Learn these Quirky Bans and Laws in Iceland Regarding Animals

Photo by Alexis Antonio on Unsplash

Throughout its history, country of Iceland had its fair share of quirky and strange bans and laws that you couldn’t find anywhere else. At one point, the country’s government issued nationwide bans on beer while also deciding that television programs can’t air on Thursday. If you think this is weird, wait until you hear about the laws and bans, they had/have regarding animals and pets.


Back in the 1920s, Iceland’s capital Reykjavik issued a ban on keeping dogs as pets. This was done in order to prevent echinococcosis, a tapeworm that can cause severe complications for humans and is most easily transmitted by dogs.

Pups are no longer undesirable pets in Reykjavik, but their owners have to abide by strict rules in order to obtain a permit that enables him to have a dog. Some of the requirements include microchipping, vaccination, and worming.

Still, the “dog ban” from the past largely influenced the present in the city, whose residents are much more willing to have a cat as their pet. According to estimations, there is one cat in Reykjavik on every 10 humans.


Iceland wasn’t just unwelcoming towards dogs since keeping reptiles like turtles, snakes, and lizards as pets is illegal even in the modern age. The reasons for this decision remain shady, but according to the natives, one turtle gave its owner salmonella back in the 1990s, so the ban was lifted in order to prevent similar happenings. 

If you are an animal lover and you are interested in moving to Iceland, you should really think twice.