Overview

If you run a business which provides boarding or day care for other people's cats or dogs, you need a licence from the council under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

You will need a licence if you provide as part of your business:

  1. Boarding for cats
  2. Boarding in kennels for dogs
  3. Home boarding for dogs
  4. Day care for dogs

When is a licence needed?

  • Businesses which provide accommodation for other people's cats and dogs, where the provision of that accommodation is partly or solely the activity of the business
  • Businesses which arrange for the provision of accommodation for other people's cats and dogs, for example, businesses which connect pet owners with people willing to look after their animals for no fee (just minor expenses). The accommodation provided in these circumstances must meet the licence conditions, and it is the responsibility of the business to ensure that this is the case. As the licensing authority, we need to be satisfied that the conditions are met in all of the accommodation provided. The business must provide (and keep updated) a list of their associated premises. This applies to arranging for dog boarding in kennels, cat boarding, home boarding or dog day care
  • Businesses which provide overnight accommodation for cats in purpose built cattery units
  • Home boarding of cats, where the cats are kept in purpose built cattery units and not in the domestic home. Home boarding of cats within a domestic setting is not permitted
  • Businesses which provide overnight accommodation for dogs in a home environment. This must be inside a domestic home which is not the usual home where the animals are kept, and not in external kennel accommodation (where external kennel accommodation is used, this would fall under the scope of providing boarding in kennels for dogs)
  • Businesses which provide daytime accommodation for dogs away from the dog's normal place of residence and do not keep them overnight

Activities that don't need a licence

  • Businesses where accommodation is provided for other people's cats and dogs, but where the provision of that accommodation is not the purpose of that business, for example, veterinary practices where the accommodation provided is part of the treatment of the animal
  • Home boarding of cats in a domestic setting is not permitted
  • Businesses that look after the cat within its normal place of residence (such as cat sitters).
  • Businesses that look after the dog within its normal place of residence (such as dog sitters and dog walkers)

Display of the licence

New licence holders must display their licence number on any website they use and must clearly display their licence on their premises. Before choosing a provider ensure you see a licence number.  Please note old licence holders are not required to display their licence number until their new licence in January 2019.

Animal star rating scheme

The new licence is star rated to represent the welfare standards and level of risk. We recommend display of the star rating on any website but this is not a legal requirement.

Concerns

The council takes the welfare of animals very seriously and will investiage any complaints relating to un-licensed premises or where the conditions of the licence are not being met. We encourage everyone to report concerns to us.