Apply for a licence for breeding dogs

You will need a licence if you do either or both of the following

(a) breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period

(b) breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs

Exemptions are listed in the regulations and guidance is available.

Licence conditions

Each licence is subject to a set of mandatory general conditions and a set of mandatory specific conditions which are listed in the regulations and guidance.

Star rating and licence length

Premises can be awarded 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 stars.

Licences can be granted for one, two or three years.

The length of licence issued and the number of stars awarded will be dependent on the outcome of a risk assessment and also the number of additional required higher standards and optional higher standards that are met. This will be assessed during an inspection by Melton Borough Council’s appointed Officer (see also “Vet inspections” below).

The licence specific; required higher standards; and optional higher standards; are listed in the Defra guidance documents.

Vet inspections

Premises licensed for this activity will require an inspection by an appointed veterinarian on first application in the company of Melton Borough Council's appointed Officer.

Current fees

For a list of charges, please see our Animal licensing fees page.

You will also be required to pay a separate vet's inspection fee before your licence can be granted. Vets fees are an additional cost and will be invoiced separately.

Pre-application advice

We understand that you may be unsure whether your business/activities fall within the scope of the new regulations and as such we are offering a pre-application service. 

If this is something you would like to access then please contact the licensing team to get a questionnaire and return the questionnaire in as much detail as possible so we may determine whether an application is required in your personal circumstances and what the next steps for you would be.

How to apply

Please contact the licensing team for an application form

You will need to ensure you have the necessary authorisation under the Planning Acts to operate your business. Please contact the Development Control Team by emailing You can also find further advice by visiting our pages on planning permissions. You can also seek advice from Environmental Health.

Last updated 27 April 2023
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