Article Hero Image

BIRD / new pets

Parakeet Care Guide

Tips from home to health to food and fun


5 things to know about your parakeet

  1. Your parakeet has an average life span of 7 to 10 years
  2. Your parakeet’s friendly, loving personality makes him the most popular companion bird
  3. Smart and easily trained, parakeets can be taught basic commands such as “step up” on to your hand and “step down” when putting them back into their cage
  4. With his raspy voice, your parakeet can sometimes learn to speak
  5. Your parakeet is also called a budgerigar or a budgie (same bird, different name)

How do I set up my parakeet’s home?

The bigger the cage (minimum 18 x 18 x 24 inches), the better. Line the enclosure floor with recycled-paper bedding or use a paper liner. Replace the liner at least every other day. Place the cage at or below eye level away from drafty windows and doors. Parakeets are also sensitive to gases, smoke and strong odors so keep their home out of the kitchen.

Shop birdcages Shop birdcage paper bedding Shop birdcage liner

What do parakeets eat?

Parakeets fly far and wide in the wild, so they enjoy a range of foods. Of course, standard birdseed and pellet blends are the mainstay of their diet, but your parakeet also enjoys veggies and sprouted seeds. Try a little appropriate fruit once a week for a special treat. And don’t forget fresh, clean water everyday

  • Pelleted Food: Refresh daily with the bowl always 3/4 full = 15-25% of diet
  • Bird seed blend: Refresh daily with the bowl always ¾ full = 50-60% of their diet
  • Fresh vegetables: Dark leafy greens fed every other day
  • Fresh fruits: berries, melons, papaya fed every other day
  • Treats: honey sticks or millet spray once monthly
  • Water: Change daily and provide at all times
Shop pet bird food Shop bird treats

How can I play with and groom my parakeet?

Parakeets love to interact with their owners and entertain themselves inside their cages with toys.

Your pet bird loves to preen and clean. Offer him a warm bird bath 2-3 times a week, or a refreshing mist from a spray bottle.

Shop toys

How can I keep my parakeet healthy?

To make sure your parakeet stays happy and calm, refrain from handling your new bird for three or four days — he needs to get used to his new surroundings. Aside from annual checkups, talk to an avian veterinarian if you have any questions about your bird’s health or if your parakeet displays any of these signs:

  • Less active than usual
  • Preening less than usual
  • Droppings don’t look like they usually do
  • Sitting on the bottom of his cage for long stretches of time
  • Sneezing or has discharge around his nose or mouth
  • Feathers are fluffed up for long periods of time during the day


  • ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat.
  • Adults should assist children with hand washing after contact with a pet, its habitat or aquarium water.


Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.


If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.