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How Much Does It Cost to Own a Parrotlet? (Updated in 2021)
If you’re a first-time bird owner, one thing you’ll want to know is how much you can expect both to pay upfront and annually for your pet. If the little parrotlet caught your eye because of its compact size and big personality, you’ll want to tally up the expenses.
Also, before you choose to buy a parrotlet, you need to fully digest that this is a long-term commitment. Parrotlets don’t short lifespans like some caged animals. They can live up to 20 years—and sometimes beyond!
Bringing Home a New Parrotlet: One-Time Costs
When you buy your parrotlet and all their supplies, that will usually be your biggest cost. After you have the main supplies, like the cage, bowls, toys, and perches—you can focus on recurring expenses.
There are certain areas where you can save money when it comes to ongoing care.
You might get lucky and find that someone you know needs to rehome their parrotlet. Perhaps, they’re not trying to make a profit, they’re just trying to give their bird a forever home.
If they decide you’re a fitting candidate, you might just get a parrotlet and all the accessories for free. This situation is rare but possible.
If you adopt a parrotlet from a rescue group, you can pay between $50 and $300. Typically, the bird would come with the cage and accessories included. Parrotlets usually have their necessary vetting and a clean bill of health.
Another upside to adoption is that you give the parrotlet another chance at a happy life—how can you beat that?
Buying a parrotlet from a breeder might be more expensive, but it’s also more specific. You can choose the exact parrotlet type you’d like. There are many color choices, temperaments, and markings to choose from.
You can select a licensed breeder that has a history of successful hatchlings. These people are very educated in parrotlet health, meaning they can give you valuable information on how to care for them. This method of purchase is also a terrific way to verify temperament and health.
Most Common Parrotlet Types
|Fallow Mutation Parrotlet:||$350-$550|
You won’t need a ton of supplies to keep your parrotlet happy, but there are some required expenses. Many things that you buy will last up to several years, but some others—like food and liners—you will have to replenish regularly.
List of Parrotlet Care Supplies and Cost
- $300+ per year
General care is usually based on a spectrum. Some parrotlets will be more of a financial burden due to health issues or defects. Others will just need annual vet visits and minimal restrictions. It’s hard to pinpoint what you will get.
But your minimum annual expenses should be $300 and above.
- $260-$320+ per year
Parrotlets usually run costs that are less than that of a dog or cat in terms of health, but anticipate anything. Birds need vet care and emergency visits just like any pet on the planet.
There is no way to foresee certain problems, especially with something like an injury. It’s best to know beforehand just how much you can spend for various circumstances.
- $60-$90 per year
For annual check-ups, the cost can vary depending on your area and how much your avian vet charges. Exotic vets seem to charge a bit more for care, but the visits will be less frequent than some other house pets.
Checkups are a terrific way to spot any potential issues. Sometimes things might appear fine on the surface, but most parrotlets don’t show signs of sickness right away. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
- $0 per year
Most domesticated birds don’t require vaccinations. However, if you have concerns or want to go over options of vaccines, speak to your vet directly.
Treatments for Parasites
- $0-$80+ per year
If you’re at a routine check-up or you take your bird in for other reasons, you might find the presence of parasites. Most infections are treatable with safe antibiotics. The cost can vary quite a bit depending on the medication needed, lab testing, and exam fees.
Some of the most common parasitic infections in parrotlets include giardia and mites.
- $0-$300+ per year
Even in the world of birds, emergency visits can cost a pretty penny. The total cost will depend on exactly what is ailing them and the solution to the problem. Some vets might charge modestly, while other facilities can rack up the dollars.
It’s always best to have some funds set aside in case anything happens to your feathered friend.
Medications for On-Going Conditions
- $0-$150+ per year
Your bird might have some type of condition that requires a prescription or supplement. While not every parrotlet will have this expense, it’s critical to understand that every bird’s needs will differ.
Especially as your parrotlet ages, you want to expect the unexpected—factoring in potential atypical costs like treatments, vitamins, or other necessities.
- $0-$400+ per year
Having exotic pet insurance isn’t a requirement, but it can certainly come in handy. Typically, pet insurance charges a monthly fee—much like all insurance.
- $200-$300 per year
If you try to cut corners with parrotlet costs, don’t let diet be an area you skimp on. Malnutrition and other deficiencies are highly common in domesticated birds. They require a vitamin-fortified, well-balanced birdseed or pellet diet.
In addition to the standard meal, you can offer delicious fruits, vegetables, seeds, and some nuts.
- $80+ per year
Luckily, when it comes to maintaining their cage, you won’t have too high of an expense. Birds require a clean, sanitary living space with lots to entertain them. You need to make sure you stay stocked on cage liners (if you choose), perches, and lots of fun toys.
Most cages come with a removable tray, making mess clean-up an easy task.
- $35+ per year
When it comes to providing your parrotlet with fun activities, you can get as fancy or frugal as you want. You can make toys, puzzles, or mazes out of things you find in your home. Or, you can go to the pet shop and buy lots of exciting premade things for them to enjoy—both outside and in their enclosure.
Total Annual Cost of Owning a Parrotlet
- $300-675+ year
With medical expenses included, you can pay over $600 a year for your parrotlet, but it will likely fall in the $300 to $400 range. You can work to minimize your costs without skipping on important aspects of care.
It helps to have extra funds set aside, or have pet insurance for your parrotlet in case of emergency.
Owning a Parrotlet On a Budget
There are some areas that you shouldn’t try to cut back on when it comes to care. But if you want to avoid big spending and stay within a budget, try these tips!
Saving Money on Parrotlet Care
- Tip: You should never cut corners with diet. Malnutrition is a big problem for domesticated birds, so always make sure to buy a vitamin-fortified, complete diet for your parrotlet.
Anticipating any expense is the best way to go about parrotlet care. You never know when something unexpected could happen. On the lower end, you could be looking at upwards of $300 annually. With medical costs included, you could pay up to well over $600.
Be prepared for anything so you can ensure the health and safety of your parrotlet.
Additional Parrotlet Reads:
Featured Image: Alessandro Chiezzi, Flickr
Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.
- Bringing Home a New Parrotlet: One-Time Costs
- Owning a Parrotlet On a Budget
- Saving Money on Parrotlet Care