Are you interested in adopting doves? These gentle, pretty birds are almost like the cats of the bird world. They spend much of their time relaxing and sunbathing, but can also be quite cuddly and affectionate. A Fort Myers, FL veterinarian discusses dove care basics below.
Doves are very sociable, and really should be kept in pairs. For two, you’d need a habitat that is 32’ x 32’ x 21’. However, get the biggest cage you can. The cage bars should be less than 3/8” apart: otherwise, your pets may get stuck or try to escape. Stainless steel is a good choice as far as materials go. If you get a coated cage, make sure the coating isn’t toxic.
Location is also important. Doves are happiest in quiet, comfy spots, where they can observe their owners without feeling exposed. Doves don’t climb, so it’s crucial for them to have room to fly around. If you can’t provide a flight habitat, birdproof a room to let them out in.
Doves should have several perches, in various strengths, sizes, and materials. Change these out frequently to keep things fun and fresh.
Your feathered pals will also need some entertainment. Foraging games are popular with doves. You can make many fun toys out of paper, soft wood, or cardboard. Ask your vet for more information.
Your doves will need fresh water at all times. They also enjoy birdbaths. Provide water bowls that are large enough for Polly to bathe in.
Doves require UV light, so you’ll need to add lighting above your pets’ cage. (Note: putting the cage near a window isn’t sufficient, as glass filters the light out.) This is especially important for females. Doves lay a lot of eggs, and need Vitamin D and calcium for the shells.
You can give your doves pellets, supplemented with fresh, safe veggies. You’ll need to add grit to your birds’ food to help them digest seeds, which they swallow whole. Like any other pet, doves also enjoy snacks and treats. Ask your vet for specific advice, including safe and unsafe foods.
Unlike parrots, who sometimes scream like car alarms, doves make soothing coo sounds. Pay attention to your winged pals, and spend lots of time with them!
Do you have questions about dove care? Contact us, your Fort Myers, FL pet clinic, today!