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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Canary

Canary

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Traits & behavior

Social
Canaries love to have visual contact with people, however, typically do not like to be handled. Talking and whistling to your bird will provide the interaction and socialization
they need.

Song birds
The beautiful song of the male bird makes the canary an entertaining pet.

High metabolic rate

Because a canary's metabolism is very active, starvation can occur in as little as 24 hours. Food should be available at all times.

Multiple canaries
Canaries can be kept singly or in pairs. Typically, females can be kept together without difficulty.

Messy eaters
Your canary will drop a lot of food while eating.
 

Things to remember

Supervision
Don't forget that children, pets and unfamiliar guests should be supervised when interacting with your canary.

Long-term companions
Before purchasing, be aware that canaries require a long-term commitment of approximately 15-25 years.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.
 

Nutrition

Staple diet
Feed her 1-2 teaspoons of a pellet or seed-based, fortified canary diet each day. Also, canaries only eat off the top layer of the food dish, so if feeding seeds, be sure to check the food daily and remove empty seed hulls.

Fruits & vegetables*
About 5-10% of a canary's diet should be bite-sized fruits and veggies like apples, oranges, melon, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, dandelion, mustard greens and shredded
carrots. Offer daily or every 2-3 days.

Supplements
Be sure to provide a cuttle bone in your canary's cage at all times.

Water
Canaries should always have access to clean, fresh water in a bottle or bowl.

*Remember that fresh food requires its own dish and should be removed from the habitat within four hours to avoid spoilage.

Health

Signs of a healthy canary:

  • Clear, bright eyes
  • Clean, smooth feathers
  • Eats throughout the day
  • Normal droppings that are not runny for more than a couple of days
  • A curious and active disposition

Things to watch for:

  • Decreased appetite; weight loss
  • Decreased activity and grooming behavior
  • Sitting at the bottom of cage
  • Discharge from nose or mouth; frequent sneezing
  • Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, consult an Avian Veterinarian.
 

Habitat

Housing
Canaries like to fly, so when selecting a cage remember that length is better than height. Your canary's cage must be large enough for her to comfortably stretch her wings and fly between perches. The bigger the cage, the better. Minimum cage size is 12"W x 12"L x 15"H. Multiple canaries require a correspondingly larger cage.

Perches
Place two perches at different heights, so your canary will be unable to soil her food bowls. Provide perches of differing widths, diameters and textures to help keep her feet healthy.

Cage placement
Place your bird's cage at or below eye level, away from drafts, open windows and the kitchen. Be aware that canaries are sensitive to smoke and strong odors. Cover the cage at night to prevent drafts.

Baths
Provide a birdbath 2-3 times per week. You can offer a warm water bath or gently mist her with warm water from a clean spray bottle.

Food & water containers
It is important to clean your bird's containers every day, even if the bowl or bottle looks full.

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