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Home > Birds > Are Canaries Good Pets? Guidance, Facts & FAQs

Are Canaries Good Pets? Guidance, Facts & FAQs

Yellow canary in a cage

If you’re looking to adopt a pet but want to go outside the norm instead of adopting a dog or cat, a Canary might be a good option. Canaries do make good pets in most situations.

These birds are easy to care for, gorgeous, and even great singers. The Canary (Serinus canaria) is a small bird growing to be only 4 and ¾ to 8 inches at full growth and has a life expectancy of at least 10 years but can live for up to 15 years if the bird is taken care of properly. They also weigh under an ounce.

If you’re considering getting one of these tiny yellow creatures as a pet, there are a few things you’ll probably want to know. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of owning a Canary as a pet and more below.


How Much Does a Canary Cost?

According to the type of Canary and the shop you purchase it from, it can cost you from $25 to $150 to buy the bird. However, you also need to factor in the cost of carrying for your little feathered friend. You can expect to spend between $20 to $25 monthly for seeds, toys, and treats. Annual costs will typically run $300 for the first year you have your pet and probably around $200 annually after that, excluding any unexpected visits to the vet for sickness or other concerns.

yorkshire canary
Image By: royoroyo, Shutterstock

Are Canaries Good Pets for Beginning Pet Owners?

The Canary is a good pet for beginners because they’re easy to care for and aren’t social birds. They require minimal handling and attention. They do well being alone in their cage without interacting with people constantly. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend time with your pet, but they aren’t needy like some pets can be.

Make sure you feed your Canary well, keep clean water in its cage at all times, and clean the cage frequently to keep the bird healthy.

Are Canaries Messy Birds?

Yes, Canaries can be pretty messy birds. This mess includes eating, grooming, and going to the bathroom. Like most birds, your Canary won’t have a designated bathroom area, so they drop their waste everywhere. With that being said, these are still one of the easiest birds and pets to clean up after. Just make sure to keep their cage free of bird droppings, feathers,  and seed hulls, as these can build up and cause unpleasant odors.

For the best results, clean your Canary’s cage once a week and clean the bird feeder cups daily. Not only does a dirty cage stink and affect your pet’s health, but the mess can also invite pests into the cage and your home.

The Pros of Owning a Canary as a Pet

While the idea of owning one of these adorable, tiny birds can be exciting, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to owning this type of pet.

  • Adapt well to small spaces
  • Gentle and cheerful birds
  • Have a simple diet
  • Enjoy being alone and entertaining themselves
  • Low maintenance
  • Have a long lifespan
  • Friendly and can be trained
Belgian fancy canary
Image By: Tony Tilford, Shutterstock

The Cons of Owning a Canary as a Pet

As with animals, there are disadvantages to owning a Canary as a pet.

  • Very messy
  • Sing loudly (though this can be a pro as well!)
  • Love to escape from their cages
  • Very territorial
  • Prone to catching colds

In our opinion, the pros certainly outweigh the cons.

Do Canaries Like to be Held?

Canaries aren’t social birds and don’t enjoy being held. They also can become stressed easily from loud noises. If you want to hold your Canary, you can start training and socializing the little bird when it’s young so that it doesn’t get upset when you take it out of the cage to hold it.

Canaries like to be out of their cages and should be let out daily to get exercise. Just make sure that you have all windows and doors closed so your pet doesn’t get out, and make sure there’s nothing that can hurt the bird in the room while it’s out and flying around.

yellow canary perched on person's hand_JumpStory
Image Credit: JumpStory

Where’s the Best Place to Adopt or Buy a Canary?

You can find a Canary at almost any local pet store. However, if you’re searching for a unique type of Canary, as there are a few, you might need to contact a breeder. You can also check rescue shelters and adoption societies to see if they have a canary available. If you decide to go through a breeder, you must research your options to determine if the breeder is reputable.


Wrap Up

Canaries make good pets; however, they are loners and don’t like to be held. If you’re considering adopting or purchasing a Canary as a pet, remember it is a huge responsibility to take care of any animal.

Make sure you keep your Canary’s cage clean and stock it with plenty of toys, fresh water, and food to keep it happy. Your Canary will get out of its cage if it can, so make sure you don’t leave windows or doors open in its room. Canaries make great pets, but it’s best not to keep them around small children, as they are tiny, fragile, and can be hurt easily. Having one as a pet shouldn’t be an issue if you live alone or with older children.

Featured Image Credit: rafarabassa92, Pixabay

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