Dogs and the Law

There are a number of legal requirements relating to the ownership and control of dogs in Ireland that pet owners need to be aware of:

    • Microchip – from 31st March 2016 all dogs must have a microchip implanted, be registered on an approved database and have a valid certificate as evidence of this.
    • Licence – dog owners must, by law, have a dog licence for their dog. These are available at a Post Office or online to you local County Council
    • Tag – all dogs must, by law, wear a tag with the name and address of the owner. It is advisable to include a phone number too.
    • Breeds – there are restrictions on specific breed types when in public places. Some breeds must be muzzled and kept on a tight lead.
    • Fouling – it is an offence to allow a dog under your control to foul a public place. The person in charge of the dog must dispose of the faeces in a sanitary manner.
    • Abandonment – it is an offense to abandon an animal under Irish law.
    • Neglect – it is an offense to cause unnecessary suffering or to neglect the health and welfare of an animal (see Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013)

Citizens Information has a comprehensive resources with links to legislation, details on the regulations and penalties imposed for non-compliance. The full list of dog breeds covered by breed specific legislation is also included. (Opens in a new window)