Doves come in almost 300 different species. As with many other domesticated birds, these beautiful creatures make their way into the homes and hearts of people around the globe. The best kinds of doves that make pets are diamond doves, Barbary doves or the common Ringneck. Unfortunately, wild doves do not make good pets.
Doves have long tails and have long been regarded as symbols of peace, purity and love. With proper care, they can live as long as 10 to 25 years. Doves make wonderful pets for both the young and old, and novice and experienced bird enthusiasts. Here are just a few reasons why:
Caring for Doves
With proper care, doves offer owners companionship and love. They can easily be trained and cared for. Unlike with some pet animals, there is no need to have a pool fence or gate around your home in order to keep it safely contained.
Doves should be kept in a warm area where it’s quiet and without drafts or chilly air. Keep fresh water in the cage and change it often. Cages should be kept sanitized and cleaned to keep diseases away.
Both hands are needed to handle the bird, so good hygiene, especially with children, is important. Completely wash hands before and after handing a dove or cage.
Owners should give doves attention every day for at least 30 minutes by petting them. The birds like to socialize and prefer the company of other doves. Doves are known for rarely putting up a fuss, but if they do, they can be calmed with bonding methods. They have gentle dispositions and comforting vocalizations.
Do not place doves in a cage with other types of birds due to their inability to properly defend themselves. If you purchase more than one dove, monitor the birds closely to avoid fighting, especially among males during mating season.
Eating and Physical Routines
Doves are not very active and spend a significant amount of time standing on perches and eating. However, they still need to have physical activities like most birds. A large enough bird cage will allow some exercise, but a dove should get out of the cage once a day to contribute to its physical well-being.
You will need a designated area where the dove can spread its wings. An out-of-the-cage episode has to be monitored carefully to prevent the dove from running into household dangers. Doves need to get a full night’s sleep in darkness that’s uninterrupted to also have good health.
Doves feed off of seed mixes and have a vegetarian diet. Fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables such as bananas, berries and celery can also be handed out as a treat.