Dog or cat boarding and day care licence

Activities that require a licence

A licence is required for:

  • businesses which provide accommodation for other people’s cats and dogs, where the provision of that accommodation is part or solely the activity of the business
  • businesses which arrange for the provision of accommodation for other people’s cat and dogs, for example, businesses which connect pet owners with people willing to look after their animals for no fee (just minor expenses). The accommodation provided in these circumstances must meet the conditions in Schedules 2 and 4, and it is the responsibility of the business to ensure that this is the case. The local authority needs to be satisfied that the conditions are met in all of the accommodation provided. The business must provide (and keep updated) a list of their associated premises. This applies regardless of whether the business is arranging for dog boarding in kennels, cat boarding, home boarding or dog day care
  • businesses which provide accommodation for dogs in a home environment (both for day care and overnight accommodation). This must be inside a domestic home which is not the usual home where the animals are kept, and not in external kennel accommodation (where external kennel accommodation is used, this would fall under the scope of providing boarding in kennels for dogs)

There is further guidance that we must consider, when determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business. This includes:

  • whether the operator makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit
  • whether the operator earns any commission or fee from the activity

There is also government advice that anyone with a trading income of less than £1,000 should not be considered to be operating a business.