Advice on caring for indoor birds in Surrey

January 14, 2022

Along with other companion animals, the UK’s population of indoor birds grew quite a bit during lockdown, going from 1.1 million in 2019 to over 1.3 million in 2021. It’s no wonder the number of kept birds is high and rising as there is so much to love about them. They are attractive to look at, intelligent and trainable, they live a long time, and most don’t require much space.

So, if you live in Surrey around Claygate or surrounding areas like Esher or Elmbridge, and you recently got a new pet bird, why not book them in for a basic health check up with one of our Vets.

Book an avian check-up

Whilst you’re doing that, our head exotic species Vet has put together a few basic tips on the six areas that new owners should be thinking about when caring for housed birds.

Get their diet right

You’ll need more than a simple bowl of seed. A balanced diet of seed, fresh fruits and vegetables, along with supplemental foods like pellets and crumbles where applicable, will provide good nutrition and behavioural stimulation. Safe and common fruit and vegetables include grapes, strawberry, tomato, broccoli, carrot, and beans. Ideal diets vary by species so don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you visit.

Keep their claws in shape

The nails on a bird’s foot can be quite scratchy so the odd trim can make handling them more comfortable. That said, many birds naturally file their claws when they walk. Either way, get some detailed advice when you pop in on how to trim nails properly.

Look out for parasites

Whilst internal parasites are less common in birds that were bred and live indoors, external parasites are common on most birds. Mites and Lice can lead to itchiness, feather loss, and skin problems, so keep an eye out for these and we can treat them when you visit.

Keep it social

Like other pets, birds are fundamentally social creatures so can really enjoy being handled. Ask family members to handle them too, otherwise your pet can form favourites over time and be less happy to be handled by strangers.

Cage choice and care

Ideally, your bird’s cage will be stainless steel and big enough for them to spread their wings and fly 3-4 wingbeats from perch to perch. Perches need to be wide enough for your bird’s front and back claws to meet underneath but not overlap too much. Also, having an aviary for occasional use will let them spread their wings even more than in the cage, but always make sure they have somewhere to retreat to.

Place the cage in a well-ventilated but draught-free area that is well away from the kitchen. It will also need to be in an area with some natural sunlight to ensure they get their daily dose of vitamin D.

Make sure they have a ready supply of fresh water and clean food, and keep the cage clean to avoid nasty smells and reduce the risk of infection. A cage cover can be a calming (and warming) addition if you have a particularly cold house.


Last but not least, ensure your bird has plenty of enrichment in their cage. Puzzles, swings, foraging, and hanging toys can keep them busy and entertained. Some species will need a bird bath too. Remember to rotate enrichment toys regularly to avoid your bird getting bored.

So, there you have it, our basic guide to bird care. Diet, claws, pests, socialisation, accommodation, and enrichment all need a little care and attention to keep your housed bird in great condition for years to come.

Whether you’re new to keeping indoor birds or have had one for a while, remember to book an occasional check-up with a Vet. A vet check is important to help keep your bird in good condition and to spot early signs of any developing issues so they can be treated promptly.

Book an avian check

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are required for our website to operate and include items such as whether or not to display this pop-up box or your session when logging in to the website. These cookies cannot be disabled.


We use 3rd party services such as Google Analytics to measure the performance of our website. This helps us tailor the site content to our visitors needs.


From time to time, we may use cookies to store key pieces of information to make our site easier for you to use. Examples of this are remembering selected form options to speed up future uses of them. These cookies are not necessary for the site to work, but may enhance the browsing experience.


We may use advertising services that include tracking beacons to allow us to target our visitors with specific adverts on other platforms such as search or social media. These cookies are not required but may improve the services we offer and promote.

Change Settings

Welcome. You can control how we use cookies and 3rd party services below

Change Settings Accept
Learn how we use cookies