Stop the sore feet before it starts with appropriate and varied perching opportunities. No matter the size of your bird, providing a variety of sizes, textures, and materials for perching is critical to your parrot's long-term health. Parrots without proper perching can develop a condition known as bumblefoot, also known as pod dermatitis. Pod dermatitis occurs when the pads of the feet become sore and inflamed. While this can happen to any parrot, this condition can be prevalent in older or overweight birds. As the disease progresses, sore feet become open sores, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Without veterinary intervention, this can become a systemic bacterial infection that will eventually kill your bird. 

Every new cage includes a smooth dowel rod. The dowel is a good starting point for your setup, but consider this type of perch like a pair of slippers. Lovely to wear or stand on but not so great for those zygodactyl feet. The free dowel can be over or undersized, depending on your parrot and his habitat. Dowels are a good perch for smaller birds as long as it is not the only option. Most larger birds promptly chew through this perch because, yes, they will chew through the middle and let it drop. The dowel can serve a purpose. It's a great way to determine the diameter of additional perching. If your parrot's feet wrap around the dowel, you'll need perching in a larger diameter. If all the nails are resting on the dowel, look for perches smaller in diameter. Rope perches provide a comfortable surface and come in an infinite number of sizes and diameters. 

Measure the inside proportions of your cage for straight across perching, but rope perches are also great for creating climbing options. Consider a long-length perch and get creative with twists and turns for enrichment. These perches should have regular maintenance. Keep them clean and remove loose threads.

If your cage is large enough, consider adding a swing to help strengthen your parrot's feet and provide a great source of exercise. Swings come in different styles, like Bonka Bird Toys 1676 Rainbow Ring for the smaller species. Try Bonka Bird Toys 1036 Large globe Rope Ring for the larger species. Bonka Bird Toys 3201 Large Jazzy Swing is an excellent option for the larger parrot that likes to swing and chew. This swing features a hardwood swing with softer wood pieces on chains. You can replace the softwood pieces as your parrot destroys them, making this an excellent long-term perch and play option for your bird.

If your parrot's nails are constantly sharp, consider Bonka Bird Toys 3678 Pedi Branch Perch. The best place for this multi-grip, wavy surface perch is near the water bowl. Add some hardwood perches, and your parrot has a wide variety of sizes and textures to keep those feet healthy!

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