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Animal boarding licence

An animal boarding establishment is a business that provides accommodation for other people's dogs or cats.

The animal boarding establishment licence needs to be renewed every year.


We may inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and any time after your licence is granted.

Conditions will be attached to your licence relating to:

  • suitability of accommodation
  • providing adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regular exercise
  • safeguarding in an emergency
  • protection from infectious disease - including providing isolation facilities.

Record keeping

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

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


You will not be given a licence if you've been banned from operating a pet shop, or convicted of any other animal welfare offences.

How to apply

You can apply and pay online. The current fee is £260 (a combined dog breeding and animal boarding licence is available at a cost of £312, contact us for more details). In addition to the licence fee we recover our vets charges from you where a veterinary inspection is necessary to grant the licence. If you are unable to apply online please contact us and we will send you an application form.

The licence expires on 31 December in the year that the application is made. A licence holder must ensure that the licence is renewed by 1 January annually if they wish to continue trading.

Fines and penalties

If you don't obtain a licence before breeding or rearing dogs for sale or fail to comply with any licensing conditions or requirements surrounding the sale of dogs, you are guilty of an offence and could be imprisoned for up to three months and/or fined up to £2,500.

Government review of animal establishments licensing

In 2016 the Government consulted on changes to the legislation detailed on this page. No changes have taken effect however the Government has published plans on their website.

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