Transporting a budgie in the cage that it lives in can associate the cage with bad experiences. This can lead to stress and behavioral issues once the budgie has returned home.
Likewise, properly securing the cage may be difficult, so you may struggle to fit it inside your car. This will be unsettling if it’s allowed to shake or bump around inside the cage.
A cardboard box is a cheap and simple option, but this environment isn’t safe for a budgie.
There may be tape, staples, or glue attached to the inside of the box that your budgie will start eating. Being unable to see can lead to frantic flying and panic.
Taking your budgie to the vet in a box removes the possibility of the vet performing a less obtrusive visual checkup. The vet will have to physically take your budgie out of the box to get a good look at it.
Travel carriers are specially designed to contain your budgie, make them comfortable, and ensure it’s easy to access. They’re well-suited for one-off vet visits or frequent trips (if required).
The main points to consider when purchasing a travel carrier for your budgie are as follows:
Moreover, there are different types of budgie travel carriers, including the following:
- Backpack – Lightweight carriers that can be strapped on the owner’s back.
- Soft-Sided – Much lighter and more portable than metal cages.
- Clear Acrylic – Lightweight yet made from highly durable materials.
- Flat-Pack Metal – Heavier options, yet extremely solid and strong.
How Do You Transport A Budgie?
Being transported in a vehicle will feel unnatural, and your budgie won’t enjoy the experience.
However, if your budgie needs to see the vet, you’ll be reliant on your car.
While distressing, your budgie will benefit long-term by going through this difficult time. For now, your job is to ease the budgie’s emotional discomfort.
Here is the best way to transport a budgie:
If your appointment is later in the week, give your budgie several days to grow accustomed to the travel carrier. Let your budgie interact with the carrier in the following ways:
- Allow it to see and smell the carrier
- Encourage it to play on and around the carrier
- Place treats inside, so the budgie goes inside and associates it with positive events
- Once it’s comfortable, close the budgie inside for a short while
This will give the budgie time to inspect its new temporary home.
To relocate, transport, and remove the budgie from the carrier cage, it must be picked up by hand. Unless they’re shown that being handled by people is safe, they’ll find it stressful.
In the days leading up to the vet visit, handle your budgie more often, petting, stroking, and picking it up as necessary. This will mean that the day of the vet visit isn’t as distressing.
For the vet to perform a thorough health checkup, your budgie must be handled to some degree. Most budgies dislike being handled by a stranger, so preparing it will minimize the stress.
Fasten The Carrier Securely
The shaking and rattling of the car while in motion isn’t something budgies can ever get used to. Nor is it something that can be entirely avoided when transporting your budgies in a car.
However, some key steps can be implemented to ensure your budgie’s car ride is less stressful.
Secure the carrier cage using a seatbelt and ensure that the cage isn’t going to move easily. This will decrease the shaking and rattling your budgie will need to endure.
Cover The Cage with A Blanket
Budgies are used to flying, often at high speeds but looking out the car window won’t be a fun activity.
Budgies can still get motion sickness due to the speed of a moving car. They’re used to controlling their paths and speeds, so watching objects fly by while they remain still is distressing.
You can reduce the level of disorientation by placing a blanket over the cage.
Drive Slowly And Carefully
Even with these measures, your budgies will feel the car’s motion.
Avoid the following pitfalls:
- Driving too fast
- Going over bumps
- Braking too suddenly
- Accelerating and decelerating excessively
Use the less busy roads that are in a good state of repair.
Do Budgies Like Car Rides?
A budgie will be unfamiliar with the territory, sounds, smells, and activities.
Budgies are easily distressed by change and new environments, so car rides are never enjoyable.
In the best-case scenario, the budgie will be no more stressed about the car ride than it is about the vet visit. It should recover fully once it’s home, after a few hours to rest.
Of course, a speedy emotional recovery depends on the following factors:
- How much the budgie trusts you
- The budgie’s personality
- How sick, anxious, stressed out, or afraid it is already
- The length of the car ride
- How well secured it is in the vehicle
- The invasiveness of any treatments administered
Before taking your budgie for a car ride to the vet, limit other stressors. Don’t expose it to very loud noises, lights, or activities. So, loud conversations, lights flicking on and off, and foot traffic aren’t ideal.
According to Watchbird, even watching cars pass a window on a busy road can stress a budgie that’s not used to it. Keep the area calm and stress-free so the budgie is better prepared for its journey.