Ireland has grown up around it’s farming communities. All the animals either work, or produce something useful in the rural areas. It is simple to find dogs and cats as familiar and numerous pets, with the occasional pony, sheep or rooster kept as a favorite.
Ireland is known for its native hunting and working dogs. While the Irish Wolfhound and the Irish Setter are well known in dog circles, there are more breeds that are less familiar, but just as Irish. The Kerry Blue, the Glen of Imaal Terrier, the Red and White Setter, the Wheaton Terrier, the Irish Terrier, and the Irish Water Spaniel are all native breeds.
Most of the cats in Ireland are either imported stock, or they are the pre-World War II British Shorthair type. If you see a cat coming around the corner, it’s probably from the same shorthair stock that was all but wiped out in Britain during WW2. There is a petition up to rename the ‘old type’ as the Irish Shorthair to differentiate the type.
You will also find many songbirds and smaller parrots in Ireland. Since ancient times, the keeping of songbirds for ladies’ amusement has been a regular thing for ladies and gentry alike.
It’s not as prevalent to see reptiles as pets due to the colder weather. Besides, St. Patrick ran the snakes out for a reason!
The Irish are no different than most pet lovers. They keep all kinds of pets!