Tampa Animal and Bird Hospital

Tampa Vet | Veterinarian & Animal Clinic

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We are adopting a 5 year old Shih Tzu next week. What would be the best way to introduce our 29 year old Amazon parrot to the dog? Is it best to reward interaction, or get them to ignore each other?

Thanks for your question.  There are lots of things to consider when introducing new pets.  Obviously we’d like to think that all our pets will be friends; however, in this situation, you have a fairly clear predator and prey situation, with the possibility of significant harm to either or both of your pets.  Your dog could injure or kill your bird, and never underestimate the power of an Amazon parrot’s beak.

These two pets should never be left together unattended. In general, dogs and birds will tend to coexist in the same house where the birds are generally on perches and dogs on the floor underneath.  Occasionally, birds and dogs will bond with each other; however, having seen the sometimes fatal consequences of interactions between dogs and birds, they are best kept separate.

As an aside, congratulations on having a 29-year-old Amazon.  They are amazing birds. To ensure the longest possible life for your pet bird, ensure that he or she has had regular (at least annual) health assessments and that you’re feeding an appropriate and healthy diet.  Feel free to call me at 813 885 4477, Dr. Peter Helmer

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