Licence summary

You need a licence from us to run a boarding kennel or cattery. This includes the boarding of dogs in your home. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence, along with any other conditions.

An animal boarding licence needs to be renewed every year.

Before you apply for a licence you must ensure your premises have the necessary planning permission.

What happens if I don't apply for a licence?

You can be fined up to £500 and/or imprisoned for up to three months if you run an animal boarding establishment without a licence or don’t follow the conditions of your licence.

Are there any restrictions?

You cannot apply for an animal boarding licence if you have been disqualified from any of the following at the time of application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment

  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951

  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954

  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006.

How do I apply?

Complete the application and pay the fee online. You will also need to provide a site layout plan showing the site boundaries and the proposed arrangements of the boarding accommodation.

We will then arrange for an officer to inspect your premises. If they are found to be fit for purpose, we will issue you with a licence and details of any conditions.

Apply for or Renew a Licence Online


  • first application: £245

  • licence renewal: £145

Where extra visits are required to investigate if you are meeting the conditions of the licence, a further charge of £110 per additional officer/visit plus any third party costs (such as vets’ fees) may be payable when you renew your licence.

Does tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means you can act as though your application has been granted if you have not heard from us within 26 weeks after we confirm we have received your application.

Appeals and complaints

If you are refused a licence or want to appeal against a licence condition, you can appeal to the local Magistrates’ court.

Consumer complaint

We advise that consumer complaints are first made to the trader, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that does not work, further advice is available from Citizens Advice.

For complaints such as noise pollution or one licence holder complaining about another, please contact us for advice.