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Old 10-12-2018, 12:42 PM
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Question Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

Heya!

I am looking for ideas on a safe, secure place to board my precious baby, Bongo, or a reliable service that provides Pet Sitting at home, though I doubt I'll find the later one being that I live up more in the northern country areas of Minnesota.

Anywhere in Minnesota is close enough for me to board at.

Some of the places I have found;
Avian Suites in the Twin Cities
Como Animal Hospital

Anyone have experience with these locations, or any suggestions on another place to look into?

I will need to board Bongo in January for 2-3 weeks. I'm going on a business trip to Florida, and sadly, the camp there does not allow pets, so I cannot bring her with :'(

(and I really, really don't want her first big traveling experiences to be such a long journey! I will be starting her out on very, very short trips. She may prove to never like traveling, but I won't know unless I try! Chicken adored it, but every bird is different.)

~~~
I used to board at the rescue I volunteered at, when I had my first parrot, Chicken. With his sudden and unexpected death - sadly, I never did learn what he died from. I was far too grief-ridden to think clearly at the time, and I didn't get an autopsy done - I'm very paranoid about boarding Bongo at a place with other birds.

I wish this was a lesson I had not learned the hard way, and sometimes, I have to think very hard to remind myself it was, at the end of the day, my carelessness and decision to board Chicken in a place with other birds that didn't get quarantined or anything of the sort, and not the rescue's fault for not warning me of potential disease transfer themselves.

The boarding fee was very affordable, but the risks far outweigh that price.

That said, I don't know if he picked something up from the other birds or not, I suppose I never will. I think it's highly likely.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:51 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

The Avian Suites in the Twin Cities looks nice and reputable, though I live in Iowa and have never gone through them to board.

You could try your avian vet's office as an option also or whoever is your vet.

I wish there was a boarding facility like that here, I'm having a friend come over once a day when we go on vacation.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:54 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

Thanks for the suggestion of asking my Avian vet - I feel really silly now for not thinking of that first thing! I'm really lucky to live so close to them, they're only about a half hour out.

Edit / Update: Gave them a call - sadly they don't do boarding, but they did recommend me to another place that might accept parrots for boarding, just waiting for them to open so I can give them a call.

They specialize in dogs and cats though, so I'm not certain it will be a fit. If none of them have experience with parrots, it'll be a no go.

Last edited by Squeeing_Onion; 10-12-2018 at 01:05 PM. Reason: Updated info
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:09 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

Of the two you listed, I would go with Avian Suites hands down.

It was recommended to me by the receptionist at my dog's vet. She is a client. I toured Avian Suites before a trip we took. Very knowledgeable. Good bio-security between boarders (separate rooms, scrub in/scrub out, separate clothing, etc). Boarders get human contact time. You can bring your own cage, but their cages are nice and large, Since each family has their own small room the birds can be out of the cage if they want. They are located close to emergency vet care.

Como Animal Hospital is my avian vet and I love them, but their boarding area is small, all the birds are in the same room and they don't get much human contact.

We ended up not boarding at Avian Suites for that trip because we found someone to house sit our dog and our birds, but I would board there in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:12 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

Thanks for the info, Sassibird! It's always nice to get another person's experience on it and hear what they put on their website is what they do indeed put to practice.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:18 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

I feel like I am always posting worst-case-scenarios, but it is only because I just spent ages researching this. I know nothing about those facilities, but I did spend days looking all over the Chicago area and outlying counties.

If you can get someone to stay with your bird without exposing it to other birds, you are better off in terms of health. Your bird might have more fun around other birds, but certain diseases are very easily spread via feather dust and in a boarding facility (even a clean one), it is nearly impossible to fully prevent the spread of such diseases when airborne. Additionally, a bird will likely spend most (if not all) of its time in the cage while boarding (although there are exceptions).
Here are the disease issues:

1) Many places require very few tests/documents in order to board (if any)
2) If they do require tests, documentation of testing is often accepted for 1-2 years, which means a bird could get tested and then get infected after the fact while still boarding without question.
3) ABV is (often) asymptomatic precursor to the deadly disease PDD. Even when tested, infected birds commonly produce a negative result if not shedding the virus actively at the time. This is one that is shed via fecal matter, feather-dust and from mother to child. In the US, studies indicate that more than 40% of captive birds are actively infected (while many produce no symptoms---can take a few weeks, 10 years or a lifetime for symptoms to show if ever). Basically, if a bird is tested for ABV, they can get a negative result and still be a carrier, but when tests are done properly, as positive bird is ALWAYS positive (for life--with or without symptoms). In many birds, ABV progresses to PDD (symptomatic) and there is no treatment.

SOOOO, that having been said, I have boarded my bird. It is just very far from ideal (even in a clean facility) due to bird illness. If you have to do it, you have to do it.

I am only saying this because I feel that it is better to consider all possibilities/options.
In terms of the CAV doing the sitting, I am always afraid of that idea, as all sick birds go there to be seen and treated, which means odds of the bird being exposed increase by default.


Sassibird's statement about a vet knowing that separate clothes is important is reassuring though! It is just hard to control what floats through the air, but if you had to pick one, that statement says a lot!

Last edited by noodles123; 10-12-2018 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:17 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

The Garrison animal hospital, where I have my Avian Vet, actually says they do not board birds for just that reason - they don't like allowing the risk of contamination when they get other birds in for vet checkups.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:01 AM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
...

If you can get someone to stay with your bird without exposing it to other birds, you are better off in terms of health. ...
I agree. If you can find a way not to board with other birds that's better. But if you have to board I would have no problem with Avian Suites. You will be required to have something faxed from your vet. I think just proof of a recent wellness exam.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:35 AM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

I don't have any personal experience with any of these places, but from what was described about the "Avian Suites", that would be my choice for sure. Just the fact that every bird gets their own room with no other birds in with them is enough for me to be impressed. That they are allowed out-of-cage-time every day because they are in their own rooms, and they are not exposed to any other birds during their stay, and they seem to take pretty strict precautions as far as cleaning/keeping things sanitary and have an in-house decontamination-protocol, that's all much better than you're going to find at any Vet office or pet shop for sure.

If you can't find anyone who can come into your house once a day, I'd definitely go with the Avian Suites place, it's worth the extra money for sure. Especially since Bongo is going to be wherever he's at for 2-3 weeks...I can guarantee that there isn't any pet shop, Vet office, or even person who comes to your house that is going to allow Bongo to have a good amount of safe out-of-cage-time every day! That's huge if he's going to be there for 2-3 weeks!
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:11 PM
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Re: Safe Boarding or Pet Sitting in Minnesota

I live in ND and I don't know how far away you are from the border of it but, https://www.caare.net/info/display?PageID=17221
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