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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Dove Setup Steps


Experience Level: Beginner

Doves in habitat


Did you know? Diamond & Ring-Neck Doves are two of the smartest Doves. Doves also drink water by sucking it up through their beaks.

Step 1Choosing a Habitat

• Doves are social and can be housed together in pairs or in larger flocks in an aviary.

• Minimum cage size is 18x22x18". Doves that are group housed require larger cages.

• Place two (A) perches at different heights. Do not place over (B) food bowls. Provide perches of differing widths, diameters and textures to help keep your pet’s feet healthy.

Cage Placement
• Place your Dove’s cage away from drafts and open windows. Cover the cage at night to prevent drafts.

• Be aware that Doves are sensitive to smoke, scorched Teflon and strong odors. The cage should not be placed in the kitchen.



Step 2Play and Hide

These items are essential for your pet’s comfort, health and wellbeing.

(C) For sleeping, your dove may enjoy a nest. 

Hay Balls
(D) When filled with timothy hay, these balls encourage foraging.

• Provide a birdbath 2-3 times per week. You can offer a warm water bath or gently mist your pet with warm water from a clean spray bottle.

Step 3Bedding

(E) Corn cob bedding, aspen, wood pellets or recycled paper products can be used. Cage liners are also appropriate. 

• Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed monthly.


Traits and Behavior

• These gentle birds can often be tamed to sit on your hand.

• Their soft cooing sounds make the Dove an amusing pet.

Messy Eaters
• Your Dove will drop a lot of food while eating.

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your bird, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

• Decreased appetite; weight loss • Decreased activity and grooming behavior

• Change in droppings in excess of two days

• Prolonged sitting at the bottom of cage

• Discharge from nose or mouth; frequent sneezing

• Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart associate or your avian veterinarian regarding the health of your pet.

Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our birds.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.