Boarding of Cats and Dogs

If you provide boarding for cats and dogs you may need to be licensed for the activity, under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018. 

Do I Need A Licence?

You will need a licence if you are providing facilities to accommodate other peoples cats and dogs as part of a business:-

  • Home Boarding - providing overnight accommodation for dogs in a home environment.

  •  Day Care for Dogs - a business that provides daytime accommodation, and does not keep them overnight.

  •  Boarding for Cats and Dogs - Providing or arranging for the provision of accommodation for other people’s cats or dogs in the course of a business on any premises where the provision of that accommodation is a purpose of the business.

  • A business which provide overnight accommodation for cats in purpose built cattery units.

When do I not need a licence?

You will not need a licence if you are:-

  • A business providing accommodation for other peoples cats and dogs, where the provision of accommodation is not the purpose of the business e.g. veterinary practices where accommodation of part of the treatment.

  • Providing home boarding of cats in a domestic setting.
  • A business that looks after a dog or a cat within its normal place of residence e.g. dog or cat sitting.

How to apply

Read the Statutory Guidance and Conditions.

Complete and submit the application form, along with the relevant supporting documents and the application fee. Click here for fees.

If you wish to pay online - Click here to make payment and quote payment reference on the application.

We recommend you contact our Planning Department to determine whether a planning application is required.

Application Process

As part of the application process, an inspection will be carried out by one of our officers of the premises where the licensable activities will take place . This inspection will determine the star rating and the length of the licence.

The inspection looks at both the general conditions and the higher standards. Details on how risk rating are determined are available in the Procedural Guidance for Local Authorities.

All premises are inspected before a licence is granted, and the inspector will look at the following areas:-

  • Knowledge in the species that the applicant is caring for, and has a clear understanding of the animals needs and welfare.  This will include the animals physical and mental health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment.

  •  The applicant should have a comprehensive records showing information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activity.

  •  The officer will require to see the applicant has a good understanding of the risks involved in the care of the animals.  Extensive risk assessments, written policies and procedures, all which should be regularly reviewed will need to be shown during the inspection.

  • Training records and procedures that are in place.

  • Assessment of the premises will take place, to ensure they meet with the laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals are kept.

Business Support

We offer a range of business regulatory support services which may be of assistance.  These are available to help assist businesses to be more successful and compliant.

Premises with lower star ratings

A premise with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premise to avoid, as other factors are also taken into consideration, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating.  New businesses will be assessed at a slightly higher risk because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.


The Council may refuse to:-

  • grant or renew a licence, or

  • revoke or vary a licence

Any person who is aggrieved by a decision may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision.


Licence holders must submit renewal applications at least 12 weeks prior to the expiry of the licence.  This enables the application to be accessed, and inspections carried out, so the activity can continue to operate without a break.