Indians And Keeping Pets

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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.

street dogs

Street Dogs In India

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 dogwould be a daunting task,

But the well to do in India does keep pets. But again a lot 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 timeas the Indian economy gears up, a love for animals may be generated and Indians may start keeping pets. But till that time the present status quo will remain, a few pets, mostly dogs with the well-heeled.


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