Sorry couldn't resist the pun.
However, many rural based pensioners have dogs for company & security. Now to target this group for taxation does seem inequitable. The cost is €20 . I imagine that a number of these older, more conservative, rural dwellers have voted for FG / form part of the traditional FG base. Though not as far reaching in impact as the FF medical card debacle (how many of those protesting pensioners were Dublin / Leinster based?)
The excuse is apparently that Coveney say's he's learned his lesson over the horsemeat scandal.
Now unless he's scared of Korean food processors this argument seems a bit lame.
Particularly as his Parliamentry colleague (& Daffy Duck soundalike) raised the issue of chipping of horses 2 years ago (a European Directive) and there did seem to be a bit of long fingering over the issue from Coveney
Dáil Éireann - 29/Jun/2011 Written Answers - EU Directives
However, before attacking the government on the issue of chipping dogs, its worth remembering that some of these rural based mutts are known to wonder into farmers' fields and attack livestock:
ICSA: sheep kills underline need for compulsory microchipping of dogs - ICSA Ireland - Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association
So given the links between farming and FG, Coveney maybe pandering to his base as much as upsettting it & unless Gimmeemore and his social engineering dinnerparty chums decide to tax Child of Prague statues, perhaps this dog chipping is electorally neutral for the Government in rural Ireland.