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Animal boarding establishment

If you are going to provide or arrange for the provision of accommodation for other people‚Äôs cats or dogs as a business, you will need an animal activity licence. This is true for any premises. The Council issues all animal activity licences.

There are four types of accommodation that are licensable. These are:

  • providing boarding for cats
  • providing boarding in kennels for dogs
  • providing home boarding for dogs 
  • providing day care for dogs.

Applications cannot be made by any individual who:

  • is subject to a specific disqualification or
  • has had certain licences revoked in the past

Please refer to the regulations and statutory guidance. These provide more detailed information on the requirements that will apply. They also detail whether there are any exemptions.

How to apply

Applications can only be made by individuals.  An application form will need to be completed. This should be submitted with the application fee and any supporting documents. 

You can do this by downloading an application form. You will need to complete the form and send to the address on the form. Alternatively you can email the completed form, details are on the form.

Download the animal boarding application form

Application Evaluation Process

The Council is not permitted to consider and determine an application until it has an inspection report for the premises.  To obtain a report the Council must instruct a suitably qualified inspector.

The inspector must establish whether mandatory conditions attached to any licence can be complied with.

The Council must also consider whether the conduct displayed by any applicant indicates that they are a fit and proper person to carry out the licensable activity.

Following the inspection your application will then be considered and determined. This will involve an assessment to determine the star rating that will apply to the premises. The star rating awarded will range from 1 to 5 stars. We are also required to determine the risk level of the premises. Both of these assessments will be carried out having regard to the scoring matrix. This is contained in the statutory guidance.  

If your application is approved then a licence fee becomes payable.  The licence will be issued for a period of either 1, 2 or 3 years.  The length of licence is dependent on the star rating and the risk level determined for the premises. There is an appeals process for the star rating awarded.

Tacit consent

We will aim to have your application determined within 10 weeks of a valid and complete application.  If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted. This is due to animal welfare implications.


Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay.

Conditions of Licence

All licences will be subject to mandatory conditions of licence. These are set out in the regulations. There are specific conditions for each type of boarding. 

These are listed below in the statutory guidance for each activity. This includes guidance on what is required to meet the conditions of licence.  The statutory guidance also provides advice on what is in or out of scope for licensing:

  • boarding for cats
  • boarding in kennels for dogs
  • home boarding for dogs 
  • day care for dogs

Read the statutory guidance


Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Council may appeal. This is is the Council:

  • refuse to grant or renew a licence, or
  • revoke or vary a licence

The appeal should be made to the First-Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision.


Licence holders must apply for a renewal at least 10 weeks before their current licence expires. This is if they wish to continue to operate without a break.

Business Support

There is a comprehensive range of business regulatory support services available. This is to help and advise businesses to be more successful and compliant.

Trade Associations

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