How To Take Care Of A Dove: Doves, with their gentle demeanor and graceful beauty, have long been cherished as symbols of peace and love. Keeping these enchanting birds as pets can be a rewarding and heartwarming experience. Whether you’re a novice bird enthusiast or a seasoned avian aficionado, understanding how to care for a dove is essential to ensure their well-being and happiness.

We will delve into the art of dove care, covering everything from selecting the right dove species for your lifestyle to providing them with a comfortable and nurturing environment. We will explore their dietary needs, offering insights into the ideal nutrition to maintain their health. You will also discover the importance of social interaction for doves, as they thrive on companionship.

We will discuss essential aspects of dove healthcare, including recognizing signs of illness and providing appropriate medical attention. Whether you intend to welcome a dove into your home as a beloved companion or simply seek to enhance your knowledge of these remarkable birds, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure the happiness and longevity of your feathered friend. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the art of caring for doves.

How To Take Care Of A Dove

How do you maintain doves?

Feed your dove dark, leafy greens and vegetables every other day. Once a week, feed your dove fruit such as berries, melon and kiwi. Give your dove a honey stick or millet spray once a month for a special treat. Your dove should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Maintaining doves requires attention to their habitat, nutrition, and health. Firstly, provide a spacious aviary or cage with enough room for them to fly and perch comfortably. Ensure it’s kept clean to prevent disease.

Doves have specific dietary needs. A balanced diet includes seeds, grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Specialized dove food mixes are also available. Fresh water must always be accessible.

Regularly monitor their health. Keep an eye out for signs of illness, like changes in behavior, feathers, or appetite. A vet experienced with birds should be consulted if any concerns arise.

Social interaction is crucial. Doves are sociable creatures and thrive with companionship. A pair or a small group of doves is ideal.

Lastly, ensure a safe and quiet environment, away from predators and loud noises. With proper care and attention, doves can be delightful and peaceful pets or aviary birds.

Can doves be kept in the house?

Pigeons and doves do great indoors as family pets. They can also live outside in a predator & rodent-proof aviary but I would never make a single bird live outside alone. Pigeons and doves are flock birds and to be outside alone is stressful and lonesome.

Yes, doves can be kept indoors as pets, but there are important considerations to keep in mind. Doves are social birds, so it’s advisable to have at least a pair to prevent loneliness and promote well-being. A spacious cage or aviary is necessary, allowing room for them to fly and stretch their wings. Ensure the cage is kept clean, as doves are susceptible to respiratory issues from dust and dirt.

Doves are generally quiet and low-maintenance compared to some other birds, making them suitable for indoor living. They require a balanced diet of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables, along with a constant supply of fresh water. Keep their environment well-lit but avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause overheating. Regular interaction and socialization are crucial for their mental and emotional health.

Lastly, be prepared for a long-term commitment, as doves can live up to 20 years in captivity. Ensuring their physical and emotional needs are met will result in a happy and healthy indoor dove companion.

What does a dove need to survive?

And they need homes! Domestic pigeons and doves cannot survive in the wild. A predator and rodent-proof enclosure, nutritious food, clean water, some greens and loving companionship is all they ask.

Doves, like all living creatures, have specific needs to survive and thrive. First and foremost, they require a suitable habitat, whether it’s in the wild or captivity. In the wild, doves need access to natural food sources like seeds, grains, and fruits, as well as freshwater for drinking and bathing. Shelter, in the form of trees or safe nesting spots, is crucial for protection from predators and the elements.

In captivity, doves need a clean and adequately sized enclosure, ideally with space for flying and perching. Proper nutrition is essential, consisting of a balanced diet that includes dove pellets, seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Access to clean, fresh water at all times is vital.

Social interaction is crucial for doves, as they are highly social birds. In captivity, they thrive when kept in pairs or small flocks to prevent loneliness and stress.

Overall, doves require suitable shelter, proper nutrition, clean water, and social interaction to ensure their survival and well-being, whether in the wild or as pets.

How do I keep my dove happy?

Doves are very social animals, so if you have any as pets, you’ll want to make sure you give them plenty of entertainment. You can let them entertain themselves by letting them fly or walk around, and by providing lots of toys.

Keeping your dove happy requires attention to their physical and emotional needs. Here are some tips to ensure the well-being of your pet dove:

Companionship: Doves are social birds, so it’s essential to have at least one dove companion. Loneliness can lead to stress and unhappiness.

Proper Housing: Provide a spacious and clean cage or aviary with room for flying and perching. Ensure it’s free from drafts and direct sunlight, which can cause overheating.

Nutrition: Offer a balanced diet of dove pellets, seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Fresh water should be available at all times.

Gentle Handling: Handle your dove gently and respectfully. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that can startle them.

Toys and Enrichment: Offer toys, perches, and puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated. Doves enjoy simple toys like mirrors and swings.

Bathing: Provide a shallow dish of water for bathing, as doves enjoy keeping their feathers clean.

Regular Veterinary Care: Schedule regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian to ensure your dove’s health.

Social Interaction: Spend time with your doves daily, talking to them and offering treats to build trust and create a bond.

Safe Environment: Ensure a safe environment free from hazards like toxic plants, chemicals, and other potential dangers.

By addressing these needs and providing a loving and nurturing environment, you can keep your dove happy and healthy as a cherished pet.

Do doves need water?

Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), pigeons and others in the family Columbidae are able to drink by dipping their bills into water and sucking up the liquid. As a rule, doves require more water than other birds and this ability to sip allows them to swallow more water and to watch for predators as they drink.

Yes, doves absolutely need water for several essential purposes. Water is a crucial element in a dove’s daily life, serving multiple functions in their physiological and behavioral processes.

Hydration: Like all living creatures, doves require water to maintain proper bodily functions. Staying hydrated is vital for their overall health and well-being.

Bathing: Doves are known for their frequent bathing habits. Bathing helps them keep their feathers clean and in good condition. Providing a shallow dish of clean water for them to bathe in is not only enjoyable for them but also contributes to their hygiene.

Cooling: Doves can regulate their body temperature by bathing in water. During hot weather, they may dip their bodies in water to cool down and avoid overheating.

Drinking: Doves need water for drinking just as humans do. Access to clean and fresh water at all times is necessary to prevent dehydration.

How To Take Care Of A Dove

What should be included in a proper diet for pet doves to ensure their nutritional needs are met?

A proper diet for pet doves should consist primarily of high-quality dove or pigeon seed mix, supplemented with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The seed mix should be diverse and contain a combination of grains, such as millet, canary seed, and safflower seed. It’s essential to ensure the seed mix is specifically formulated for doves or pigeons to meet their unique dietary requirements.

Fresh foods like leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and fruits like apples and berries can provide essential vitamins and minerals. Calcium supplementation is crucial for doves, as they are prone to calcium deficiency. Crushed eggshells or cuttlebone can help meet this need.

Clean, fresh water should always be available, as doves need to stay well-hydrated. Avoid feeding them processed foods, sugary treats, or foods high in salt, as these can be harmful to their health. Regularly monitoring their weight and consulting a veterinarian can help ensure their diet remains balanced and tailored to their specific needs.

How can I create a safe and comfortable living environment for my pet doves, both indoors and outdoors?

Creating a safe and comfortable living environment for your pet doves, whether indoors or outdoors, is essential for their well-being.


Cage: Provide a spacious cage with horizontal bars for perching and flying. A minimum size for two doves is 24″ x 24″ x 24″.

Bedding: Use appropriate bedding like newspaper or bird-safe bedding to keep the cage clean.

Perches: Include various perches of different diameters to exercise their feet.

Temperature: Maintain a stable room temperature between 60-70°F (15-24°C).

Lighting: Ensure natural light exposure and provide a full-spectrum UVB lamp.

Toys: Offer toys like swings, mirrors, and hanging objects for mental stimulation.

Diet: Provide a well-balanced diet of seeds, fresh fruits, vegetables, and clean water.

Outdoors (in an aviary):

Protection: Ensure the aviary is secure from predators and has a roof to protect against weather.

Shade: Provide shaded areas to prevent overheating.

Perches: Offer sturdy perches and nesting boxes.

Plants: Include safe plants for natural enrichment.

Maintenance: Regularly clean and inspect the aviary for safety.

Regularly interact with and monitor your doves to ensure their comfort and health indoors and outdoors.

What are some common health issues that affect doves, and how can I recognize the signs of illness in my pet?

Common health issues in doves include respiratory infections, parasites, nutritional deficiencies, and injuries. Recognizing signs of illness is crucial for prompt veterinary care:

Respiratory Issues: Watch for sneezing, nasal discharge, labored breathing, or coughing.

Parasites: Check for feathers or skin abnormalities, such as lice or mites, and observe excessive scratching.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Signs may include lethargy, weight loss, abnormal feather growth, or changes in droppings.

Injuries: Look for limping, bleeding, or abnormalities in wing position.

Crop Problems: An enlarged or impacted crop can cause regurgitation, vomiting, or visible swelling.

Change in Behavior: Any sudden changes in behavior, such as decreased activity, loss of appetite, or reduced vocalization, may indicate an issue.

Dirty or Discolored Feathers: Soiled feathers or changes in feather coloration could suggest an underlying problem.

Abnormal Droppings: Monitor droppings for changes in color, consistency, or frequency.

If you notice any of these signs, consult a veterinarian experienced with avian care promptly. Early intervention is crucial for successfully treating many dove health issues.

What is the recommended approach for taming and socializing with a pet dove to build trust and companionship?

Taming and socializing with a pet dove requires patience, consistency, and gentle methods to build trust and companionship:

Start Slowly: Allow your dove to acclimate to its new environment without forceful interactions. Keep noise levels low and maintain a calm atmosphere.

Quiet Observation: Spend time near the cage, talking softly and offering treats without making sudden movements. Allow the dove to observe you.

Hand Feeding: Offer food from your hand, letting the dove approach you willingly. Gradually reduce the distance between your hand and the bird.

Gentle Touch: Once your dove is comfortable with your presence, lightly stroke its feathers. Use slow, deliberate movements to avoid startling it.

Respect Boundaries: Be aware of your dove’s body language. If it seems stressed or uncomfortable, give it space.

Regular Interaction: Spend daily quality time with your dove, talking to it, and engaging in gentle play.

Positive Reinforcement: Reward desired behavior with treats and praise to create positive associations.

Consistency: Maintain a routine to build trust and reliability.

Building a strong bond with your dove takes time, and each bird has its own pace. Be patient, and over time, your pet dove should become a trusting and affectionate companion.

What are the key considerations for breeding doves responsibly, and how can I provide the best care for both parent and baby doves during the breeding process?

Responsible dove breeding requires careful planning and attention to the welfare of both parent and offspring:

Pair Selection: Choose healthy, unrelated doves of appropriate age. Ensure they are sexually mature and in prime breeding condition.

Housing: Provide a spacious and clean breeding enclosure or aviary with nesting boxes for privacy.

Diet: Offer a balanced and nutritious diet rich in calcium, essential for egg formation and chick growth. Supplement with foods like crushed eggshells and cuttlebone.

Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the breeding pair, ensuring they are compatible and not displaying aggression. Check for proper egg-laying, incubation, and chick-rearing behaviors.

Egg Care: If eggs are abandoned or parents neglect their duties, be prepared to step in with hand-feeding and incubation if necessary.

Hygiene: Maintain a clean environment to prevent disease transmission to vulnerable chicks.

Weaning: Gradually transition chicks to a balanced diet once they are old enough to eat independently.

Socialization: Handle chicks gently to ensure they become well-adjusted and comfortable around humans.

Breeding doves responsibly demands commitment, knowledge, and resources. Ensure you are well-informed about the specific dove species you intend to breed and have a plan for rehoming any surplus offspring to responsible homes. Always prioritize the welfare of your doves throughout the breeding process.

How To Take Care Of A Dove


Caring for a dove is a rewarding and fulfilling experience that requires attention, patience, and dedication. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your dove enjoys a healthy and happy life.

Remember to provide your dove with a spacious and clean living environment, a balanced diet, and access to clean water at all times. Regularly groom and monitor your dove’s plumage to ensure it remains in good condition, and be vigilant for any signs of illness or distress.

Building a strong bond of trust with your dove through gentle handling and positive interactions is essential for their well-being and your enjoyment as a pet owner. Finally, give your dove plenty of love and attention, as these gentle birds thrive on companionship. With proper care and attention, your dove can live a long and contented life, bringing joy and serenity to your home for years to come.