A colorful conure perching in its cage

What to Do if Your Pet Bird Dies

The death of a pet is a painful experience for any owner, and particularly in the case of birds whose lifespans often number in the decades, this sense of loss can be overwhelming. Birds often become more than just pets—they are loved and treasured members of your family, and just like any other family member, their absence is keenly felt. While death is an inevitable part of pet ownership, the grief and sadness that comes with losing a long-time companion can be difficult to bear. Read on for some things to keep in mind when dealing with the pain of a bird’s death.

Grief and Loss

The death of a beloved pet can elicit many difficult emotions, from sadness to anger to guilt, and it is important to keep in mind that these feelings are a natural part of grieving. Grief is a long and complex process that everyone deals with differently, and while some members of your family might appear to work through their grief sooner, others might need more time. The other birds or pets in your home might also deal with loss in their own ways, and may call or search for their missing friend. Grief is a normal reaction to the death of a cherished part of the family, and as such it is vital to give loved ones the space and support to process the emotions they experience after this loss.

Burial and Cremation

Choosing where you want your bird’s body to go after their death can be a very personal decision for owners, and there a few options you can elect to pursue. While burying your bird on your property is a popular option and gives you the ability to visit your bird’s grave whenever you like, local laws might prohibit it, and it is not a good option in homes with other pets. Consulting with a veterinarian after your bird’s death is often the best recourse, allowing owners the ability to explore which burial options will work for their situation. Whether you want to explore cremation or lay your bird to rest in a designated cemetery, a trained professional can help guide your decision and help you give your pet the best possible send-off.

If the death of your bird was more sudden than expected, a necropsy can be an option to help provide closure and ascertain the exact cause of death. A veterinarian can inspect the body for signs of trauma, examine organs for disease or damage and run tests to evaluate if bacteria or a virus played a role in your bird’s untimely death. For households that include other birds, a necropsy can help ensure your bird did not pass a disease on to the others. While it can be difficult in the aftermath of a death to worry about sending your bird’s body to be evaluated, a necropsy can give owners the peace of mind that they are not to blame for their bird’s death, and help them find healing moving forward.

At myBird, we know how much joy birds can bring, and seek to give bird lovers the knowledge they need to best care for their pets. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to check out our other posts about birds or take our quiz to see which types of birds may be right for you!