Do You Need a License to Board Dogs in Michigan? Explained

When it comes to providing boarding services for dogs in Michigan, one might wonder whether a license is necessary to operate such a business. However, it’s crucial to understand that kennel licensing regulations may vary depending on the locality. This means that individual counties, cities, or municipalities may have their own specific requirements and regulations for boarding facilities. By doing so, one can ensure the legal and ethical operation of their establishment, providing a safe and comfortable environment for the beloved canine companions they serve.

Do I Need a Kennel License in Michigan?

Once your kennel has passed inspection and met all the necessary requirements, you’ll be issued a kennel license. This license is mandatory for anyone running a commercial kennel in the state of Michigan to ensure the well-being and safety of the animals in your care.

They’ll provide you with the necessary information and guidelines to ensure compliance with state regulations. Animal Control will then schedule an initial inspection of your kennel facility to assess it’s suitability and safety for housing animals.

Any deficiencies identified during the inspection must be promptly addressed before the license can be granted.

It’s typically displayed visibly within your premises as proof of compliance for local authorities and potential clients.

Operating without a license may be considered a violation of state law, which can lead to fines, closure of the facility, or other legal actions against you.

By doing so, you demonstrate your commitment to providing a safe and appropriate environment for the animals, as well as your dedication to operating within legal regulations.

In Michigan, it’s important to be aware of the local ordinances regarding the number of dogs you can have without obtaining a kennel license. If you’ve more than three dogs, it’s necessary to file for a kennel license, which designates your home as an animal boarding establishment. It’s crucial to keep in mind that dog licenses typically have varying durations, ranging from one to three years, and each municipality may have it’s own specific requirements. To ensure compliance with the regulations, it’s advisable to inquire about the licensing requirements in your particular area.

How Many Dogs Can You Have Without a Kennel License in Michigan?

In Michigan, the number of dogs one can have without a kennel license is subject to city ordinances. These ordinances state that if an individual possesses more than three dogs, they must obtain a kennel license, which essentially classifies their residence as an animal boarding establishment. It’s important to note that these regulations can vary from municipality to municipality, so it’s crucial to inquire about the specific requirements to ensure compliance.

Moreover, the duration of dog licenses in Michigan generally ranges from one to three years, depending on local laws. It’s essential to obtain the necessary licenses to avoid breaching any regulations that may exist. By remaining informed about the licensing requirements within your area, you can ensure the responsible ownership of multiple dogs while staying within legal boundaries.

This proactive approach will prevent potential legal consequences while promoting the welfare and well-being of the dogs involved.

By abiding by these regulations, dog owners in Michigan can enjoy the companionship of their furry friends without compromising legal compliance. Remember to familiarize yourself with your citys specific ordinances, licensing requirements, and any associated fees to ensure your dog ownership experience is enjoyable and lawful.

Steps to Obtain a Kennel License in Michigan

  • Research the regulations and requirements set by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for obtaining a kennel license.
  • Ensure that your facility meets the specified standards for kennels, including size, construction materials, cleanliness, ventilation, and animal enclosures.
  • Complete the kennel license application provided by MDARD, providing accurate information about your facility, contact details, and the number of animals you intend to house.
  • Submit the application along with any required documentation, such as proof of property ownership or lease agreement, veterinary care plan, waste disposal plan, and proof of liability insurance.
  • Pay the applicable fees and await the inspection from MDARD officials who’ll assess whether your facility meets the criteria for a kennel license.
  • Address any areas of improvement or non-compliance noted during the inspection process.
  • Once your facility is approved, you’ll be granted a kennel license, which should be prominently displayed on the premises.
  • Ensure ongoing compliance with the MDARD regulations to maintain your kennel license and avoid any penalties or revocation.
  • Regularly renew your kennel license within the specified time frame to keep it valid and up-to-date.

In addition to the basic fees, the Michigan state also requires kennel owners to pay inspection fees along with their license application before the inspection takes place. These fees ensure that kennels are in compliance with state regulations and maintain the welfare of the dogs housed within them.

How Much Is a Kennel License From the State of Michigan?

In the state of Michigan, the cost of obtaining a kennel license varies depending on the number of dogs being kept. On the other hand, those who’ve more than ten dogs will have to pay a slightly higher fee of $25.00. These fees are intended to ensure that kennel owners are meeting the necessary requirements and regulations to operate their facilities in a safe and responsible manner.

When applying for a Kennel License in Michigan, it’s important to note that inspection fees must be paid along with the application before the inspection takes place. This ensures that the licensing authority has the necessary resources to conduct thorough inspections and enforce compliance with state regulations. These inspections are crucial in maintaining the well-being and health of the animals residing in the kennel, as they help identify any potential issues or areas for improvement.

Paying inspection fees along with the application prior to inspection is an integral part of the licensing process. Moreover, the funds generated contribute to important animal control programs and services statewide.


In conclusion, when it comes to boarding animals in Michigan, there’s no state license requirement specifically for this activity. Therefore, anyone looking to open a boarding facility should consult their local municipality to verify any specific licensing requirements that may be in place. By understanding and complying with these local regulations, individuals and businesses can ensure the safety and well-being of the animals they’re boarding while also operating within the legal framework established by their community.

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