Dog breeders

Dog breeder's licence

If you breed dogs you may need to obtain a licence. This is to ensure animal welfare standards and the facilities provided are suitable. It applies whether you are selling the dogs for profit, as a hobby or to help fund the showing of your own dogs.

Do I need a licence?

Yes, if you breed five or more litters in 12 months.

Am I eligible to apply?

Any person may make an application for a Dog Breeder's Licence providing they have not been convicted of an offence in terms of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, or in terms of any of the following or any other offence involving ill-treatment of animals, at the time of application:

  • The Pet Animals Act 1951, from keeping a pet shop;
  • The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, from the boarding of animals;
  • Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954, from having the custody of animals.

Before application you should also obtain permission to run the business from the Planning and Building Control Departments, and from your landlord or mortgage provider. If you are intending to run the business from your house you should also check your title deeds to ensure that this is allowed.

How do I apply?

Applicants must complete the application form and submit it to the Environmental Health along with the correct fee.

How much does it cost?

The fee for the licence is currently £106.00.

What happens when I apply?

Your premises will be inspected by an Environmental Health Officer and a Veterinary Officer prior to issuing your licence. They will check that the premises and your animal welfare arrangements are suitable.

How long do licences last for?

Dog breeders licences last for 12 months (from the day they are granted) and must be renewed annually.

Related licences:

You will need an Animal Dealers Licence if you sell, or acquire and keep with a view to selling young cats or young dogs.

Further information

If you would like further information about Dog Breeders Licences, or have any concerns about the condition of a dog you have bought or seen for sale, or think you know of an unlicensed dog breeder please contact Environmental Health.

Environmental Health Team

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Environmental Health - advice for food businesses

Fairfield House, 8 Lothian Road, Dalkeith EH22 3ZH

0131 271 3345 (tel)