Apply for an animal licence

You need different licences for breeding, keeping, training, hiring out and selling animals.

Animal boarding establishment licence

A licence is required if you are providing or arranging accommodation for other people’s cats or dogs as part of a business on any premises where the accommodation is:

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

Inspections and star ratings

All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure that the applicant has:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare (including the animal's mental and physical health, feeding, and knowledge of environmental enrichment)
  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities
  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures, which are reviewed regularly
  • training procedures in place to make sure that staff know what is expected of them
  • clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises itself will also be assessed against the national standards relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based on the information, we will assess the risk posed by the business and award a star rating. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, while premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars.

A premises with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premises to avoid, as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses will be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.

If you have any concerns, please contact Animal Welfare before applying for a licence.

Costs for this service

  • Dog-boarding kennels or catteries have an application fee of £393, or £315 for the renewal of an existing licence, plus a licence fee of £290 on successful grant.
  • Home boarding of dogs has an application fee of £183, or £145 for the renewal of an existing licence, plus a licence fee of £290 on successful grant.
  • Dog day care has an application fee of £275, or £221 for the renewal of an existing licence, plus a licence fee of £290 on successful grant.

What you need to know...

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Animal Welfare Services

Do it online

Please complete the following online application form:

Application for an animal boarding licence