Do you know that wing clipping is a practice done to pet birds to prevent them from flying or escaping? Some pet owners and animal lovers are against the practice of wing clipping that they do not let their birds be subjected to this practice. So how can you prevent your pet from flying and escaping away? The answer is by using a pet harness. For parrots, a parrot harness is the best tool.
A parrot harness is a simple device similar to a cat or dog harness. It is usually made of safe materials that will wrap around the bird’s body without hurting its wings or legs. Like a pet dog’s harness, it allows the bird to move and even to fly. It is connected to a long leash so you can keep your pet close to you.
But why not just use a rope tied to your pet’s legs? This is also one way to keep your pet close, but it has some disadvantages. First, the rope might hurt its legs, and since it will likely try to pull it out to escape. With a harness, your pet parrot won’t feel pain on the legs and in fact, it will only feel a slight tug on its belly.
A rope around its legs can also dangle anywhere and can cause accidents. With a harness and leash, you’ll have better control of your pet, and it won’t be too hard for your pet to move. There are many more advantages of using a pet harness rather than just an ordinary rope or ribbon to keep your pet safe.
Why does your pet parrot need a harness?
A pet parrot needs a harness because a harness will keep it safe from harm. It will let you carry your pet parrot no matter where you go, and it will always be safe by your side. Sure, it will try to fly around, climb trees and even check on other animals and birds, but the harness will make sure that it won’t fly away or become involved in a fight.
A harness is specially made to secure your pet. In times of uncertainty, your pet parrot will find comfort in the harness as it is still attached to you. It will feel as if you are holding him using your own hands.
A parrot harness is also completely adjustable so it can fit your pet perfectly. Your pet can wear a harness you purchased when he was just little because special fasteners are usually placed on the harness to keep it secure around your pet.
Will a harness and leash bother your pet parrot?
Usually, it can be very constricting to your pet, and he will try to resist wearing it. Some parrots may wear the harness but will try to peck at it to escape from it. If this happens, you should remove it immediately because this can cause a lot of stress to your pet. But be sure to let him wear it when he is calmer and receptive.
It takes some treats to help your pet adjust to a harness. Think of it as teaching your pet some new tricks. First, remove your pet from its cage by placing some treats on your hand. Let it peck on the food and let it relax. Talk to it and pat it on the head to reassure it.
After it has relaxed, you may now proceed with placing the harness. A harness is typically placed by putting the breast part against the chest of your parrot. Then, place one wing after another. Only when both wings are fitted in the harness will you adjust it. This way, you can tell if it is too tight or too loose.
Use the one-finger rule: your index finger should still fit underneath the harness, creating a snug fit for your pet. If your pet has managed to keep the harness on even for a few minutes, give it some treats as a reward. Let him know that this is a good thing, and you are pleased. Remove the harness when you sense that it is making him uncomfortable. You can practice again the next day.
Once your pet has surrendered to the harness, let it wear it for a few hours. You can even place it inside its cage with the harness on, but make sure to keep an eye on him. Don’t do this if your pet shares his cage with other parrots and if he has some toys, perches, and other accessories that can hurt him while wearing the harness. Also, don’t make a lot of fuss about the harness; just treat it like something ordinary so it won’t stress your pet more.
When your pet is very comfortable with the harness and wearing it is second nature to him, it’s time to add the leash. The leash may again pose a threat to your pet, especially after it has learned that it cannot run away from it. But you can counter this by giving your pet treats once he has permitted you to hook it on the harness. Usually, a harness is attached to a small loop at the front of the chest of your bird. A hook at the end of the leash easily attaches to the loop and will remain attached unless you remove it.
What about pet recoil? One of the most common concerns of bird pet owners who use a parrot harness is that their pet flying off and pulls the leash too hard and cause a recoil. Yes, this can happen; this is why you must choose a leash that’s made of a non-elastic material. You must also hold the leash well, allowing a small part of the cord wound around your hand in case your bird tries to pull himself off the leash. You will release this wound cord to prevent strong recoil.
Flying with the harness and leash
Eventually, your pet will learn how to fly with the harness. If your bird attempts to do this, don’t pull on it hard to return it to you. Let it fly because it won’t escape with the harness and leash. In turn, you must help your bird get to know his new surroundings using the leash and harness.
If it flies, slowly lead it to a tree, a safe tree. Let its perch for a while and let it sit or gnaw on the bark of the tree. If it finds a platform, it wants to sit on then let it be. If you want to make your bird come back to you, offer some treats. Your pet will soon learn that when you offer treats, it’s time to come home to rest and remove the leash and harness.
Don’t worry about interfering with your pet’s happiness because soon, it will learn that when he wears the harness and leash, he is surely going to go out and explore with you. It will learn to associate the leash and harness with something good, like the outdoors. You will see that every time you pick the harness and approach your pet, it will become very excited and will show this by flapping its wings and doing uncontrollable “happy” squeaks. It will now be very eager to wear the harness and leash!X
Where to buy the best harnesses?
Most pet shops may not carry bird harnesses, let alone parrot harnesses, but don’t despair because you can always order one online.
You can order from an online pet shop or pet parrot supplies stores, just Google “best parrot harness,” and you’ll surely get a page-full of results of retailers and shops that sell this accessory. Amazon and eBay have a lot of good retailers to buy from. Here are three of the best pet harnesses for parrots that you must check out today.
The best pet harnesses for parrots
The Premiere Feather Tether is a bird harness and leash available in many colors. It is advertised as a safe way to take your pet outdoors. The manufacturer says that this was developed by an actual vet, and this is why it is designed to have your pet parrot’s safety in mind.
It is a non-restrictive harness that can be used by small to large bird sizes. It is a figure-8 style harness that comes with a 48-inch leash. This is recommended for parrots only and is not for very small birds like lovebirds, parrotlets, and budgies.
With the Premier Feather tether, you can take your pet outdoors with you and explore your surroundings with ease. Your pet parrot won’t have to miss activities like picnics, a day at the beach, boating, and ballgames. It is designed to prevent fly-aways minus any leg injuries.
But just like any other parrot harness, this one takes time to get used to. Your pet would need days to get adjusted to the feel of the harness and then the experience of flying and moving with the leash. The leash is non-elastic, so it won’t recoil. And after use, you can always clean this up with soap and water. The buckles and metal components found in this harness are safe for your pets. This is a strong harness and leash that is indestructible but won’t constrict your pet in any way.
The Aviator Pet Bird Harness and Leash are different because aside from having different colors, it is also available in different sizes from XXXS to XXL. Therefore, you can choose from a very small harness for a lovebird or use an extra-large one for a large cockatoo. The largest one can be worn by birds with weights of 600 to 1000 grams such as macaws, Moluccan cockatoo, and Triton cockatoos.
The Aviator Harness and leash are escape-proof because it does not have any clasps, clips, and buckles that your smart bird can remove. It comes with a strong steel slide that’s powder-coated in black to make it unappealing to your pet parrot.
The leash is also different as it is a self-adjusting, elastic leash. It will adjust automatically to fit your bird from the chest to its back to prevent sudden impact when your pet starts to fly away. It has fewer points of contact with your pet, so it puts less pressure on your pet’s body.
You might think that this parrot harness must be very hard to install, but actually, it is the easiest because it is a one-piece harness. It does not have any clips or buckles and only a slide to keep the harness tight. There are no stitches that your pet will find interesting to pull and play, and it is made from very comfortable knitted material. You can use the Aviator pet harness as a way to teach your pet free flying.
The Avianweb EZ bird harness has a unique design. Just think of a bird with a vest, and you have this harness in mind. It comes in many sizes for small to large birds. This design is based on a concept that it is easier to train a bird in a large harness than one who is wearing a tight, small harness.
To install the Avianweb harness on your pet parrot, fit the neck part over the neck and secure the front and back with a belt. This belt closes on the bird’s back. The harness has a D-ring for the leash to install. This harness is made from PVC-free polyurethane faux leather. Inside the vest is a fleece lining, so your pet will remain safe and comfortable as it wears this harness. To clean this vest, wipe it clean with a damp cloth and then dry with a paper towel. Let this completely dry before you let your bird wear it.
The Avianweb leash is made from a strong elastic cord that will not rust or corrode. This is a stretchy cord that can even stretch twice its length. At the end is a strong handle that will let you hold your pet without tangling on the leash.
Some disadvantages of using a parrot harness
A parrot harness also has some disadvantages. When it is not worn properly, a parrot harness can injure your pet. It can constrict its wings, and this can affect circulation on the part. Also, it can twist around the legs and can affect circulation on the bird’s limbs.
Some parrots are just too destructive and may find a harness a challenging thing to chew and destroy. Cockatoos are very determined destructive birds that can eat anything on its path. It can keep on biting and scratching on the leash causing injuries on its body. Also, the bird can ingest the metal on the leash or the harness, and this can cause toxicity.
If this happens to your pet, remove the harness quickly. Prevent your pet from destroying the harness and hurting himself by using a large towel. Wrap it around its body to stop its destructive behavior quickly. As soon as it stops, reach for the release switch or buckle and remove the harness. Also, if you forget to remove the harness and other birds inside the cage, sees this on your pet, they may peck on him or chew on the harness. This can agitate your pet and even cause a fight. When this happens, stop the fight immediately by spraying the birds with water. Reach inside the cage and get your pet out with a towel. Remove the harness just like the previous example.