Do Indians Have a Culture of Keeping Pets ?

M G Singh By M G Singh, 9th Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Other

Indians have no tradition of keeping pets. This is sad, but perhaps it has something to do with the economy

Pets in India

I had kept a Fox hound as a pet, about two decades back. But after he died, I did not keep another pet. This was because of my frequent transfers to far-flung corners of India and even abroad. But overall Indians by nature do not keep many pets.

A visit to England will show that the reverse is true and dogs and pets are aplenty. In fact in a population of about 55 millions there must be 2 to 3 million pets. I am not aware of the actual figures, but it could be higher. This shows the love of an average Englishman for a pet, either a dog or a cat.

India vs Abroad @ Pet Culture

However we cannot compare with India. England is a comparative affluent nation and there is no poverty in the literal sense as every body has food to eat. Once your basic necessities are supplied, one can look around for some extra activities to keep yourself busy by keeping pets. Thus people who have gone old and have no companionship find solace in keeping pets as a solution to their lack of company and boredom.

In India the scenario is slightly different. A vast majority of the Indian population of 1.2 billion are living in poverty. The figures dished out by the government appointed committees reveal that perhaps the number of Indian subsisting on less than a dollar are a day are over 750 million. With such a large population fighting for survival, obviously the inclination to keep a pet by this vast populace is just a dream. If you do not have enough to feed you and your family, feeding a dog would be a daunting task,

But the well to do in India does keep pets. But again many of the rich people are not overtly fond of pets like in the USA and Europe. I visit many of my friends who are well off, but still are not interested in keeping pets.

Two factors militate against Indians keeping pets

a) Firstly the state of income and all-round poverty militates against keeping pets

b) Secondly Indians even those who can afford it are generally averse to keeping pets. Their love for animals is minimal

It must be understood that keeping a pet involves some onerous tasks by the owner of the pet. He must not only feed the pet, but must get him medical cover as and when required. In addition like the immunization programs for a child a pet must also be immunized against many diseases which a pet may suffer. This is a responsible task and though looking simple is really not easy if you have no love for pets.

In India if there are pets, then only dogs are visible. People hardly keep any other animal like cat, Parrot or hare as pets. Maybe with the passage of time as the Indian economy gears up, a love for animals may be generated and Indians may start keeping pets. But frankly I am skeptical about this as Indians are not overly fond of pets. The present status quo may continue, a few pets, mostly dogs with the well-heeled.


Cats As Pets, Dog Pets, Exotic Pets, Pets In India, Poverty

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Dec 2011 (#)

For sure if you do not have money to feed yourself you are not going to want a pet, and if you did not grow up loving pets you probably wont want one as an adult.

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you Mark for a keen observation

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author avatar Denise O
9th Dec 2011 (#)

I agree with Mark 100%. I was raised around dogs all my life and I just love having them. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you Denise for sparing time to read my post

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author avatar Sheila Newton
10th Dec 2011 (#)

What a splendid page, Madan. Full of great info as usual.

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author avatar M G Singh
11th Dec 2011 (#)

thank you Sheila for passing by and visiting my post

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author avatar Monali
14th Jun 2014 (#)

I donot agree with the views in this post. More than the economical reason it is cultural to not have pets. Animals are in general not allowed inside the house, second dog is considered culturally dirty ( may not be literally) but indians have no problem having a dog out side the house. Cats are anyway not considered holy. They are to be scared of. But still you will find people having cats in villages but not as pets. They are stray cats fed by people but they are not considered as pets or treated as pets. I donot understand why people are so surprised about this. We are also surprised how people in the west allow dogs on the bed, kitchen and everywhere. Not just india but many religions and eastern cultures donot have pet concept similar to the west. Lets just accept.

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