You'll need an animal boarding licence to run a business providing accommodation for other people's dogs or cats. 

You’ll need to show that the animals you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • safeguarded in an emergency
  • protected from infectious disease – this includes providing isolation facilities

Record keeping:

You need to keep a register available for inspection by a vet or council officer, containing:

  • a description of all the animals you’ve kept
  • their arrival and departure dates
  • the name and address of their owners

The number of dogs and cats that you can keep will be printed on your licence along with other conditions.


You won't be given a licence if you’ve committed any animal health or welfare offences, or if you’ve been banned from:

  • running a riding establishment
  • running a pet shop
  • keeping animals, including in a boarding kennel or cattery

There are two types of animal boarding licences:

Animal boarding establishment licence

This licence is needed to run a traditional kennel or cattery.

Home boarding establishment licence

This licence is needed if you are running a business looking after a small number of other people's animals in your own home.

  • How to apply

    If you want to get a licence to run this type of business you will need to apply for a home boarding establishment licence.
  • Inspections

    Before you get a licence your premises will be inspected by our animal warden.

    After the inspection we might attach conditions to your licence. We will discuss this with you before doing so.

  • Renewal

    You will need to apply to renew a home boarding establishment licence each year if you want to continue running the business. 


Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963


If you have an issue with a licensed premises for animals there are different people you can contact depending on the problem.

Public register

If you would like to view our public register for animal boarding licences please contact us.

Trade associations

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Pet Care Trust (PCT)