Dog boarding licence
You would like to start pet sitting? Or maybe you have decided to start your own dog boarding business? That’s a great idea! Maybe you are already all set up to welcome pets into your home, but you are wondering if it’s actually as easy as it sounds. Are there legal requirements for dog boarding? Learn about when and why you need a licence for dog boarding in the UK right here!
Animal Boarding Establishment Licence
In general, a licence is needed for when you offer dog boarding in the UK as long as the service takes place in your home or in a place you own (or rent). Even if you are just looking after a single dog and in your own house, a license is required. If you board animals without a valid Animal Boarding Establishment Licence, fines up to £500 and prison sentences for up to 3 months can be handed to you.
What you need
Make sure you are truly ready and all set up to welcome dogs into your home or newly founded establishment. If you haven’t researched the requirements for dog boarding in your city or neighbourhood yet, this is the time to do so. Once you apply for a licence, you might be asked for pictures so make sure to document where you will be boarding the dogs.
How to apply
To get a dog boarding licence in the UK, you have to contact your council to and prove that you meet all the necessary requirements. Once you have contacted the council, they will get in touch with you and ask for proof that you meet the necessary conditions. It’s possible that they will ask to visit the premises where you plan to board the dogs in your care.
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First and foremost, you must prove that the animals you will be looking after are kept in suitable accommodations. Other conditions include adequate food, drink and bedding, regular exercise, adequate safeguarding in emergencies and protection from infectious disease. To get a full overview, visit your council’s website or call them to send you a checklist. Also, keep in mind that the licence will have to be renewed every year and that the conditions must be upheld at all times.
This is especially important if you want to renew your licence. Every dog boarding facility is required to keep a register about all the animals that have been in their care, their arrival and departure dates and the names and addresses of the owners. It is, therefore, crucial to keep records and only accept dogs from owners who provide this information.
Your council can decide to run inspections by a vet or a council-approved officer. If you purposefully delay or prevent such an inspection, you might not be granted a licence and fined.
The fee for a dog boarding licence can vary depending on the local council and the only way to find out for sure what it will cost you, is to contact them. However, on average dog boarding licence fees can range from £70 - £100 a year. If you want to board other animals besides dogs, this might be more expensive. On top of the costs for the license, you should also consider the costs for dog boarding insurance.
Working with animals and boarding dogs can be a fulfilling and amazing job. It’s all the more important, therefore, to make sure that you get started the right way. If you have questions or are not sure about your council’s specific requirements, visit their website or contact them.