Responsible Dog Ownership

Under the law, every dog over 4 months is required to be licenced. An individual Dog Licence costs €20.00 and must be renewed each year. An on-the-spot fine of €30 may be issued by the Dog Warden to any dog owner unable to produce an up-to-date licence. Individual dog licences may be purchased at any Post Office. A General Dog Licence for an unlimited number of dogs costs €400. This must also be renewed every year. From January 2012, a new Lifetime Dog Licence is also available at a cost of €140. General Dog Licences and Lifetime Dog Licences are only available directly from the Council offices. The Dog Warden carries out ongoing licence checks in all areas on a regular basis.

Dog IDs
Every dog must have a collar with the owner’s name and address inscribed on a disc or on a badge. Failure to do this may result in an on-the-spot fine of €30. This will help if your dog is lost or stolen. These can be bought at veterinary surgeries and pet shops.

Dog Fouling
Dog dirt is smelly, sticky, disgusting and can cause disease. Under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997-2003, dog-owners are required to clean up after their dog if it fouls in a public place such as public roads, footpaths, parks or beaches. Failure to do so can result in an on-the-spot fine of €150. It is as easy as taking a bag with you every time you walk your dog in a public place. Tie a knot in the bag and dispose of in a litter bin or take it home for disposal.

Owner Responsibilities
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Whether you already own a dog or are considering getting one, consider the following points :

  • Choose a dog that is right for you and your circumstances. Different breeds and ages of dog have different requirements in relation to exercise, space, food, grooming, veterinary attention etc.
  • Vaccinate your dog and don’t forget a booster vaccination every year. This will protect your dog against potentially fatal canine diseases.
  • Worm your dog regularly. Every 3 months is recommended. This will prevent worms which can cause disease in both dogs and humans (particularly young children).
  • Buy a dog licence and renew it annually.
  • Have your dog neutered (whether male or female) if you do not intend to breed from it. Most veterinary practices operate the Dogs’ Trust Subsidised Neutering Scheme.
  • Ensure your dog gets appropriate exercise.
  • Ensure your dog has appropriate shelter, is fed appropriately and that clean water is always available.
  • Keep your dog under control at all times.
  • Ensure your dog has a collar with your name and telephone number on it.


  • Dog Fouling and the Law
  • Dog Fouling and Health Implications
  • Dog Fouling responsbilities