What Do I Need to Own a Dog? Legal Requirements of Dog Ownership

dog sitting with owner on car

What Do I Need to Own a Dog? Legal Requirements of Dog Ownership

Taking care of a dog is a wonderful and exciting responsibility, but that doesn’t mean it comes without it’s share of rules and regulations. Owning a dog involves a number of legal requirements, and it is up to you fulfil these requirements once you bring your dog home with you. Failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to fines and even imprisonment, so make sure to get familiar with the following legal requirements.

dog with dog tag on floor

Licences and Tags

Under the Control of Dogs Act 1986 all dog owners by law are required to have a dog licence. These can be obtained from your local post office or purchased online. Annual licences for individual dogs are supplied by the post office, but you can find a general licence for multiple dogs from your local authority. You can also now procure a ‘lifetime of dog’ licence delivered by your local authority. Puppies under four months old don’t require a licence unless they are taken away from their mother.

Because our pups can’t speak for themselves, if they go missing, it is important that whoever finds them will be able to reach you. Therefore, a dog must wear a collar at all times; with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it or on a tag.

Failure to have identification on a dog can result in an on-the-spot fine issued by a dog warden. If you do not pay this fine on time, it can result in prosecution by your local authority. A wide selection of fashionable dog tags and collars are available from your local Petmania store; and all tags can be engraved too.


Under the Microchipping of Dog Regulations 2015, all dogs must be microchipped and registered with an approved Dog Identification Database.

Microchipping is a simple and straightforward procedure that makes it easy to recover a lost or stolen dog, reducing stress on both owner and dog alike. Using a specially designed implanting device, the microchip is inserted through a sterile needle under the dog’s skin.

From June 2015, by law, all dogs must be microchipped and contact details are required to be kept up to date at all times


It is an offence to not pick up after your dog in a public area, and can lead to a hefty fine. Dog wardens are authorised to issue on-the-spot fines for anyone who fails to comply with this regulation. They can request the contact details of anyone who is suspected of an offence, as well as having the power to seize and detain any dog. For more reasons on why you should be picking up after your dog, check out our blog post here.

Poo-bags and Pooper-scoopers are available to purchase at all Petmania stores; so please do the right thing and clean up after your dog.

Abandonment and Neglect

As much as you want a dog, sometimes it doesn’t always work out for a number of different reasons, but one thing you must never do is abandon him. Any unwanted dogs can be surrendered to a pound, but it is an offense to abandon an animal under Irish law.

Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, it is an offense to cause any unnecessary hurt or suffering to an animal or be reckless in regards to the animal’s health or wellbeing.


The following breeds have been identified as being potentially dangerous. Therefore, under The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998; these breeds must be “securely muzzled; and led by a sufficiently strong chain or leash; not exceeding two metres in length; by a person over the age of 16 years old who is capable of controlling the said dog”, when in a public places. At Petmania we carry a full range of accessories to ensure your dog’s comfort at all times.

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier
  2. English Bull Terrier
  3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  4. Bull Mastiff
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. German Shepherd (Alsatian)
  7. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  8. Rottweiler
  9. Japanese Akita
  10. Japanese Tosa
  11. and to every dog of the type commonly known as a Ban Dog.

For more information please contact us.

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