Dogs and Cats

Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders

Commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota must be licensed and inspected by the Board of Animal Health. A commercial breeder is defined (Minnesota Statutes 347.57) as a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year.

To become licensed, the commercial breeder must submit a license application accompanied by the initial license fee. The fee for licensure is $10 per adult intact animal up to a maximum of $250. The commercial breeding facility must then be inspected by the Board of Animal Health to verify that it meets all the requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes 347.57 to 347.64.

Click here to apply for a license.

Click here to pay license fee or renewal online.


Do you need to have a commercial breeder license?


Do you possess or have ownership interest in 10 or more adult intact (not spayed or neutered) dogs or cats?
Do your adult intact animals produce more than five litters of puppies or kittens per year?

You qualify as a commercial breeder and need to apply for a license. Apply for a commercial breeder license.

You do not qualify as a commercial breeder at this time and do not need a license in Minnesota. If you have questions, email us at


A kennel is a facility that accepts impounded, stray, abandoned, or owner-surrendered cats and dogs. This includes humane societies, rescue organizations and impound facilities.

Any person who operates a kennel where dogs or cats are kept, congregated, or confined, must be licensed with the Board of Animal Health if the dogs or cats were obtained from municipalities, pounds, auctions, or by advertising for unwanted dogs or cats, or dogs or cats strayed, abandoned, or stolen (Minnesota Statutes 347.34).

To obtain a kennel license, the owner must submit a license application to the Board along with $15.00 to cover the annual license fee. The kennel must then be inspected by the Board to verify compliance with the requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes 347.31 to 347.40 and Minnesota rules 1721.0520.

The Board does not license the following:

  • A person’s home where dogs or cats are kept as pets.
  • Pounds owned and operated by any political subdivision of the state.
  • Veterinary clinics.
  • Foster-based only rescue organizations.
  • Training and boarding facilities.
  • Doggy daycare facilities.
  • Groomers.

However, the preceding list may require licensing by local ordinances. Please check with township, city or county officials for any rules they may have regarding licensing in your location.

Click here to pay license fee online


Kennel Import Regulations

Dogs and cats originating from an adjacent state and entering a kennel licensed by the Board do not require a CVI or current rabies vaccination if all the following conditions are met:

  1. The kennel has a written contract with the city from which the dog or cat originated that specifies the terms under which the kennel accepts and houses stray, abandoned, or impounded animals for the city.
  2. Dogs and cats are held in a nonpublic area until they can be examined by a licensed veterinarian.
  3. A licensed veterinarian examines the dog or cat within 48 hours of entry into the state and records the date and results of the examination in the kennel records.
  4. A dog or cat that shows signs of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease is returned to the state of origin, held in a nonpublic area until released by the veterinarian, or euthanized.
  5. A dog or cat three months of age or older originating outside the state must be currently vaccinated for rabies before being discharged from the facility.


Do you qualify for a kennel license?


Fields marked with an * are required

Are you applying for a kennel license for your own personal pets?
Does your kennel provide grooming, boarding, training or daycare?
Does your kennel accept dogs or cats that are obtained from municipalities, pounds or auctions; or are unwanted, stray or abandoned?
Does your kennel utilize a facility where dogs and cats are kept?

You are required to be licensed. Please complete an application for a kennel license.

According to the information you provided, you are not required to be licensed by the Board of Animal Health. Please check with your local municipality for any additional requirements.

Canine Brucellosis

Canine brucellosis is a significant reproductive disease in dogs caused by the bacterium Brucella canis. The disease is spread between dogs and can be transmitted to humans. Canine brucellosis is not a curable disease at this time and once a dog is confirmed infected, it is considered infected for life.

All positive test results for canine brucellosis must be reported to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Any dog determined by the Board to be infected with Brucella canis must be permanently isolated from other dogs not known to be infected, or be euthanized. Treatment with antibiotics can be used to resolve clinical signs and decrease bacterial shedding. The Board does not recognize prior confirmed infected dogs that test negative for canine brucellosis after treatment as cured and will not release the quarantine on those dogs.

The following tests for canine brucellosis are approved by the Board of Animal Health.

Screening tests:

  • Rapid slide (or card) agglutination test (RSAT)
  • 2-mercaptoethanol rapid slide agglutination test (ME-RSAT)
  • Tube Agglutination Test (TAT)
  • Canine Brucella Multiplex Assay
  • Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA)

Confirmatory tests:

  • Agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test
  • Culture- blood, urine, tissue


Blastomycosis is a fungal infection that affects people, dogs and occasionally cats. It is caused by an organism known as Blastomyces dermatitidis. The fungus is commonly found near waterways in acidic soils that are rich in decaying vegetation. In Minnesota, blastomycosis is most common in St. Louis, Itasca, and Beltrami counties.

People or animals become infected with blastomycosis by inhaling airborne spores from the mold form of the organism found in the soil or decaying vegetation. The disease is not transmitted directly between animals or people. Symptoms of the disease may include loss of appetite, depression, fever, coughing, pain and skin lesions.

All positive animal blastomycosis cases must be reported to the Board of Animal Health and the reporting veterinarian must submit a Blastomycosis Case Report to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Rabies and Pets

Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that causes encephalitis and death in infected animals. Rabies is transmitted when the virus, which is present in the saliva of an infected animal, penetrates the skin through a bite or scratch. While skunks and bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Minnesota, domestic animals can also become infected.

Preventing rabies in dogs and cats through regular rabies vaccination is highly effective. All dogs and cats three months or older should be vaccinated according to their veterinarian’s recommendations. Booster vaccines are required to maintain immunity. Animals that are younger than three months of age should be kept indoors to eliminate contact with skunks and bats, or other wild life that may be infected with the rabies virus.

For more information about rabies and what to do if you think your pet has been exposed to the virus, visit the Board of Animal Health rabies page.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by Type A influenza virus. There are two different strains of influenza Type A virus, H3N8 and H3N2, which are currently circulating in dog populations in the United States.

The clinical signs of canine influenza in dogs are generally mild and include cough, runny nose and fever. Not all dogs that are infected will show signs of illness. The disease can occasionally be severe and may even result in pneumonia or death. No human infections with canine influenza have ever been reported.

2023 Test Positive canine influenza virus cases in Minnesota

County Number of confirmed cases
Anoka 1
Beltrami 2
Carver 4
Dakota 2
Hennepin 79
Isanti 1
Ramsey 5
Scott 3
St. Louis 6
Washington 3


April, 2023 canine influenza press release. In addition to the confirmed cases in the table above, there were 196 suspected cases at the animal shelter in the start of the 2023 outbreak.

*Table current as of 08-08-2023

Atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease

The Board of Animal Health has received reports of an increase in the incidence of canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) from veterinarians across the state. This increase is similar to what is being observed across the country this year. The majority of cases appear to follow the expected course and clinical characteristics of typical CIRD, with most dogs experiencing mild illness and a smaller percent having severe illness progressing to pneumonia or prolonged disease.

Significant media attention has focused on atypical CIRD (aCIRD) infections. aCIRD is defined as severe, acute respiratory disease in dogs without underlying risk factors (senior dogs, puppies, brachiocephalic, preexisting respiratory disease) that is refractory to routine, recommended treatment. aCIRD does not appear to be widespread in Minnesota at this time.

While a single infective agent has not been identified as the cause of the majority of aCIRD, PCR testing remains important for treatment recommendations and disease management. Samples for PCR need to be taken early in the course of disease for accurate results. PCR testing will be most accurate if done in the first 2 – 4 days of clinical illness. Before collecting and submitting any samples veterinarians should call the laboratory being used to verify sample collection and transport requirements.

The Board recommends dog owners, dog businesses, and veterinarians follow our canine influenza guidance to help stop the spread of any respiratory infection.

  • Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs for 30 days.
  • Avoid contact with sick dogs and consider leaving pets at home when visiting other households with dogs.
  • Ensure all recommended vaccinations are up to date.
  • Be aware that some dogs are at higher risk of more severe disease and may require early intervention. These include dogs that are: puppies, seniors, have underlying health conditions, and brachycephalic breeds.
  • Practice good cleaning and disinfection and biosecurity protocols.

Veterinarians can report suspected cases of aCIRD to the Board by sending medical records to

The Board will update guidance and information as the situation evolves.

Service Animals

The Board of Animal Health doesn't oversee service animals. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights oversees service and emotional support animals in Minnesota.