Apply for this licence

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Contact your council to apply for an animal boarding establishment licence if you want to run a boarding kennel or cattery in England, Wales or Scotland.

An animal boarding establishment is a business that provides accommodation for other people’s dogs or cats.

An animal boarding establishment licence needs to be renewed every year.

You still need to apply for a licence even if you’re only looking after a small number of animals in your own home.


The council may inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and any time after your licence is granted.

You’ll need show that the animals you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • safeguarded in an emergency
  • protected from infectious disease – this includes providing isolation facilities

Your council may also add other conditions to your licence.

Record keeping

You need to keep a register available for inspection by a vet or other council-approved officer, containing:

  • a description of all the animals you’ve kept
  • their arrival and departure dates
  • the name and address of their owners


You will not be given a licence if you’ve been banned from keeping a pet shop, or convicted of any other animal welfare offences.

How to apply

Contact your council to apply for an animal boarding establishment licence. The fee will be set by your council.

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £500 or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both, if you run an animal boarding establishment without a licence, or don’t follow the conditions of your licence.

Your licence can be taken away if you stop or delay an inspection, and you could be banned from running an animal boarding establishment.