Odd Pet Questions with Marc Morrone
Bird-safe cookware, garbage-can manners, and feather plucking
I've heard it isn't safe to use non-stick cookware in my home if I have birds. Is this true?
Nonstick cookware releases a toxic gas when it's overheated that can kill a bird in the vicinity immediately. It's difficult to determine at what temperature the overheating occurs, so it's best to avoid nonstick cookware altogether.
My dog loves me and I love him. However, he always knocks the garbage over when I'm not home; why is he so spiteful?
Dogs don't experience spite, which is a uniquely human emotion, so the best answer is probably that he always finds good things to nibble on in the trash. It's doubtful he's thinking about you at all as he roots through the garbage. The best solution is to simply put the garbage someplace he can't reach when you leave the house.
My pet parrot plucks his chest feathers all the time. What's wrong with him and what can I do?
The best idea is to take him to an avian vet that specializes in birds. There are a number of reasons why a bird will self-mutilate and the vet can determine which of them it is. In severe cases, the vet will put a collar around the bird's neck to prevent him or her from plucking; this may look funny and require some adjustment, but it doesn't hurt and is ultimately beneficial.