Dove Care Guide – Types, Lifespan & More

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Doves make excellent pets for those who don’t want a high-maintenance bird.

They have very fun and interesting personalities as well.


Doves can measure anywhere from 5 inches to 2.3 feet, depending on the species. These birds can weigh as much as 4.6 pounds. Most of them are fairly small and easy to keep as pets.

Dove Lifespan

Depending on the type of dove you get, these birds can live anywhere from two to 10 years.

Types of Doves

There are quite a few different dove species that you should know about before deciding on one in particular to get.

Some of the more popular types of doves include:

  • White-Winged Dove: This type of dove is characterized by its mostly brown and grey coloration, with a little bit of white and black. These birds are native to the southwestern area of the United States.
  •  Mourning Dove: The Mourning Dove is one of the most common dove species in the entire U.S. It can grow up to 14 inches long and 4.2 ounces.
  • Rock Dove: The Rock Dove or Rock Pigeon can weigh as much as 13 ounces and lives for a period of about 10 years in captivity. It has a dark blue and grey head, neck and chest, with some yellow, green, and read in its feathers.
  • Band Tailed Pigeon: This pigeon is actually a member of the dove family. It has a maroon body with an orange beak and feet. These birds can grow up to 12 ounces.
  • White Tipped Dove: The White-Tipped Dove has a white and grey body with some red around the eyes. This bird can weigh up to 5.2 ounces and can grow 11 inches long.
dove on the stick

The Dove’s Personality

The dove is quite a calm and tranquil bird, making it an excellent choice for people with children. It is also quite social and typically doesn’t mind being held or cuddled at all. In fact, you can even let these birds eat from your hand without any painful bites. These birds don’t have a very powerful bite force, so it doesn’t hurt at all.

Doves are inherently kind and peaceful creatures, and it takes quite a bit for them to act aggressively. If you are looking for a loyal feathery friend, you cannot do much better than one of these birds. They only require a minimal amount of interaction each day. This means that you won’t have to set aside hours of every single day to spend time with them.

Natural Habitat

These birds tend to be found in grasslands, farms, prairies, and areas that are lightly wooded. Unlike so many other birds, they do not like being in dense forests or woods at all. This is one of the most versatile species in terms of how adaptable it is. They can thrive in both rural and urban areas without any issues whatsoever.

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Dove Care Guide

1. Dove Diet

You should give your dove a diet of mostly pellets that are designed for these birds. It is imperative that they get their nutritional requirements met on a daily basis. You can get these pellets in many different sizes. It will be necessary to consider the size and age of your bird before deciding on one type of pellets to give them.

Most of the high-end bird food seed mixes for doves will satisfy your bird’s nutritional feeds just fine. You’ll want to keep in mind that these birds do not need grit to live, though it is good for keeping their calcium levels normal.

There are lots of different foods that you can give to your dove as a treat, including mealworms, cornbread, hard boiled eggs, and various vegetables. A balanced diet will give your bird everything it needs to live a long and healthy life.

2. Environment

If you are going to keep your doves indoors, you’ll need to keep in mind that these birds can become startled easily. You should therefore put the cage in an area where they can see everyone coming, so there are no surprises.

You will be able to keep these birds in wooden or metal cages, as you won’t have to worry about them being destructive. These birds are not going to chew on the cage, so you have a variety of options to choose from.

You should try to get a cage that is at least 24 by 18 by 30 inches for your dove. A couple of perches should be put in the cage. This will give the bird a place to sit as well as a means of keeping its nails trimmed.

white dove

3. Common Health Problems

If your doves are kept outdoors, they can be particularly susceptible to things like tapeworms and roundworms. These birds can also develop sores on their throat, which can be lethal if they are not properly treated right away.

It is very important that you always wash your hands after handling your doves. These birds can pass on salmonella and other bacterial infections to humans.

Dove Price

The cost of owning a dove ranges from about $75 all the way to $500, depending on which species you are interested in getting.

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  • Doves can typically live up to 10 years in captivity, but it does depend on the species.
  • There are many different species of doves, including Mourning Doves, White-Winged Doves, and Rock Doves.
  • These birds are generally pretty sociable and have an incredibly calm demeanor, making them an excellent pet if you have kids.
  • You should make a point of getting a decent size cage and keeping it away from corners so the bird doesn’t become startled.
  • Your dove should have at least two perches and some toys to play with in its cage.
  • Tapeworms and roundworms can be a problem for doves that are kept outdoors.
  • Make sure that you always wash your hands after handling these birds for any amount of time.
  • They are pretty good about maintaining their own nails, but occasional trimming might be necessary.
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