Pets and Animals in India

Information on where to acquire a pet in India, the laws regarding ownership, and animal welfare organisations…

India has one of the world’s fastest-growing pet markets, as ownership increases with the growth of the middle classes. Dogs are the most common pets, followed by cats. The attitude towards pets and animals in general can vary greatly in a country in which the cow is venerated yet stray dogs are routinely abused.

Pet Ownership Laws

Anyone can own a pet and there aren’t really any laws applying to pet ownership. However, there is a drive in many cities to get dogs registered and for dog owners to have a licence. The process, however, can be complicated and unclear. Mumbai dog owners should investigate licence requirements, as regulations are being implemented.

  • Petdig has further information on licence requirements

Identification requirements

There are currently no identification requirements for pets in India.

Vaccination requirements

here is no compulsory pet vaccination scheme in India. However, most Indian vets would recommend them. Pet owners are advised to keep up to date with the requirements in their home country, in case they want to take their animals back.

The recommended vaccinations for dogs are:

  • Canine distemper??Canine hepatitis (canine adenovirus type 2)
  • Coronaviral enteritis
  • Canine parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus infection
  • Leptospirosis canicola (icterohaemorrhagiae)??Rabies

The only recommended vaccination for cats is rabies, although vets may insist on others.

Restricted Breeds of Pets

Any animal may be kept as a pet as long as it isn’t classified as a wild animal under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1971.

Restrictions on Pets

Some apartment blocks (known locally as “housing societies”) do not allow pets, so it is always best to check beforehand.

Pets are allowed on trains only in first class or first class AC, when a two- or four-berth ticket has been booked.

Pets may travel in cars. Although there are no rules, it is safer for them to be in pet carriers or in the back of the vehicle.

Pets are accepted in most public places, but it is always worth checking when planning a trip to a restaurant or entertainment venue.

Lost or Found Animals

There are a lot of stray dogs in India, which are periodically rounded up and put down. For this reason, it is advisable not to leave pets unattended. However, if a pet cat or dog goes missing, it is worth checking with local animal organisations.

National Animal Organisations

Animal welfare awareness is on the increase in India and there are many welfare organisations and pet owners’ clubs throughout the country. The welfare of animals is enshrined in Indian law.

  • awbi provide a copy of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960)

The main animal welfare organisations are:

  • awbi has a more detailed list

The main dog owners’ clubs are:

Finding a Vet

There are numerous vets in most cities. Personal recommendations are the best way to choose one. The following websites have lists of vets in each state:

A good starting point for buying a pet would be word-of mouth recommendations for dog and cat breeders. Some cities have pet shops, but they are not common. Otherwise, rescue centres are a good place from which to acquire a pet.

Threats to Pets

There are more than 250 species of snake in India and they are a risk to pets and owners. The most common include cobras and vipers.

The biggest disease risk to pets is rabies, which is why it is vital to ensure that all pets are immunised.