Dr. Laurie: Doves are a little bit different from parrots as pets. They're very gentle. They're quieter. They don't bite. They're pretty to look at. They're very docile. They're for the pet owner that really wants to just have something soft to cuddle and to look at. They don't really talk. They are very prolific egg layers and they're just very gentle and sweet. They do need some special care, right Sarah?
Sarah: They do need special care, especially because of how you mentioned, the egg laying. You do need to make sure that they're getting a proper diet. They also should be on a base pelleted diet to make sure that they're getting the appropriate amount of calcium and other vitamins, so that they don't become ill or egg bound when they do start to lay eggs.
Dr. Laurie: That's a really important point. We see quite a bit of egg binding, where the egg actually can get stuck inside the bird and we see that quite a bit in pigeons and doves. Because unfortunately people think, "Oh, you just throw some seed down." We see pigeons and doves in the street all the time, same family of birds.
They're the Columbiforme family and they actually need more than seed to stay healthy. They get into a lot of problems, particularly if they're females and they're egg laying. So just like a parrot has special requirements, if you're considering having a dove or even a pigeon as a pet, you really need to learn about their needs ahead of time and provide them with the proper nutrition.