Skip to content

Please visit our Coronavirus Information page for service updates & advice:

Community Hub - If you are vulnerable and need support click here:

Volunteering - If you want to volunteer or are a volunteering organisation click here:

Need to contact us? Do it online:

Licence - Boarding Animals

An animal boarding establishment is one which carries on a business of providing accommodation for other people's animals. This can include private homes. All premises must satisfy basic standards relating to the health, welfare and safety of the animals boarded.

Licenses to board cats and dogs are issued under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

Applications can be made using the following form:

Animal Welfare Boarding Application form (Unknown File Type, 48.5 Kb)

Where appropriate, we will arrange for the premises to be inspected to ensure accommodation is suitable for the welfare of animals and complies with the Guidance notes for the conditions of boarding under the legislation.

The licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee and is renewable upto 3 years dependent on the scoring matrix undertaken during the inspection to award 1 to 5 Stars for the establishment.

Online application

Licence summary

To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment,
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951,
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954,
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006,
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose.

Regulation summary

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence.

Application evaluation process

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated:-

  • That the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. Suitable accommodation takes into account the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions,
  • That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly,
  • That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place,
  • That adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies,
  • That a register is kept. The register should contain a description of all animals received, their arrival and departure date and the name and address of the owner. The register should be available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

Apply online

Apply to run an animal boarding establishment.

Tell us about a change to your existing circumstances.

Renew your licence to run an animal boarding licence.

Failed application redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court or in Scotland, to their local sheriff.

Licence holder redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court or in Scotland, to their local sheriff.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the United Kingdom (UK), Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre

Other redress

For example, about noise, pollution and so on. Also should one licence holder complain about another.

Trade associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Share this page:

Last updated:

Back to top