Life is unfair at times and it takes away our loved ones and loved pets. The thought of my cockatiel dying is not one I want to think about. In my lifetime I have had a few cockatiels who have died, and it is heartbreaking, especially if you have spent years building a close bond with them.
Unfortunately, even though cockatiels are long-lived pets, they like everything, also eventually die. While nobody has an easy time accepting a cockatiel dying or the death of a pet of any kind, children usually take it worse than adults. To help your child to cope with the loss of a pet, here are some suggestions.
Helping Your Child Cope
Encourage your child to draw pictures of the cockatiel or to make a collage using photos of your pet or pictures of cockatiels from magazines. Talk to your child about the loss, and encourage her to write a poem or story for the pet.
Explain to your child that these feelings of sadness will pass with time.
Regardless of the child’s age, it is always best, to be honest about the loss of a pet, and in this way, it will help the whole family to cope.
Just remember that it is okay for adults to feel sad about the cockatiel dying too. Don’t diminish your feelings by telling yourself ‘it’s only a bird.’ Pets fill important roles in the lives of all the family members.
You may feel that you never want another bird because of the pain caused by its death, but don’t let the loss of your cockatiel keep you from owning other cockatiels or birds. While you will never be able to replace him completely, you will be surprised how quickly another bird will work its way into your heart.
Before deciding on getting a new cockatiel, first, have a family discussion and decide together.
Is My Cockatiel Dying?
Anytime a bird shows signs of illness, it should be taken seriously as it is possible the bird could end up critically ill and dying.
This is particularly true for birds because they are masters at hiding all signs of illness and won’t let on they’re ill until they’re seriously sick and physically unable to hide it any longer.
The signs of severe illness in a bird are weight loss (you’ll feel the breastbone sticking out like a knife blade), sitting fluffed on the bottom of the cage, a decrease in activity and vocalizations, refusing to eat, and labored breathing (often shown by tail-bobbing).
Additionally, some more subtle signs of illness include perching in different places, hiding, changes in droppings, looking dirty, and unkempt and eating or drinking habits.
Those are the main symptoms I would watch for to know if a bird is ill and at risk of dying. The worse the symptoms are, the more likely it is that the bird will die without medical help.
Cockatiels are unfortunately masters at hiding that they are sick, so you need to be very observant in the first place to notice that the bird is sick. Once they get too sick, it is almost impossible to save them. Very Sad I Know!
For more on cockatiel and bird illnesses, click here.
You could also ask an online vet any questions you may have by clicking here.
Another very sad scenario is your cockatiel flying away, which is almost as sad as them dying.