Can Dogs and Birds Live Together Safely?

scarlet chested parakeet

Is it okay to keep pet birds and dogs in the same house? Or will your bird become your dog's dinner?

Dogs and pet birds can be kept together in the same house, but you'll have to use good sense and take some precautions. For example, I wouldn't ever leave a dog with birds unattended. Someone, preferably an adult, should always be present when the dog and birds are in contact with one another.

I learned this the hard way years ago when I was a child. It was Easter and my grandparents came up to visit from out of town. They brought my sister and I two baby ducks for Easter. They were very cute. Both my sister and I were small children and so neither of us gave any thought to the fact that we'd left the box with the ducks on the picnic table in the backyard with our dog, a sweet collie who would never think of eating baby birds. Well, a short while later when my sister and I went back outdoors both ducks had been eaten! We were heartbroken, but I guess we both learned that you can't leave birds unattended with a dog nearby. Apparently my grandparents and parents didn't realize this would happen either.

A large bird and a small dog might get along better than a small bird and a large dog. Some dogs will leave birds alone, but some won't. And don't think because it hasn't ever happened before that it won't ever happen. Even a bird in a cage, might be fair game.

A better mix of pets might be a bird and a rabbit since rabbits are non-aggressive animals.

However, if you already have a dog and want a bird it can be done. I know people that keep both birds and dogs successfully. I think the best way to keep birds and dogs together is if you keep your birds in a separate room with the door shut so that your dog won't have access to them when you are not home. I advise this same thing for people with cats. I do believe that dogs and birds can be kept together in the same house if they are supervised when they are together at all times. Just don't leave them together unattended.

Large birds, such as parrots will need human interaction and so you can't just shut them behind closed doors all of the time, but you could do this while you are not home. You can always bring your bird out while you are there to supervise your dog, and if necessary, put your dog into another room for a time while your bird is out.

If you need to block your dog off into a separate room you might be interested in getting a dog gate or dog pen online somewhere such as Swell Pets. Alternatively, you could put your dog on a leash while introducing it to your bird so that if your dog became aggressive toward the bird you could pull him or her back.

When you first introduct them, do it slowly. Make sure that the bird is in a cage and that your dog is on a leash. Eventually, the birds might seem like "old news" to your dog, so this might get easier. I've kept cats and birds together for years. At first the cats were very interested in seeing the birds, but now after all of this time, the cats barely pay attention to them.

The bottom line...use caution when keeping birds in a multipet household.