Bird owners may be surprised to learn that you can buy leashes designed to let your feathered friends enjoy the sunshine and fresh air outdoors. Getting your bird comfortable with a leash opens up a world of socialization and exploration possibilities that can greatly enrich the life of your pet
The Aviator is the industry standard when it comes to bird leashes. It includes a secure, durable harness and comes in sizes for the smallest budgie all the way up to the largest macaw.
Most birds can be trained to tolerate a leash with time and patience, but the best candidates are those that already enjoy activity, exploration and handling. Carefully consider your pet’s demeanor as well as your relationship with it. Training gone wrong can result in long-lasting distrust, so it’s important to be sure of your bird’s willingness to cooperate prior to a training session.
Most bird leashes connect to a harness that wraps under your pet’s wings and around its neck. These offer the most security, as a determined bird will need to chew through multiple connections to fully free itself.
Some leashes connect to a plastic band that loops around your bird’s leg. These are not recommended, as the single connection to your pet makes escape easy. These leashes also pose a safety hazard. A frightened bird may take flight, only to have its leg pulled when the leash is fully extended. This can traumatize and hurt your pet.
Bringing your bird outside subjects it to dangers it won't find indoors. A frightened bird may break free from its leash and end up flying out of your reach. Small, tame birds are vulnerable creatures that make easy prey for cats, dogs and even hawks who may swoop down to grab them.
While taking your bird outside has a number of benefits for these intelligent, curious animals, you will need to exercise great caution while doing so.
Birds are naturally destructive, and the beaks of many species have evolved to crush nut shells and shred hard wood. Your bird’s leash should come with a harness made of tough woven material or leather.
Even the strongest material can be picked apart over time. If your bird is especially prone to chewing, you will have to replace your harness regularly.
Choose a leash long enough to allow your bird the freedom to move about without restriction, but not so long that it may take off and land on a branch or surface too high for you to reach. Leashes that are too long may also get tangled around your pet and result in injury and stress. Generally, a leash length between 5 and 10 feet is ideal.
A harness that's too small will be hard to put on and cause discomfort to your bird. Those that are too big are easy to escape from.
Most bird leashes come in sizes based on species. Be sure to select the one designed with your pet in mind.
Color is not just an aesthetic choice when it comes to bird accessories. Some birds are particular about colors and even afraid of especially bright items.
Choose a leash color that won't startle your bird but still lets you easily determine whether the harness is being worn securely.
Some bird leashes are at least partially made from a stretchy, elastic material. This is a safety feature that prevents your bird from hurting itself if it takes flight and quickly pulls the leash to its maximum length.
Most bird leashes can be purchased for $10-$15. Offerings from reputable manufacturers, however, can cost up to $50 depending on size.
A. Possibly, but it will take time, patience and a great deal of treats and encouragement to get them comfortable. Birds that have not been hand raised and are not tame will not tolerate a leash.
A. Generally, yes. However, birds are delicate and prone to injuring themselves attempting to escape frightening situations. Natural escape artists, unsupervised parrots can make short work of snipping through a harness with their powerful beaks. Never leave your pet unattended while on their leash.
A. Most bird leashes aren’t long enough to allow flight. Some bird owners unclip the leash from their bird's harness, letting them fly freely in safe, open areas. However, this should only be done with highly trained birds in areas where they will not be injured or preyed upon, or get lost.
What you need to know: The Aviator is well known among bird owners. It is the standard when it comes to bird leashes.
What you’ll love: Available in eight sizes and seven colors, this leash can accommodate almost any bird. It features an elastic band to prevent impact in the event of sudden flight, and its simple design makes it easy to put on and take off of a properly trained bird.
What you should consider: Large birds can chew through it quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This economical bird leash and harness is great for small to medium birds.
What you’ll love: Available in 10 colors, it's composed of a stretchy material that makes it easy to put on. Its 6-foot leash length is generous without being too long.
What you should consider: This harness includes metal components that some birds may find to be uncomfortable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This leash includes cute wing accessories and a rubber handle for a secure grip.
What you’ll love: Its elastic cord keeps your bird safe from whiplash if it takes off too quickly. It comes in two colors and is made of durable nylon.
What you should consider: This leash is only available for small birds despite the promotional images that show large birds wearing it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.