This article is written by Shatakshi Pathak of DME, GGSIPU. In this article, she discusses about the Animal Welfare Board of India along with the pet shop rules and how the pet shopkeepers can obtain the licence. 


Pet shop rules are legalised standards that were incorporated to ensure the prevention of animals against cruelty. These rules are drafted in accordance with Section 38 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. 

Animal Welfare Board of India

Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act empowered the Central Government to establish the board for animal welfare and for the protection of animals from unnecessary suffering or pain.

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The Animal Welfare Board of India has been established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. It was headquartered at Chennai but the government has shifted it to Faridabad, Haryana.  Rukmani Devi Arundale is the founder of the Animal Welfare Board of India. It is an advisory statutory body which advises the government in making laws for the welfare of animals in our country. There are 28 members in this board which includes two members from the Rajya Sabha and four members from the Lok Sabha.

Functions of Animal Welfare Board of India

  1. It figures out the rules for the welfare of animals that how animals should be treated. 
  2. To protect the animals from torture or harassment, it has also frequently prosecuted to have stricter laws.
  3. If the Animal Welfare Organisations fulfil the guidelines provided by the Animal Welfare Board of India then it grants them recognition. 
  4. It gives suggestions to the government to modify rules and laws concerning animal welfare issues.
  5. It also guides the officials and organisations and helps them in interpreting and application of the laws.
  6. To raise awareness about the animal welfare problems it issues publications also.
  7. It has the team which educates the people on the subjects of animal welfare and it also trains the members of the community to be Certified Animal Welfare Educators.
  8. It provides financial help to the Animal Welfare Organisations which are recognised by it.

Is owning a pet store profitable?

Yes, no doubt it is a profitable business. It can be profitable no matter what is the performance of the larger economy. The owners have reduced their own expenses before minimizing the living standards of their pets because of this it won’t effect after recessions also. Small-business owners should take care of their costs to compete with large retailers. 

Pet Store Franchises

Pet Store Franchise India

Pets should be treated as they are like the part of our family and should be considered as a family member. Therefore, in India, the pet store franchise is very advantageous and high-income segment that can be looked for a business enterprise by entrepreneurs. Dog breeding franchise, aquarium franchise are the few types that can be explored.

Dog breeding franchise, aquarium franchise, pet store franchise in India have always been there to start a business in this part. Dog spa franchise, pet food delivery franchise, pet salon franchise are some unique businesses in this category which are profitable and have been explored.

How to start a pet shop in India?

Setting up a pet shop

Section 38 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 laid down the rules for pet shop. Section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act states that without the registration certificate, the operation of a pet shop is prohibited. According to the rule not only obtaining a registration certificate is sufficient but also a flagrant display of the certificate in the shop is necessary.

Eligibility Criteria

If an individual wants to own a pet shop then the following criteria must be fulfilled for the registration:

  • age must be above 18 years
  • not had been disqualified by law from entering into a contract 
  • should be of sound mind

If an association/company/corporation other than an individual wants to own a pet shop then such association/company/corporation shall be registered in accordance with the law.

Certificate of registration

One must have a valid certificate of registration to own a pet shop and if one fails to do so within the specified time then pet shop will be sealed. Animals will be sent to a recognized Animal Welfare Organization from the sealed pet shop. 

The State Board issues a certificate of registration which will be valid for a duration of 2 years. The certificate issued by the State Board will be absolute in nature. 

Procedure to obtain a licence

You must have to file an application in a prescribed manner which is given in Schedule I in the Animal Welfare Board of India in order to obtain a license for owning a pet shop.

When the local authority and representatives of the board, both are satisfied with the applicant then they may approve the license to an applicant which is valid for 2 years, on the payment of a non-refundable license fee of Rs. 5000.

Application form

An application form must be filed for the registration, in a manner which is prescribed under Schedule-I and has to be made to the State Board along with a fee of Rs 5,000/- and that fee is non-refundable. A separate application has to be made for every distinct premise to be registered.

Click on the link given below to access the form:


  1. The State Board after receiving the application for registration directs a team to conduct an inspection of the shop which is mentioned in the application. 
  2. An inspection team consists of the representative of the State Board, a veterinary practitioner and authorised representative of the society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 
  3. The inspection team has to submit the report, which is required to be appropriately signed by the inspector and accompanied by the application. 
  4. The State Board after examining the inspection report and satisfying itself that all the requirements have been fulfilled by a shop, register the shop by:
  • Issuing a certificate of registration
  • Record all the details of the shop in the register which contains the details of all the shops.

Renewal of registration

An application for the renewal of registration must be filed 30 days before the expiry date. It should be in the format provided in the form appended to Schedule I. It can be renewed after the payment of Rs 5000. 

Denial of registration

The State Board can reject the application for registration of pet shop under the following situations:

  • If an applicant gave the fake information or manipulated accounts and occurrence of intentional misrepresentation are recognized in the application.
  • The applicant was operating a shop without possessing the license.
  • The applicant, preceding the submission of application and had been convicted for an animal-related offence.
  • If an applicant is not giving permission to the inspector to access the premises of his pet shop.

The reasons for denying an application for registration need to be recorded by the State Board.

Who doesn’t need to obtain a licence? 

The entity who do not need a license to own a pet shop are as follows:

  • A Veterinary hospital/clinic
  • A foundation that works for the welfare of animals and not involved in the commercial animal trade.
  • Animal Welfare Organization which operates the shelter for animals.

Pet Shop Rules, 2010

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 had drafted some pet shop rules in Section 38 to ensure that animals should be treated kindly and to regulate commercialised pet shop establishments.


The aims targeted to be achieved by the Pet shop rules are to:

  • Ensure that feasible safeguards should be taken in order to prevent animals from contagious diseases and to avoid the unfortunate death of animals.
  • Ensure that the sale of minor animals is avoided.
  • Keep sale of potential pet animals under regulated limits.
  • Ensure that birds/animals are provided with proper food and water which is essential for the breed of such species.
  • Ensure that appropriate action must be taken against the defaulters of policy and for the disobedience of terms and conditions of the policy.
  • Regulate individual/privately operating groups (falling within the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporations of the State) conducting sale and purchase business of animals.

Relevant definitions

Certain definitions were laid down by the pet shop rules:

  • Section 2(1)(b) explains the term “Animal”. This section says that any living creature other than a human being or a plant is termed as animal and it shall include fish and birds.
  • Section 2(1)(c) explains the “Animal Welfare Organization”. This section says that “Animal Welfare Organization” means an organisation for the welfare of animals which is recognized by the Animal Welfare Board of India.
  • Section 2(1)(d) explains the “Board”. It says that the Animal Welfare Board of India is established under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,1960.
  • Section 2(1)(h) states that “license” shall mean that permission is legally granted under these rules.
  • Section 2(1)(k) elaborates “Pet Shop”. All shops, place or premises and markets which are involved in sale/business/exhibition of pets are considered as pet shops.
  • Section 2(1)(m) defines that any legal entity or a person who gets the license to conduct commercial sale/trade of animals is considered as a “Pet Shop owner” or “Pet Shopkeeper”.  

To read more about these rules, click on the link given below:

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018


The aim of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(Pet Shop) Rules, 2018 is to prevent animals from cruelty which are kept in the pet shops for the purpose of trade/sale/exhibition. 

Relevant definitions

  • Section 2(1)(b) says that “Animal Welfare Organization” means an organisation for the welfare of animals which is recognized by the Animal Welfare Board of India.
  • Section 2(1)(d) gives the explanation of “certificate of registration”. A registration certificate which is issued under the pet shop rules 2018 is known as “certificate of registration”.
  • Section 2(1)(f) explains the term “infirm animal”.An animal which is going through any physiological or functional disability or any deficiency which is acquired by birth or after the birth is termed as “infirm animal”.
  • Section 2(1)(j) talks about the “pet animal”. Cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, guinea pig, pet birds, rodents of the mice or rat category and such other types of animals whose trade and ownership is not prohibited by any other law, rules or regulations are included under pet animal.
  • Section 2(1)(n) gives the explanation about “SPCA”. It means Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which is established in any district under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Establishment and Regulation of Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Rules, 2001 made under the Act. 

To read more about these rules, click on the link which is given below:

Key features

  • A person is not allowed to own a pet shop or conduct a sale/trade of pets without a certificate of registration from the concerned State Animal Welfare Board. 
  • You must have a valid certificate of registration to own a pet shop and if you fail to do so within the specified time then your pet shop will be sealed. Animals will be sent to a recognized Animal Welfare Organization from the sealed pet shop. 
  • An application must be filed for the registration and has to be made to the State Board along with a fee of Rs 5,000/- and that fee is non-refundable. A separate application has to be made for every distinct premise to be registered. A Certificate of Registration is valid for 5 years and such certificate is non-transferable. It should be reviewed once a year.
  • An authorized veterinarian has to do an inspection of the pet shops registered by the Board after receipt of the application. After being satisfied that the applicant and the establishment had fulfilled all the requirements which are provided under these rules, the registration can be continued by the State Board.
  • The rules provide standards for housing, accommodation, general care, infrastructure, veterinary care, and other operational requirements. It also includes the guidelines on enclosures or aviaries of adequate size and space, a health certificate of every animal on sale from a veterinary practitioner, the elimination of wire mesh for the floors of the enclosures and a written exercise plan for any pup whose age is above 16 weeks.
  • Every pet shopkeeper ought to maintain a record book.  The particulars of breeders and suppliers of pet animals, trade transactions and their details should be included in that record book. “Health register” and “Mortality register” are to be kept as additional records.
  • If pet shopkeepers are not complying with these rules then the local authority or SPCA will conduct an inquiry after receipt of a complaint. If the animals found to be sick or ill-treated then they shall be seized and sent to the Animal Welfare Organization which is sanctioned under Section 2(1)(c) of pet shop rules,2010.
  • During the inspection, if any violation is discovered then the State Board has the authority to issue a notice of show cause to the owner of a pet shop. If the State Board is not satisfied with the response of the pet shop keeper it can cancel the registration and convey the reasons in writing.
  • It is compulsory for every registered pet shopkeeper to submit an annual report to the State Board. An annual report should include the details of the total number of animals boarded, traded or exhibited during the previous year.

General Practices to be observed by pet shops

  • Pet shop owners have to keep the fish in an aquarium. He/She should arrange everything which is required for the pet which is kept for the purpose of sale.
  • Pet shops are not allowed to sell any animal for the purpose of food.
  • All measures for animal care should be strictly followed by a pet shop.
  • A pet shop should maintain and install all the fire extinguishing equipment in shop premises.
  • A pet shop has to take care of all the precautions and should maintain daily routine care accompanied by veterinary aid.
  • Pet shops have to put every bird/animal for exhibition/sale inside the shop premises.
  • It is very essential for a pet shop to keep sanitation standards and have to arrange adequate measures for the disposal of waste. 
  • It is essential for a pet shop to keep animals in the same compartment which shows compatibility towards each other.
  • Before the sale of kitten/pup, it shall be ensured that the pup/kitten is properly vaccinated and weaned.
  • Appropriate accommodation accessories should be offered for the species.
  • To avoid contamination in the food of animals, it should be stored and packed in sealed containers. All animals/birds should be provided with smell-free food and freshwater.
  • A shop should maintain the appropriate provision of electricity in their premises. All pets have to be kept in secured condition.
  • Accommodation of animals should be cleaned on a daily basis in order to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Accommodation of animals should be maintained in good order and crafted as per the suitable conditions of animals and birds- temperature, lighting, ventilation.
  • The license for the sale of birds/animals should only be granted if it is not prohibited under the Wildlife Act of 1972.

Online pet shops

How to start a pet store online

  • Create an eCommerce Site

To familiarize with the world of online sales, firstly beginner has to consider an eCommerce site to analyse how products will be received. A beginner can consider eCommerce sites like Amazon to start an online pet store.

  • Business Plan

There is a need for proper planning to start a business. A management summary should be included in a plan which indicates the purpose of business. How the business will be marketed should be designated in it, along with the idea of promotions and advertising. How many employees are needed to hire? Who are your forthcoming customers? Who is your competitor? Any financial requirements for the startup? There is a need to analyse all these aspects before starting a business.  

  • Financing Requirements

Firstly, there is a need to plan from where the money is coming for the startup. This needs advance planning, such as applying for a business loan from the bank or can apply for a Small Business Administration loan or can take funds through savings.

  • Determine your Competition

If you want to compete with your competitors for customers then you have to determine everything about your competitor as to what they are selling and for how much they are selling it. 

  • Need for Suppliers

You have to determine which category of pets you want to sell. The foremost thing you have to do is to find out the reliable suppliers and try to establish more than one supplier for a backup plan if one of the suppliers goes out of business due to some reason.

  • Domain Name should be catchy

You have to create a catchy domain name for your online business and the name should not be too long and vague. It should be short and unique. Before creating a name, search about the items similar to the ones which you are carrying in your business and find out which names are already being used by someone.

  • Pet store website

You have to create a well-designed website for your business and hire someone who has experience in e-Commerce sites, to create it. Your site should be easily understandable and it should be visible and highly professional. It should be informative and interactive also. You have to link your social media pages along with your site and insert a link that enables customers to sign up for your newsletter which you should definitely produce on a daily basis.

  • Develop a Mobile App

It is also a better plan to create a mobile app for those who want to do online shopping through their smartphones instead of only relying on the website.

  • The Significance of a Good Web Host

A proper web host is required for your site. The web host is a service provider that provides services and technologies needed for the website to be viewed on the Internet.

  • Online Payment System

For the products which you want to sell from your online pet store, there is a need to establish a way to get the payment for those products. An online payment system is the easiest way to be paid for online products.

  • Advertisement for your online pet store

You will need a marketing plan for your online pet store to let people know that you are eager to do business with them. You can buy banners on marketable pet-related message boards, forums and blogs for marketing and the best thing is that most of the sites will charge only when someone had actually visited your advertisement.

  • Shipping strategy for your products

The foremost step to develop your online business is to create an effective eCommerce shipping strategy. You can tie-up with the responsible courier service for the delivery of your products. If you want a successful business then you need to offer reasonable shipping charges for the customers and make sure that customers will not face any difficulties due to delivery. Delivery should be on time and at the proper place without causing any inconvenience to the customer.

Registration for pets

Section 399 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957 says that the registration of pets is mandatory in Delhi. There are so many benefits of registering the pets like in case if you lost your dog then you can find the dog with the help of his photo and ‘dog collar’. 

Procedure for the registration of dogs in Delhi Municipal Corporation

  • The following documents were required to register your pet dogs online:
    • Your photograph along with the photograph of your dog
    • A vaccination certificate against rabies
    • Residence proof       

These documents should be submitted before the submission of the application for registration.

  • Fee for the registration of pets:

One time fee for the registration of dogs is Rs 500 per dog which includes a “dog tax” of Rs 5. An additional fee for online convenience is Rs 11.

  • The zonal deputy director of veterinary services will issue a registration certificate and a “dog token” to you after the submission of documents. The validity of a dog token is for one financial year. Dog token should be attached either to the dog’s collar or be carried by you “at all times” for the identification of a dog.
  • You, as a dog owner is required to provide the information to the corporation regarding the address changes. You will be responsible for the acts done by your dog.

Latest policy scenario

For the trade of pets, the new policy is still in its formation stage and after some time it will come into effect. An incorporated document of the new policy is not released yet but the premises for the formulation of a new policy have been set and they are as follows:

  • The fee to obtain the license will get increased.
  • The existing policy has not given an adequate amount of attention to the trade of fish and birds. So the forthcoming policy shall be laying emphasis on the fish or birds who are accounted for sale.
  • Big fines will be imposed on the pet shopkeepers who treat their animals with cruelty.
  • NGOs often claim that caging birds and animals is an exhibition of cruelty towards animals/birds, they refute the contention that caging of animals/birds fall within the ordinary course of business of the pet shops. Challenging the nature of the business carried out by pet shops and claiming harassment of animals/birds, NGOs and pet shops are often involved in the clash. The clash between NGOs and pet shops shall be sought via instruments of the new policy.

Import of pets – a new dimension

  • A barrier has been imposed on the import of foreign breeds of dogs for the purpose of trade/sale/exhibition. For the police forces and equip defence, the import of such foreign breeds is allowed.
  • Those intending to import such foreign breeds will be required to acquire recommendations from the Committee for the purpose of Control (that will be monitoring the purposes of import) and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (to keep in check the manner in which animals are treated).
  • Purchasing a foreign breed in India is made more expensive in an attempt to discourage the inclination toward foreign breeds.
  • Only those pet shopkeepers will get permission who possess legal documents for import to bring pets in the territorial boundaries.
  • The observation was made by the Law Commission report no. 261 regarding pet shops. According to that report, it was observed that breeders and pet shops violate the rules regarding animal welfare laws with freedom and give the excuse that it is necessary to regulate their convention.


The government has taken all the measures to protect animals from cruelty or unnecessary suffering. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was enacted by the Parliament in 1960 for the protection of animals and to modify the rules and regulations related to animal welfare issues. The Animal Welfare Board of India has been established by the government under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to advise in the matters related to animal welfare issues.



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