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


    Hi Neelam,

    As per Indian Law, there is no restriction on how many pets you can have in your apartment.

    However, local municipal bodies (NOT apartment societies) may have put up restrictions that cater to their respective cities. It would be best if you could talk to a legal expert to get the full picture, as different cities have different rules for pets.


    Hi i wanted to know exactly how many pets are allowed in a flat of three bhk in Pune Maharashtra . I actually have three Indies all adopted and the building has told that I can have only one pet . So if u could let me know if what they are telling me is right ?

    Neelam Anil Chalke

    Hi Krishna,

    There is no “legal” limit on how many dogs you can have in your apartment. However, municipal bodies of some metropolitan cities have come up with rules on how many pets you can keep in your apartment, to curb rising complaints of residents who may not want pets in their neighbourhood. So it really depends on the city in which you stay.

    Also, it is usually recommended to not have more than 2-3 dogs in a household if you live in an apartment, keeping in mind the needs of your pet. No matter the size, pets need their space to exercise and to keep boundaries too (as they are territorial as well!), failing which they may turn aggressive, which would not be ideal for the pet, the owner or the other residents.


    In residential Apartments , can flat owners have more pets ex 5 to 6 dogs in a house 1200 Sq ft ?


    Hi Awadesh,

    This is an ongoing problem with many apartment associations! We would suggest you to get the support of other pet owners in the society to come up with solutions that benefit every resident. However, if things get too difficult to control, do contact a legal expert for further help. The law does not ban movement of pets in an apartment complex, as long the pet is well-trained, and pet parents clean up after their pets.


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