Nutrition and Behavior Counseling

At the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics, our veterinarians and technicians are committed to spending time with you to discuss any issues or concerns you have about your bird or exotic pet. We provide nutritional recommendations, as well as behavioral consultations, and we are always available to answer your questions.

Exotic Pet Nutrition

Recommendations for proper bird and exotic pet nutrition are species-specific and constantly change as we learn more about each one of these unique animals. Because research on exotic pets is ongoing, it’s important never to depend on potentially outdated information printed in books or on the recommendations of potentially uninformed pet store employees or Internet articles. At the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics, we pride ourselves on keeping current with the most up-to-date information on bird and exotic pet nutrition, and we’ll be happy to share that information with you!

Bird Nutrition

For domesticated birds, the Veterinary Center staff recommends that a large percentage of their diet be composed of commercially available pelleted products. We recognize that even well-intentioned bird owners may have difficulty transitioning their birds from what is often a high-fat, low-nutrient seed diet, or a diet containing an excessive amount of people food (even if lots of fruits and vegetables are included) to a more balanced, pelleted diet. In an effort to help, the Veterinary Center offers “The Great Pellet Exchange,” a customized program designed to help bird owners convert their pet birds from poor diets consisting of seed and people food to more nutritious diets containing a balance of pellets, fruits and vegetables, and nutritious treats.

This program is only suited for healthy birds, and a complete physical examination and recent blood work is required in order to assess a bird’s suitability for the program. The program consists of:

We understand how hard it can be to get your bird or exotic pet to try new foods. The “Great Pellet Exchange” helps make that whole process simpler, faster, and less stressful for both you and your pet.

Behavioral Counseling

Are you frustrated with your exotic pet’s behavior? Is it ruining your relationship with your pet? If so, change it! The Veterinary Center provides behavior counseling for birds or other exotic pets that demonstrate repeated problem behaviors such as biting, screaming, self-destructive behavior, and other issues. Working with exotic pet behavior issues is one of Dr. Hess’s special interests, so at the Veterinary Center, she offers a full behavior modification program for all birds and other exotic pets that have first undergone a complete physical examination and appropriate blood and stool testing to help rule-out any underlying medical problems.

This program is based on proven scientific methods rather than on instant cures or magic bullets that really do not work long term. The goal is to focus on one problem behavior and to teach you the tools to change it. Once you understand the process, you can use these tools again in the future to deal with other problem behaviors if they arise. With practice, you can master these techniques and significantly improve the quality of your relationship with your bird or other exotic pet.