Home boarding, day care, catteries and kennels

You will need an animal boarding licence if you:

  • board dogs in the day and/or overnight in your own home
  • provide day care for dogs between 7am and 7pm including commercial day care premises
  • board cats in a purpose-built cattery unit
  • board dogs in a purpose-built kennel

Star ratings

When you apply for a licence, we will inspect your premises and award you a star rating. Licences will be granted for either one, two or three years depending on the star rating awarded.

The rating is based on:

  • if you've run an animal boarding business before 
  • your knowledge of the animals in your care
  • if you meet the criteria set out in the legislation
  • your ability to demonstrate your practices and staff training

The inspector will look at the animals and their environment and refer to the licence guidance.

If you don't agree with your star rating you can submit a written appeal within 21 days of the rating being issued to the licensing authority and request a re-evaluation of the rating. You'll have to pay for any re-inspection.

If you are disputing your star rating we encourage you to discuss this informally with the inspecting officer first so that there is an opportunity to help explain to the business how the rating was worked out.

When the licence is approved we will let you know how many animals you can accommodate and any other specific conditions.  We may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.

Apply for a licence

To apply for a licence, contact us first to discuss your proposal and any fees payable. You will need to meet some criteria to apply.


trading standards