Animal boarding licences
An animal boarding establishment is a business that:
- Provides or arranges boarding for cats;
- Provides or arranges boarding in kennels for dogs;
- Provides or arranges home boarding for dogs; or
- Provides or arranges day care for dogs.
Whether you run the business in your own home or somewhere else, you will need a licence for it under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
Animal boarding licences are valid for one, two or three years based on a risk assessment. The more conditions you meet, the better chance you have of being granted a longer licence.
In order to secure an animal boarding licence, your business must meet the conditions in the legislation and the guidance set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA):
- General conditions (Schedule 2 of the legislation)
- Specific conditions for animal boarding (Schedule 4 of the legislation)
- DEFRA guidance notes
A Council officer or vet may inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and any time after the licence is granted. Some visits will be unannounced as required by the legislation.
The more conditions you meet, the better chance you have of being granted a longer licence.
Apply for an animal boarding licence
To apply for an animal boarding licence, please complete the following steps:
- Read the legislation
- Check the list of people who cannot apply for a licence (Schedule 8)
- Read the specific DEFRA guidance notes issued for your licence
- Check the licence fee using our fees table
- Fill out our Animal Licence application form online and pay
We will take the full payment when you apply. If your licence is not granted, part of your licence fee will be refunded to you.
Vary a licence
If you wish to vary your licence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org giving full details.
If you breach your animal boarding licence or run an animal boarding establishment without one, you could be fined.
If you stop or delay an inspection your licence can be taken away and you could be banned from running an establishment.
For more details, please read the legislation.
Complusory Microchipping Laws - Cats and Dogs
From 6 April 2016 it became compulsory for dog owners to ensure their dogs are microchipped; dogs must be fitted with a microchip and registered on a database by the age of 8 weeks old.
New laws coming into force on 10 June 2024, will require cats in England to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they reach 20 weeks old.
For more information Visit The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.