How to Bathe a Pigeon | The Complete Guide in 2024

Pigeons are adorable pets, and they need regular bathing to keep their impressive plumage clean, smooth, and shiny. These birds need special care, particularly when it comes to bathing.

They can take baths alone, or you can bathe them with clean lukewarm water and mild shampoo. Let’s take a look at how to bathe a pigeon in detail.

How to Bathe a pigeon

How Will You Bathe a Pigeon at Home: Step by Step Guide

You can bathe your pigeons at home in the following steps

1. Trim the nails of your pigeon

Before you begin bathing your pigeon, you should trim their nails. Clean claws will prevent them from scratching themselves and causing injury once they’re in the water.

2. Fill the bath tray with lukewarm water

Fill it with 3-4 inches of clean lukewarm water depending on your bird’s size. Please don’t fill the tray too high with water, or they may not be able to get out again. Don’t make it too shallow, either. Otherwise, they won’t be able to get their legs wet.

You can put rocks on the bottom of the tray to stand on, making it easier for them to stand inside without slipping and falling over.

Tips: Pigeons do love sunbathe most.

3. Use a baby shampoo

Use baby shampoo in the bath because it is a lovely gentle soap for the birds. It is better not to use any other soaps in the tub because they can be harmful to the skin and feathers.

4. Surround the pigeon with a towel

If you want to bathe your pigeons at your home, put a towel around the bath pan. Also, take care not to let them touch anything but their bodies when they are wet. It helps prevent them from getting sick with E-Coli or any other bacteria.

5. Place your pigeon in the bath tray

Place your pigeon in the bath, or allow it to enter on its own. If your pigeon has never bathed before, it may need some coaxing. Some people use a spray bottle to dampen the bird before they enter the bath – this helps the pigeon get used to getting wet and works as a gentle introduction to bathing.

6. Bathe the pigeon for about 5 minutes

Allow the pigeon to splash around for about five minutes. If you want to give your pigeon a good scrubbing, use a toothbrush dipped in shampoo carefully on the pigeon’s feathers.

7, Remove your pigeon from the bath tray and dry it with a towel

Remove the pigeon from the bath and towel-dry it as much as possible. Once your pigeon is dry enough so that its body is no longer wet, allow it to roam free as usual.

Pigeons taking bath
Pigeons are taking baths.
Pigeon after bath
Pigeon after bath

How Deep Should a Pigeon Bath be?

Depending on their size, racing pigeons must be bathed in a shallow tray or bath. It would be best to have a tray no deeper than 7 inches for smaller pigeons and no wider than 12 inches.

Ensure that the container is large enough for your pigeon to stand comfortably in and that there are no small holes that it can fall through by accident.

The ideal size for a pigeon bath is about 1-foot square and 3-4 inches deep. If you have more than one pigeon, you may find it easier to give them all baths at the same time by filling up half the tray with stones and putting a couple of birds in each half.

What to Put In a Pigeon Bath?

It’s okay to add nothing more than water for a birdbath. However, there are some things that you can add to the bathwater which will target specific problems your pigeons may have. These products are usually added to drinking water but can be added directly to bath pans as well:

  • Vitamin supplements: You can add water-soluble vitamins (Vitamin B complex, C, F) to your pigeon’s bathing water because animals do not store these vitamins in the body.
  • Pigeon bathing medicine: The available bathing medicine on the market help to clean away mites, louse, viral pathogens, and parasites from the pigeons’ bodies.
  • Pigeon bath salts: You will find bath salts for pigeons from various brands on the market. Bath salts will help clean the feathers, soothe the muscles, promote molting and new feathers, and remove skin residue, dust, etc.
  • Vinegar: You can use apple cider vinegar in the bathing water of your pigeon but only in the proper dosage. Apple cider vinegar will alleviate skin infections and irritation.

Can You Bathe a Baby Pigeon?

Baby pigeon with parents

Of course! Baby pigeons may not be able to bathe themselves, so that they may need your help. The steps of bathing are almost the same:

  1. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect yourself from the pigeon’s sharp nails.
  2. Place one hand under the pigeon’s body, and use the other to scoop water over its feathers.
  3. Lather mild baby shampoo into the bird’s plumage if it is dirty. Then, rinse out carefully all of the shampoos with fresh water.
  4. Use a clean cloth to pat the feathers dry. Allow the bird to air-dry for an hour or two.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should pigeons bathe?

You should bathe your pigeons with clean water once or twice a week, depending on the weather. Pigeons will quickly make the water cloudy by splashing in it. They also defecate in their baths, so it’s essential to change the bathwater often.

Can a pigeon sit on water?

Pigeons can swim for a short time. Although they do not have webbed feet, they can paddle with their legs and flap their wings to float themselves along in the water. Pigeons often bathe in shallow areas of water to keep calm and clean.

How do you clean up pigeons?

Most of the time, pigeons do not need someone to clean themselves. However, you can clean them up by bathing them precisely.


Bathing a pigeon is more sensitive than bathing other pets like cats, dogs, etc. Now you know how to bathe a pigeon, clean them regularly with a mild shampoo and lukewarm water at least 2-3 times a week. Your pigeons should be happy and shiny!

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