Pet Owner Rights: Laws For Keeping Dogs In Apartments in India - Wagr Petcare

    Pet Owner Rights: Laws For Keeping Dogs In Apartments in India

    Living in an apartment complex in India and want to keep a dog? You have every right to! However, there may be instances where your Residents Welfare Association (RWAs) frames by-laws that infringe on your rights as a pet owner. This can include restrictions on keeping apartment dogs, having them use common spaces and more. This is why it’s important for dog owners to be aware of pet laws for apartments in India.

    What are pet laws for apartments in India?


    According to Section 51(A)g of the Constitution of India, showing compassion to all living creatures is the fundamental duty of all citizens.

    The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued a notification that has a detailed list of legalities, guidelines and rules for dog owners as well as RWAs. Read the full circular concerning pet laws for apartments in India here.

    We’ve covered the highlights below.

    1. Ban on breeds


    Pet laws for apartments in India - Big dog breed Rottweiler

    According to AWBI’s notification, RWAs cannot ban residents from keeping pets in their apartments, even if this is supported by a majority of residents.

    Neither can they restrict the breed of dogs allowed (for example: Large dog breeds like Great Danes, Saint Bernard etc.). In a nutshell, intimidating a pet owner to abandon a pet is considered abetting a violation of law.

    2. Fine for defecation


    Pet owners are advised to clean up after their pets. They are also encouraged to collaborate with other residents to create designated areas for pets to relieve themselves.

    Unless there is an explicit state or central law on the same, RWAs and Apartment Owner Associations cannot impose rules, fines or regulations on cleaning up pet excreta.

    3. Barking a nuisance


    As stated in AWBI’s notification, barking is recognized a natural form of expression for dogs and cannot be used as a reason to ban pets in India.

    However, pet owners need to make efforts to ensure that barking does not cause a nuisance to neighbours, especially at night.

    4. Forcing muzzles


    Pet owners are advised to keep their pets on leash when walking them in common areas. This is a good practice because it ensures the safety of your dog as well as other residents.

    However, pet laws for apartments in India cannot insist on the use of muzzles. In case of incidents of severe harm caused by pets, the negligent pet owners are penalized.

    5. No access to lifts


    Pets cannot be banned from using lifts. RWAs cannot enforce charges on pet owners for using lifts with their pets either.

    For best practices, pet owners are advised to cooperate with guidelines on using an alternate lift, if it is present and is conveniently accessible.

    6. Ban from parks


    AWBI’s notification advises against banning pets from parks and common areas, as it’s important for pets to get regular exercise for their physical and mental health.

    One of the more successful tried-and-tested rules for dog owners in apartment complexes is pet park timings. This way there is no inconvenience caused to other residents.

    What to do if your apartment bans pets?

    Since not everyone is an animal-lover, you may have conflicts with your RWA or other residents in your apartment. Here’s what you can do in case there is a definite violation of the law or there are excessive restrictions that impact the quality of your pet’s life:

    1. Print out a copy of the AWBI notification and share it with your RWA

    2. Insist on ensuring that the rights of pet owners are taken into account while framing any by-laws

    3. Collaborate with other pet owners in society to come up with reasonable solutions that benefit all residents.

    4. Consult a legal expert to take action in serious cases

    With these pet laws for apartments in India, you can keep your dog safe without worry.

    Back to blog


    My dog always pee on Trees which are inside society and whereever he poops, I collect in newspaper and put it into my dustbin. I also have H-11 Dog keeping license from Pune Municipal Corporation. Some members of my society do not want my dog to even walk within society premises. Can you please help me ?
    My dog doesn’t even bark, he is in his own zone everytime


    Hi I am facing this problem where people crossing my home through the road asks me to tie my dog everytime as she barks on strangers, but she s only out in the balcony in the evening and the whole day she is inside the house, how can someone ask me to what to do with my family in my house just because they are scared, i understand the fear but it doesn’t mean they can be rude and tell me what to do.
    I am from city of bharuch in gujarat, have no website or municipal laws here, does anybody has any idea which is applied nationally?

    Jisha john

    Hi Medha,

    Every city has a different set of rules put up by their municipal bodies. So it would be best to get legal help for your situation. Talk to a legal expert to find out what your options are.


    Hey, my apartment by laws has a rule which does not allow pets. Everyone is against us what should I do? We have tried to convince them but they are using a majority rule and that my pet went near one of the Neighbour’s house by mistake. Can these be the valid reasons for the apartment association to use against us legally.


    Hi Anuj,

    Unfortunately for us pet owners, there will be always be instances where we will have to fight for our pets’ rights. Try to get the support of other pet owners in your society to reach a common ground on the accepted rules of the society. If nothing else works, getting legal help will be the right approach.


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