Animal boarding establishments

To run a business to provide or arrange for the provision of boarding for cats (catteries), boarding for dogs (kennels), home boarding for dogs and dog day care, you need a licence from the council.  Please read the guidance notes on what will be required for the activity that you are providing, View the guidance notes for conditions for Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats (catteries), boarding for dogs (kennels), home boarding for dogs and dog day care and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018

Applicants eligibility criteria

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

A person who has at any time held a licence which was revoked under regulation:

  • 15 of these regulations
  • 17 of the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs)(Wales) Regulations 2014
  • 13 of the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012
  • 12 of the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010

A person who is disqualified under:

  • section 33 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011
  • section 34 of the Act
  • section 40(1) and (2) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006
  • section 4(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
  • Article 33A of the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983
  • section 6(2) of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
  • section 3(3) of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 from keeping a breeding establishment for dogs
  • section 4(3) of the Riding Establishments Act 1964 from keeping a riding establishment
  • section 3(3) of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 from keeping a boarding establishment for animals
  • section 5(3) of the Pet Animals Act 1951 from keeping a pet shop
  • section 1(1) of the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954 from having custody of an animal
  • section 4(2) of the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
  • section 3 of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 from the ownership of an animal.

How to apply

It is recommended that applicants check that they have the correct permissions to use their property or premises for the business applied for. For example, there are restrictions on running businesses in domestic council properties and private dwellings. It is important to do this before making an application as the application fee is not refundable.

Application fees

To apply for a licence for providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats (catteries), boarding for dogs (kennels), home boarding for dogs and dog day care, applicants must complete and submit an application form accompanied by the appropriate fee.

How to pay fees

Pay with a credit/debit card over the phone once you have what needs to be put.

View the current fees

How to apply

Please complete the animal activity licensing form (New Application, Renewal Application and Variation Application for a Licence) that is relevant to your business and return all forms by email to


All premises will be inspected before a licence is granted by an authorised council officer.  The premises will be assessed to ensure that the applicant can meet the licence conditions.  The inspection also assesses the applicant and the premises for a risk star rating (of 1 to 5 stars) which determines the duration of the licence to be granted for either a period of 1, 2 or 3 years.

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

  1. Records as required by the licence conditions, use number and type of animals kept in relation to the licensable activity, requirement for competent staff, the animals will be kept in a suitable environment at all times, suitable animal diets shall be provided, monitoring of behavior and training of animals, animal handling and interactions, protection of animals from pain, suffering, injury and disease and emergencies.
  2. All records that are required by the license conditions are available at any time for inspection by an inspector in a visible and legible form or, where any such records are stored in electronic form, in a form from which they can readily be produced in a visible and legible form. The records must be kept for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
  3. Suitable environment takes into account all areas, equipment and appliances and transportation to which the animals have access. All areas must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained. Suitable temporary accommodation must be provided for all the animals at any venue where they are exhibited.
  4. Suitable diet takes into account the provision of a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency, provision of feed and drinking water must be provided un-spoilt and free from contamination.
  5. Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease takes into account written procedures that must be in place and implemented covering feeding regimes, cleaning regimes, transportation, the prevention of and control of the spread of disease, monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals and the death or escape of an animal and the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency.
  6. Emergencies take into account a written plan acceptable to the local authority, which must be in place known and available to all staff on the premises to be used for the licensable activity, and followed where necessary to ensure appropriate steps are taken to protect all the people and animals on the premises in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies.

Tacit consent

Tacit Consent does not apply in respect of this type of application.  It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within 28 days, please contact the Licensing Section on telephone number 0208 825 6655 or alternatively email  

Appeals: Failed application and licence holder redress

Please contact the council by telephone 020 8825 6655 or email

If you have been refused a licence you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal in the General Regulatory Chamber. Appeals must be made within 28 days.

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 of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

For more advice and information please contact us by email at