Doves can get sick just like any other animal. It's our responsibility as owners to make sure that our doves live long and healthy lives. But, it can be difficult to do so if we can't spot whether or not our doves are suffering from an illness or not.

These are the ways that you can use to spot if your pet dove is sick before they develop an even worse condition.


When a dove is sick it will most likely show in its body language. You may notice that it's very low in energy and won't move a lot, oftentimes spending the entire day in one position without making its usual cooing sound.

Another sign to look out for is when the dove looks like it's drunk, its head drooping down because of its inability to keep its head straight up and inbalances when standing or walking around.

Physical appearance

The most obvious signs will be in their appearance. You may notice that your dove has discharge in its eyes or, just like a human being, develop a stuffy nose. The dove will also try to remove discharge from its eyes and nose so pay attention whenever it looks like it's rubbing its face.

Something resembling cheese might also grow in the dove's mouth, this is called a canker, so make sure to check in there as well. This is usually accompanied by the dove breathing through its mouth instead of its nose.

You can also look at its feathers to see if it's ruffled or puffed up. Its feathers aren't ruffled up like that because it's been playing around a lot and got messy. It's like that because that is a way for the dove to heat its body. Doves increase their body temperature whenever they get sick so this might be a sign that they're ill.

Digestive problems

You can try weighing your bird to see if it has been losing weight. If you notice that the dove is becoming slimmer then that might be a sign of sickness, make it a habit to weigh your bird every week when they're sick or at least every month when they seem healthy.

Losing weight can be caused by the disease or by the dove's reluctance to eat. If a dove refuses to eat or has trouble eating then it might be sick. Or it's not being fed the proper diet of seeds, small pieces of fruits and vegetables (Avocados are potentially toxic to birds, AVOID), and freshwater.

Another sign would be the lack of defecation. Meaning it doesn't use the bathroom to poop at all. Or, another possibility is that they do defecate, but when they do it's runny. A sure sign of sickness is when their feces, along with being runny, is also the color green. This is a sign of bacterial infection within their body.

If you notice any of these signs with your pet dove then it is best to take them to the veterinarian so that they can get a checkup and get the medicine they need.

We are a small-scale local dove breeder based on Long Island, state of New York, for a considerable time. We develop our growing dove breeding business from our backyard, which means that without intermediaries, we sell doves that we have raised since they were babies.