Home boarding for dogs licensing: statutory guidance for local authorities - GOV.UK

2022-04-24 07:32:59 By : Ms. Jane Chan

We use some essential cookies to make this website work.

We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use GOV.UK, remember your settings and improve government services.

We also use cookies set by other sites to help us deliver content from their services.

You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Search for a department and find out what the government is doing

Departments, agencies and public bodies

News stories, speeches, letters and notices

Detailed guidance, regulations and rules

Reports, analysis and official statistics

Data, Freedom of Information releases and corporate reports

This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gov.uk.

Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.

This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-activities-licensing-guidance-for-local-authorities/home-boarding-for-dogs-licensing-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities

This guidance is for local authority inspectors in England. You should read it alongside the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

To decide if an activity is covered by the regulations and needs a licence to operate, you should consider all of the following guidance.

All dog home boarding activities need a licence if they’re carried out as a commercial business.

To decide if an activity is a business and will need a licence, consider if the operator:

You should also consider HMRC’s 9 badges of trade.

If someone has a trading income below the HMRC trading income allowance, they do not require a licence for their activities.

If someone has a trading income above the HMRC trading income allowance, they do not automatically qualify as a business.

To be in scope, they must provide housing for other people’s dogs at home for day and overnight stays (home boarding).

This must be inside a domestic home which is not:

It does not include keeping a dog under a condition of the Animal Health Act 1981.

Businesses which arrange for the provision of accommodation for other people’s dogs will also be in scope. This includes franchises and businesses which connect pet owners with people willing to look after their animals for no fee.

The accommodation provided in these circumstances must meet the conditions in Schedule 2 and 4. 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.

Contact the Local Government Animal Welfare Group for non-statutory guidance on franchisee and arranger model licensing.

Every business must keep an up-to-date list of all their premises where they carry out activities covered by the LAIA 2018 regulations.

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria do not require a licence:

It is expected that all businesses will meet and maintain minimum standards. If on a renewal inspection you identify minor failings that do not compromise welfare standards, follow the risk-based approach to renewing a licence.

To grant a new animal activities licence for home boarding dogs, you must check that businesses meet all of the minimum standards in this guidance.

Businesses that meet the higher standard will get a 4 or 5 star rating in the animals activity star rating system.

Higher standards are required or optional.

To qualify as meeting the higher standards, the business needs to achieve all of the required higher standards as well as a minimum of 50% of the optional higher standards.

If a business meets the higher standards, they will qualify for a longer licence that is valid for 2 or 3 years rather than one year. This lowers the cost of the licence.

See Animal activity licensing process: statutory guidance for local authorities for an explanation of the animal activity star rating system and how it incorporates a risk assessment of the business.

Paragraph numbers relate to the conditions in the schedules of the regulations.

1.1 A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.

The licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as, the entrance or reception area.

The licence holder must provide a list of their associated premises.

Details of any changes to the list of associated premises must be reported to the local authority within 30 days of the change.

1.2 The name of the licence holder followed by the number of the licence holder’s licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.

2.1 The licence holder must ensure that at any time all the records that the licence holder is required to keep as a condition of the licence are available 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.

2.2 The licence holder must keep all such records for at least 3 years beginning with the date on which the record was created.

Electronic records must be backed up.

3.1 No animals or types of animal other than those animals and types of animal specified in the licence may be used in relation to the relevant licensable activity.

This licence applies only to providing home boarding for dogs. If you are concerned about the welfare of other animals then you should inform the relevant person in the local authority, the police or a relevant animal welfare organisation.

3.2 The number of animals kept for the activity at any time must not exceed the maximum that is reasonable taking into account the facilities and staffing on any premises used for the licensable activity.

The licence must state the maximum number of dogs that can be home boarded at the premises. Undeclared numbers are a breach of the licence, especially if they’re not reflected in increased staffing levels.

Each dog from the same family unit must have access to a room where it can sleep, go to hide, and be kept separate from other dogs. This is especially important when the proprietor is absent. Rooms must be high enough for a human adult to stand in.

Dogs must not be home boarded in:

Hallways and bathrooms can be used as designated rooms as long as the other conditions in this guidance can be met, such as space requirements, temperature and ventilation.

If a barrier is used to divide a designated room, this can be used as multiple spaces as long as each space meets the conditions in this guidance.

Each divided space must have a floor area of at least 6 square metres.

Other dogs in the household should be considered as part of the number of dogs that can be reasonably cared for under a home boarding licence.

Bathrooms, hallways and partitioned rooms are not used as designated rooms.

4.1 Sufficient numbers of people who are competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met.

Staffing levels must ensure that each dog’s individual welfare needs can be fully met when home boarded. Animal welfare requirements must not be compromised by a lack of staff.

There must be at least one competent person to help with care and supervision if the licence holder is absent for an extended period.

Each member of staff should have 10 dogs or less to care for.

4.2 The licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring and to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour.

Staff must be trained in:

There must be a record of all staff training.

Where no accredited training course exists for an activity, other evidence of training must be provided, such as industry generated courses.

Staff who have taken an Ofqual regulated qualification must show that they have progressed with their study in a 12 month period, and must complete the qualification within 2 years.

4.3 The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.

The training policy must be reviewed and updated annually, and must include:

This applies to all staff including the licence holder.

Staff participation can be shown by:

Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided.

There must be at least one full-time member of staff per 8 dogs.

There must be a member of permanent, full-time staff with an appropriate Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification.

5.1 All areas, equipment and appliances that animals can access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape.

They must be constructed in materials that are:

The home must be well maintained and in good repair. Internal doors should open inwards to avoid dogs getting out and opening onto people. Where this is not possible, a safety procedure must be in place.

Each designated home boarding room must have a latch-closing, full height door for access and security. Any glass in the door must be safety glass. The doors must be shut at night.

Electrical sockets and appliances must be safe and secure.

All interior surfaces that dogs can access must be cleaned regularly and kept in good repair. Wherever possible, interior surfaces must be smooth, waterproof and washable. Floors must be non-slip.

There must be no standing water from cleaning, or urine on floors.

There must be no sharp or rough edges, projections, or other hazards, such as chemicals and loose cables in areas where dogs could get hurt.

Doors, gates and windows to the outside must be secure, lockable and robust to avoid dogs escaping, damaging them or getting hurt.

Anyone caring for the dogs must have access to keys and any key codes in case of emergency.

Drains must always be clear and fluids run directly into them. Drain covers should be safe so they do not trap paws or claws.

Outdoor fencing should be strong and rigid. A dog must not be able to dig under it. Any wire mesh must be at least 2 millimetres thick (British Standard 14 gauge welded mesh). The mesh size must be less than 50 millimetres by 75 millimetres.

Any wood must be good quality and well maintained. It should be smooth and sealed to make it waterproof.

Damaged wood must be over-clad or sealed.

Any outdoor timber that dogs may come into contact with must be treated against rot with non-toxic products, such as fence posts.

5.2 Animals must be kept at all times in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) with respect to:

(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature

(c) the water quality (where relevant)

Dogs must not be kept in areas where the temperature may cause them distress. Sleeping conditions should be between 10°C and 26°C.

Dogs must be checked to see if they are too hot or too cold. If a dog is showing signs of discomfort, steps must be taken for its welfare. A dog must be able to move away from a direct source of heat.

Inside areas must be well ventilated to avoid excess humidity and be draught-free.

Heaters and electrical equipment must not be placed where they could burn, electrocute or give an electric shock to a dog or human. They must not be placed where they can start a fire. Open fires and wood burners must have fire guards in place.

Dogs must not be exposed to excessive noise.

5.3 Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable.

There must be sufficient clean resting places to provide comfort and warmth for every dog.

Dogs should have a grooming and health check regime agreed with the owner, such as wiping weepy eyes or avoiding long fur from matting. Attention must be paid to the dog’s coat, teeth, ears and nails, and a check for parasites.

5.4 Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.

Dogs must have regular opportunities during the day for toileting in an outside secure area or as part of its exercise. Each dog’s individual needs should be taken into account.

5.5 Procedures must be in place to make sure housing and any equipment is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The housing must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Designated rooms must be inspected at least once a day and kept clean, in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Dogs must be moved from the area while it is being cleaned.

Faeces must be removed from all areas at least twice a day, but as often as necessary.

Where a pest problem is identified, a control programme must be implemented.

5.6 The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (including for example in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The licence holder must demonstrate that a suitable vehicle is available to transport the dogs. It does not have to be owned by the licence holder. Transport must comply with any existing legal requirements.

During transport, dogs must be restrained using a dog crate, transport harness or dog guard. Dog crates need to be large enough so that the dog can stand, lie down and turn around freely inside. Crates must be well ventilated and firmly secured. Dogs should be out of direct sunlight and away from heating vents.

Vehicles must be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

Dogs must not be left in vehicles for unreasonable periods. They must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle where the temperature may risk the comfort and safety of the dog. The driver must think about whether it is necessary to transport dogs when the temperature poses a risk to the health of the dog.

Journeys must include sufficient breaks for water, food and toileting.

If the business includes a collection and delivery service, dogs must be on a lead outside the vehicle to stop them escaping.

Dogs must be transported to vet facilities in an appropriate manner for their condition and without further suffering. Vet advice on the condition of the animal and suitability for transport should be sought before transport.

5.7 All the animals must be easily accessible to staff and for inspection. There must be sufficient light for the staff to work effectively and observe the animals.

There must be good light in all areas of the facility where the dogs can go. Where practicable this must be natural light, but artificial light must be available. Where artificial lights are used, there must be 10 to 12 hours of it daily.

Lights must be turned off at night to provide a period of darkness.

5.8 All resources must be provided in such a way (for example, as regards frequency, location, access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animals.

In a communal area, there must be multiple resources such as:

The number of each item provided should be at least the same as the number of dogs in any communal area.

Dogs must be monitored carefully especially at feeding times.

5.9 The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period of time that is likely to cause them distress.

Dogs must have human company. They must not be routinely left alone for more than 3 hours in a 24 hour period, or shorter intervals as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of an individual dog. All dogs should be observed by trained and competent staff.

Ventilation must be a managed, fixed or portable, air system to maintain temperatures in all weathers. This can be an air conditioning unit or removable fans installed safely away from animals.

There must be a designated other person or member of staff who can cover any emergency, so that the dogs are never left alone.

6.1 The animals must be provided with a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency. Any new feeds must be introduced gradually to allow the animals to adjust to them.

Adult dogs must be fed at least once per day according to the individual dog’s needs. Their diet must be discussed and agreed with the owner.

If there are concerns about a dog’s diet the owners must be informed and veterinary advice sought.

Dogs must be separated at feeding time unless the owner has allowed this by written consent.

6.2 Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.

Dogs must be monitored and if they refuse to eat for longer than 24 hours, veterinary advice must be sought.

The amount of water a dog drinks must be checked. The owner must be told if the dog is drinking too much or not enough.

The general condition of all long stay dogs must be monitored and dogs displaying significant weight loss or gain, must be checked by a vet and treated as necessary.

The facility must follow veterinary advice when feeding debilitated, underweight or ill dogs, or those with specific diets.

6.3 Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoiled and free from contamination.

Food bowls should be emptied and cleaned following feeding so that food, particularly wet food, is not left out until the next feeding time.

The facility must have fridges available to store dog food. Food must be stored away from vermin and in cool and dry places.

6.4 Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.

The equipment used to serve food or drink to the dogs must be:

6.5 Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.

Dogs must have fresh, clean drinking water daily. The container must be clean and changed or refreshed as often as necessary.

There must be multiple water bowls. All dogs must have easy access to water.

6.6 Where feed is prepared at the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.

There must be a separate hand wash basin with hot and cold water for staff to wash their hands. This needs to be connected to a drainage system.

Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must also be available.

The food preparation area must be kept clean and free from vermin at all times.

Bowls or similar containers for a dog’s food and drink must not be used for any other purpose.

7.1 Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and any outside environments.

A facility must create a written programme that shows how they provide an enriching environment inside and outside. This must be agreed with the owner.

The programme will show how the facility will provide:

All dogs must receive appropriate toys or feeding enrichment (or both) unless veterinary advice suggests otherwise.

Toys must be checked daily to ensure they stay safe and must not be left with dogs when staff are not on the premises.

Competition between dogs must be avoided.

7.2 For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animal’s physical and mental health must be provided unless advice from a vet suggests otherwise.

Dogs must have at least one walk per day. Consideration must be given to life stage, physical and mental health and owner’s preference when planning daily exercise.

A dog walker may walk no more than 6 dogs at the same time. The owner must consent to their dog being walked with others. Dogs must be familiarised with each other beforehand.

Dogs that cannot be exercised must be given other forms of mental stimulation.

Outdoor areas must not be used by more than one dog at any one time, unless they are from the same household, or the owner has allowed this by written consent.

The outdoor area must be cleared of all hazards after each use. Faeces must be picked up between dogs using an area.

Where artificial turf is used, it must be kept in good repair and a dog must not be able to eat it.

Dogs must not be able to get to the bins. The outdoor or garden area of the facility and any other areas that the dogs can access must be secure and safe.

Dogs must not have unsupervised access to ponds, pools, wells and any other features that might pose a risk.

7.3 The animals’ behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a vet or, in the case of fish, any person competent to give such advice if adverse or unusual behaviour is detected.

All staff must be able to spot unusual behaviour, and in particular dogs that are anxious or frightened of contact.

The behaviour of each dog must be monitored every day. Changes of behaviour must be recorded and the owner must be told if there are signs of:

If a dog is showing signs of nerves, stress or fear, or is likely to, they should be taken somewhere suitable within the facility.

The staff should pay particular attention to dogs that are:

7.4 Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.

Training must be reward-based that rewards good behaviour and ignores unwanted behaviour.

7.5 All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:

(a) learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare

(b) become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment

There must be written procedures in place for dogs that are under one year of age.

There must be a clear plan setting out 2 walks per dog each day for a minimum of 20 minutes each. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs that cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time.

Any outside space will have 2 secure physical barriers between any dog and any exit.

8.1 All people responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling of each animal to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

Dogs must always be handled humanely and in a way that is suitable for their individual needs. This is to minimise fear, stress, pain or distress. Dogs must never be punished so that they become frightened or display agitated behaviour.

Anyone caring for home boarded dogs, including anyone in the household over the age of 16 must be competent to handle them correctly. They must be able to recognise and deal with undesirable behaviours.

8.2 The animals must be kept separately or in suitable compatible social groups appropriate to the species and individual animals. No animals from a social species may be isolated or separated from others of their species for any longer than is necessary.

A policy must be in place to monitor new dogs coming into the home boarding environment.

It must be possible to keep new dogs at the facility away from other dogs if it is required. The inspector must be shown how this is done.

It is not recommended that cats are kept on the premises. If there are resident cats, the licence holder must identify where the cats could experience stress, and show how they plan to reduce the chance of stress to protect the cat’s welfare.

Small pets must be kept separate from home boarding dogs. For example, in an area or room which the dog cannot access. Animals kept in the garden or outdoor exercise area (such as rabbits and guinea pigs) must be able to be kept separate and away from boarding dogs. The licence holder must show that the welfare needs of small pets are being met.

8.3 The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.

Animals should be encouraged, but never be forced to interact with people.

(a) be in place and implemented covering

(iv) the prevention of, and control of the spread of, disease

(v) monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals

(vi) the death or escape of an animal (including the storage of carcasses)

(b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency

The procedures must show how the facility will meet these conditions.

9.2 All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures.

9.3 Appropriate isolation, in separate self-contained facilities, must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.

The licence holder must be observant and watch for any signs of illness when receiving a new dog at the premises. An animal showing any signs of illness must not be accepted for boarding until it has recovered. The owner must be told as soon as possible if any illness develops while the dog is home boarding.

The facility must be able to isolate sick or injured dogs, or those that might be carrying serious infectious diseases.

If the isolation facility is at another location, such as a local veterinary practice, the licence holder must be able to show evidence that this is ready to use (for example, a letter from the practice).

All staff must understand the procedures to prevent the spread of infectious disease between infected animals and the other dogs.

If infectious disease is present on the whole premises:

Dogs showing signs of infectious disease must not be allowed in any shared outside exercise area.

Protective clothing and footwear must be worn when handling dogs in the isolation facility, and correct sanitation rules must be followed. Separate feeding and water bowls, bedding and cleaning utensils must be stored in the isolation facility ready for immediate use.

Staff must check on dogs in isolation at least as often as other dogs. Unless a separate person is looking after them, dogs in isolation must be checked after all other dogs.

9.4 All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread among animals and people of infectious disease, pathogens and parasites.

An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to show that dogs, including resident dogs, have current vaccinations against:

Vaccination against other diseases such as kennel cough (bordetella bronchiseptica or canine parainfluenza virus) may be required.

A vet certificate of a recent protective titre test may be accepted instead of a booster vaccination. The certificate must state that it is valid for the current period. It is up to the licence holder whether to accept such a certificate.

Primary vaccination courses must be completed at least 2 weeks before acceptance into boarding.

Vaccines used must be licensed for use in the UK. Homeopathic vaccination is not acceptable.

If there is evidence of external parasites such as fleas, ticks or lice, the dog must be treated with an appropriate product authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and licensed for use in the UK. Treatment must be discussed with a vet before giving it to the dog. The owner must consent to this.

9.5 All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.

Dog waste and soiled bedding must be put in a clearly marked bin. This must be emptied either daily or when full, whichever is sooner. Dog waste must be removed in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

All dog waste must be stored away from areas where animals or food are kept.

9.6 Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a vet or, in the case of fish, an appropriately competent person and the advice of that vet or, in the case of fish, that competent person must be followed.

If the facility’s trained first aider suspects that a dog is ill or injured, a vet must be contacted immediately. Any instructions for treatment must be recorded. If there is an ongoing concern, the facility must seek veterinary advice.

9.7 Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person.

Any treatment must have consent of the owner and direction from a vet.

9.8 The licence holder must register with a vet with an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence and the contact details of that vet must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The vet’s details must be displayed where they can be easily seen by all staff members.

The dog owner and licence holder must agree which vet will be used. This decision must be recorded.

9.9 Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely to safeguard against unauthorised access, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the vet.

All courses of treatment must be completed following the vet’s instructions.

Unused medications must be returned to the owner or prescribing vet.

Medicines must be stored in a fridge at the correct temperature, where needed.

9.10 Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or vet.

Medicine must only be used:

9.11 Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals. They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering of the animals.

Cleaning and disinfection products must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Disinfectant products must kill viruses as well as bacteria. Those using cleaning products must be competent in the safe use of detergents and fluids. Cleaning products must be kept entirely out of the reach of animals.

Standing water must not be allowed to accumulate. This is to avoid pathogens that live in moist environments.

Grooming equipment must be kept clean and in good repair. If provided by the owner, it must only be used on their dog and must be sent home with the dog.

Toys must be cleaned and disinfected after play or disposed of. If provided by the owner they must be sent home with the dog.

Any equipment that has been used on an infectious or suspected infectious animal must be cleaned and disinfected after use, or be disposed of.

9.12 No person may euthanise an animal except a vet or a person who has been authorised by a vet as competent for such purpose or:

(a) in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose

(b) in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose

(c) a person who has been authorised by a vet as competent for such purpose

Only a vet may euthanise a dog. The licence holder must keep a record of all euthanasia, and the identity of the qualified vet that carried it out. The owner or designated main point of contact must be contacted to give consent. Unless essential for the welfare of the dog, euthanasia must not take place without consent.

9.13 All animals must be checked at least once daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently.

9.14 Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a vet (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed.

Records and any checklists must be made available to inspectors.

Presence or absence of faeces and urine must be monitored daily. Anything unusual must be recorded and acted upon.

10.1 A written emergency plan, acceptable to the local authority, must be in place, known and available to all the people on the premises 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.

Entrances and fire exits must be clear of obstructions at all times.

Suitable firefighting, prevention and detection equipment must be provided and maintained in good working order. All buildings must have at least one working smoke detector (or other suitable fire detection system) installed in a suitable location on each separate level or floor of the property. There must be at least one carbon monoxide detector.

A first aid kit suitable for treatment of dogs must be kept on site.

There must be a plan to house the dogs should the premises become uninhabitable.

There must be a written policy in place for dealing with emergencies, including extremes of hot and cold temperatures and abnormal weather conditions.

All electrical installations must be installed by a qualified person and maintained in a safe condition. They should be placed where they do not present a risk.

All equipment must be maintained, kept in good repair and serviced according to manufacturer’s guidelines.

10.2 The plan must include details of the emergency measures to be taken for the extrication of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable and an emergency telephone list that includes the fire service and police.

10.3 External doors and gates must be lockable.

10.4 A designated key holder with access to all animal areas must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.

There must be a designated person available for emergencies.

A reasonable travel distance would, in normal conditions, be 30 minutes or less.

12.1 Dogs must be accommodated within the home.

Dogs must not be boarded in outside buildings, cages or runs.

The home must have its own entrance.

In the home environment, the housing provided covers 2 areas:

(a) direct access to a private, non-communal, secure and hazard-free external area

(b) at least 2 secure physical barriers between any dog and any entrance to or exit from it

The private, non-communal space cannot include a balcony.

There must be a barrier to stop dogs having access to any area outside the licence holders non communal area.

If a door or gate has a mechanism that prevents opening unexpectedly from the outside (chain or bolt) then it does not require a double barrier.

13.1 Dogs from different households may only be boarded at the same time with the written consent of every owner.

There must be a documented trial session for dogs to familiarise with each other before they home board. This includes familiarisation with resident dogs at the property.

13.2 Each dog or dogs from the same household must be provided with its own designated room, where it can be kept separate from other dogs

Once dogs are familiar with each other they may want to be together and need not be shut in their own room alone.

Dogs from the same household can be kept together with written consent from the owner.

13.3 Each dog must have a clean, comfortable and warm area within its designated room where it can rest and sleep.

The sleeping area must provide a clean, comfortable and warm resting place that’s away from any draughts.

The sleeping space must allow the dog to be able to sit and stand at full height, stretch, wag its tail and to walk and turn around without touching the sides. The available and clear floor area must be a minimum of twice that required for the dog to lay out flat.

All beds and bedding areas must be kept clean, dry and free of parasites.

Unless instructed otherwise by the dog’s owner, soft bedding materials must be provided and adapted if necessary for old, young or infirm dogs to help regulate their body temperature. If a dog chews or destroys its bedding, it must be replaced with an alternative.

Bedding must be made of a material that is easy to wash and disinfect, or is disposable. Bedding must be changed, cleaned and disinfected between dogs.

13.4 Each designated room must have a secure window to the outside that can be opened and closed as necessary.

A device that restricts how wide a window can open must be used as necessary to prevent access and escape.

13.5 A dog must not be confined in a crate for longer than 3 hours in any 24-hour period.

13.6 A dog must not be kept in a crate unless:

(a) it is already habituated to it

(b) a crate forms part of the normal routine for the dog

(c) the dog’s owner has consented to the use of a crate

If a crate is used, it must be of a suitable size and construction.

Some dogs may choose to sleep in their crate during the day and overnight. The crate door must be left open to allow the dog to choose where it sleeps.

13.7 Any crate in which a dog is kept must be in good condition and sufficiently large for the dog to sit and stand in it at full-height, lie flat and turn around.

For a boarding premises that keeps multiple dogs at once, there must be an overnight trial stay for all stays longer than 3 nights. Only one dog can be trialled at a time unless the dogs are from the same household.

Only dogs from the same household are boarded at any one time.

14.1 Each dog must be fed separately in its designated room unless its owner has given written consent to the contrary.

15.1 Any equipment that a dog is likely to be in contact with and any toy provided must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease or distress to the dog and must be correctly used.

Items such as leads must be removed when the dog is in the home.

A dog’s items and toys must be identified and recorded as such.

Toys must be suitable for the dogs, and checked regularly to ensure they are in good condition and safe.

15.2 Each dog must be exercised at least once daily as appropriate for its age and health.

The owner’s written consent must be obtained to:

No more than 6 dogs can be walked at the same time.

15.3 Dogs which on the advice of a vet cannot be exercised must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.

This can include activities such as:

This must take place at least twice a day.

Dogs must be exercised at least twice per day. Each dog must have a written daily exercise regime including lead exercise and free running in a secure area. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time.

16.1 Written consent must be obtained from the owner or owners (as the case may be) to keep dogs together in a designated room.

Each dog (or dogs from the same household) must still be allocated a designated room.

The licence holder must be able to separate dogs into different rooms should the need arise.

16.2 Unneutered bitches must be prevented from mating.

Bitches that are in season must not be accepted for boarding with dogs from other households.

Entire males must not be on the premises if an in-season bitch is boarded.

16.3 If any person aged under 16 years resides at the home, there must be procedures in place to regulate the interactions between the dogs and that person.

If children live on the premises, there must be a procedure in place to safeguard them and the dogs.

The licence holder must make an assessment of the risks of home boarding. This will include the risk to, or potentially caused by children who are likely to be at the property.

17.1 A register must be kept of all the dogs at the premises which must include:

(a) the dates of each dog’s arrival and departure

(b) each dog’s name, age, sex, neuter status, microchip number and a description of it or its breed

(c) the number of any dogs from the same household

(d) a record of which dogs (if any) are from the same household

(e) the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of the owner of each dog and emergency contact details

(f) in relation to each dog, the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of a local contact in an emergency

(g) the name and contact details of the dog’s normal vet and details of any insurance relating to the dog

(h) details of each dog’s relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and restrictions on exercise

(i) details of the dog’s diet and related requirements

(k) a record of the date or dates of each dog’s most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments

(l) details of any medical treatment each dog is receiving

17.2 When outside the premises, each dog must wear an identity tag which includes the licence holder’s name and contact details.

18.1 Before a dog is admitted for boarding, all equipment to be used by or in relation to that dog must be cleaned and disinfected.

18.2 A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the vet with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implemented.

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.

To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.