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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-activities-licensing-guidance-for-local-authorities/dog-day-care-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 day care 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:
- makes any sale or carries out the activity to make a profit
- earns any commission or fee from the activity
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 daytime housing for other people’s dogs, as part of, or as the only activity of, the business
- arrange housing for other people’s dogs, for example, businesses which connect pet owners with people willing to look after their animals for no fee, just minor expenses, they must meet conditions in schedules 2 and 4 of the regulations
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:
- vet’s practices where housing is part of the dog’s treatment
- businesses that look after dogs in their owner’s homes, such as, dog sitters and dog walkers
- a business that looks after dogs in a business owner’s own home - these companies are licensed under home boarding
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 day care for dogs, you must check that businesses meet all of the minimum standards in this guidance.
Businesses that want to achieve a 4 or 5 star rating in the Animals activity star rating system must meet the higher standards in this guidance.
If a dog day care facility would like to qualify at the higher standards, the business must meet:
- 100% of the required higher standards
- 50% (or more) of the optional higher standards
If a business meets the higher standards, they qualify for a longer licence that’s valid for 2 or 3 years rather than for one year. They’ll also pay a lower licence fee.
Read the Animal activity licensing process guidance on the star rating system and how it incorporates a risk assessment of the business.
Part A – General conditions (Schedule 2 of the Regulations)
Paragraph numbers relate to the conditions in the schedules of the regulations.
1.0 Licence display
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.
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.
3.0 Use, number and type of animal
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 day care 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 clearly state the maximum numbers of dogs that are allowed on the premises. If there are more dogs on the premises than stated on the licence, this is a breach of the licence, especially if not reflected in increased staffing levels.
You should take into account other dogs, such as, pets or retired dogs, when deciding on the appropriate number of animals for the licence. For instance, if an applicant has 3 pet dogs on site, they must be included in the figure.
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.
The business must have enough staff to meet all dogs’ individual welfare needs fully.
Each member of staff should have 10 dogs or less to care for.
If welfare standards are not being met, consider if staffing levels are too low.
You should also take the following into account:
- each dog must have 6 square metres of space available to them within the premises - this can include inside and outside space
- the breed, age, health status, and needs of the dogs
- staff qualifications and experience
- other services offered by the facility and how these impact the staff’s time to look after the dogs
- part-time staff and volunteers
- the layout of the premises
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:
- animal welfare, including recognising poor welfare
- animal handling
- animal behaviour
- cleanliness and hygiene
- feeding and preparing food
- preventing and controlling disease
- recognising sick or injured animals
- giving first aid to sick or injured animals
There must be a record of all staff training.
Staff must either:
- hold a formal qualification such as, a Level 2 qualification regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) appropriate for their role
- show they have relevant and sufficient knowledge and experience
Where no accredited training course exists for an activity, other evidence of training, such as industry generated courses, must be provided.
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:
- an annual appraisal
- planned continued professional development
- recognition of any knowledge gaps
This applies to all staff including the licence holder.
Staff participation can be shown by:
- records of the courses they are taking
- records of written or online learning
- keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific breeds
- annual appraisal documents
Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided.
Optional higher standard for staffing
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
There must be a structured training programme for staff that specifically addresses canine behaviour in a day care environment
5.0 Suitable environment
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:
- safe and durable
- in a good state of repair
The interior and exterior of the buildings must be maintained in good repair. Outer paths, gardens, exercise areas and general surroundings must be kept in a good, clean, presentable condition.
There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards which could injure a dog.
Timber must be good quality and well kept. Any damaged areas must be sealed or over-clad. Exposed wood must be smooth, treated, properly maintained and waterproof. All structural exterior wood such as fence posts must be properly treated against wood rot, for example tanalised. Only non-toxic products may be used.
There must be no standing water from cleaning or urine. Drainage must be permanently unblocked, with liquids able to run off into drains immediately.
Drain covers in areas where dogs have access must be secure and designed and located to prevent toes or claws from being caught.
All interior surfaces that dogs can access must be cleaned regularly and maintained in good order and repair. Wherever possible, interior surfaces must be smooth, waterproof and able to be cleaned. Floors must be non-hazardous for dogs to walk on, in particular to avoid slipping.
Doors, gates and windows to the outside must be:
- escape proof
- able to be secured and locked - those involved in the care of the dogs must have easy access to keys or key code in case of emergency
- strong enough to resist impact and scratching, and to prevent injury
There must be at least 2 secure physical barriers (door or gates) between a dog and any entrance or exit to the property to the outer curtilage to avoid escape.
Fencing must be:
- strong and rigid
- sufficient height
- in good repair to prevent an escape
- dig proof
Gaps or apertures must be small enough to prevent a dog’s head passing through, or entrapment of any limb or body parts. Square mesh size must not exceed 50 millimetres by 50 millimetres and for chain link it must not exceed 75 millimetres by 50 millimetres. The diameter of the wire must not be thinner than 2 millimetres (British Standard 14 gauge welded mesh).
Electrical sockets and appliances in the dog designated rooms and where dogs have access must be secure and protected against damage.
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:
(a) their behavioural needs
(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature
(c) the water quality (where relevant)
(d) noise levels
(e) light levels
Dogs must not be kept in areas where the temperature may cause them distress. The area where dogs sleep should be above an absolute minimum of 10°C and below a maximum of 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, but without creating excessive localised draughts.
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 protection or fire guards in place.
Dogs must not be exposed to excessive noise.
Dogs must have exposure to natural light for at least some parts of the day.
The sleeping or rest area must provide the dog with at least twice the area required for the dog to lie flat.
A dog must not be put in a crate for longer than one hour in any 8-hour period. They must only be crated if it forms part of the dog’s normal routine. The dog’s owner must have consented to the use of the crate.
5.3 Staff must make sure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable.
There must be enough clean resting places for every dog to be comfortable and warm.
Dogs should be adequately groomed and have other routine care, such as being dried after being outside in wet conditions and inspected 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. Each dog’s individual needs should be taken into account.
Where the facility is indoor-only there must be a suitable area provided with a range of substrates to encourage toileting. Individual dogs which do not toilet indoors must be given regular opportunities to toilet outdoors.
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.
All furnishings must be inspected daily and kept in a clean condition, in accordance with the facility’s documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.
Faeces must be removed from all areas as often as necessary and at least twice a day.
Dogs must be moved from the area while it’s being cleaned.
Where there is a pest problem, a pest control programme must be put into place.
5.6 The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (for example, in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
All animals must be transported according to the regulations laid down in current legislation.
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.
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.
Vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected after collecting or delivering any new dogs.
Dogs must be collected from or delivered to houses on a lead.
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 animal. The driver must think about whether it’s necessary to transport animals when the temperature poses a risk.
Sufficient breaks must be offered for water, food and the chance to go to the toilet.
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, to allow staff to work and observe the dogs.
This must be natural light where possible, but artificial light must also be available.
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:
- enrichment items
- resting and sleeping areas
These items should number equal or greater than 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.
All dogs must be observed by trained and competent staff. This must happen regularly throughout the day as necessary for the health, safety and welfare of each dog.
Required higher standard for providing a suitable environment for dogs
The design and layout of the facility must give the dogs a choice of areas.
Optional higher standard for providing a suitable environment for dogs
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.
6.0 Suitable diet
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.
If a dog needs to be fed during the day, they must be fed according to its individual needs. Any dietary requirements must be discussed and agreed with the owner.
Dogs must be separated for feeding unless the owner has given written consent allowing them to eat with others.
6.2 Feed and water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.
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 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 unspoilt 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:
- cleaned daily
- disinfected at least once a week
- disposed of or fixed if damaged
6.5 Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that require 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.
7.0 Monitoring behaviour and training
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. This must be agreed with the owner.
The programme will show how the facility will provide enrichment that includes:
All dogs must receive toys and feeding enrichment unless a vet advises otherwise.
Items 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 that benefit the animal’s physical and mental health must be provided unless advice from a vet suggests otherwise.
If there’s no open space for the dogs to roam, they must have at least one walk per day. The facility must think about the dog’s age, 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.
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 fearful about 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:
- on medication
7.4 Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering, injury or fear.
Training must be reward based - rewarding good behaviour and ignoring 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. They must be housed separately from older dogs unless the owner has given written consent for them to mix with other dogs.
Required higher standard for monitoring behaviour
There must be a clear plan setting out 2 walks per dog each day for a minimum of 20 minutes each or 2 sessions of access to a secure open area away from the kennel unit. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time.
8.0 Animal handling and interactions
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 are frightened or display agitated behaviour.
Anyone caring for the dogs must be competent to handle dogs correctly. They must be able to recognise and act upon 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.
The day care facility must be able to separate dogs. Staff must consider the age, size and behaviour differences between dogs to minimise the risk of injuries.
If a dog exhibits any aggressive behaviour it must be separated from all other dogs in all settings.
Dogs which need to be kept away from other dogs must be given other forms of mental stimulation.
A written policy must be followed to monitor a new dog added to a group. This is to avoid stress to new or existing animals.
The facility must be able to keep new dogs away from others if needed. The facility will need to be able to show how they can do this.
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.
Dogs must interact with humans every day in a way that is of benefit to the individual dog.
9.0 Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease
9.1 Written procedures
(a) Written procedures must be in place and implemented covering:
(i) feeding regimes
(ii) cleaning regimes
(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) Written procedures must also be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency
These 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 facility must be able to isolate animals that are sick, injured, or infectious or might be carrying serious infectious diseases.
In a kennel environment, there must be isolation facilities for dogs with 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:
- the facility must use barrier nursing procedures, and people trained in these
- staff should wear protective clothing and footwear (where applicable) and change these between enclosures
- equipment must be stored separately
- waste must be segregated
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:
- canine parvovirus
- canine distemper
- infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus)
- other relevant diseases
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 day care.
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 the 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
- direction from a vet
9.8 The business 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.
This must include the vet’s:
- telephone number
- out of hours telephone number
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 in a locked cupboard, at the correct temperature.
They must be used in accordance with the vet’s instructions.
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:
- with the owner’s consent
- following a discussion with a vet
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 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 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
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. It must be 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.
An emergency drill programme must be in place with annual testing, or as determined by fire risk assessments. All new members of staff must have an emergency drill as part of their induction programme.
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.
An emergency contact name and number must be displayed on the outside of the premises.
A reasonable distance would, in normal conditions, be interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time.
Part B – Specific conditions: providing day care for dogs (schedule 4, part 4 of the regulations)
20.0 No overnight stays
20.1 Keeping dogs overnight is not permitted.
The premises must be a fixed location.
21.0 Suitable environment
21.1 Each dog must be provided with:
(a) a clean, comfortable and warm area where it can rest and sleep
(b) another secure area in which water is provided and in which there is shelter
21.2 Each dog must have access to areas where it can:
(a) interact safely with other dogs, toys and people
(b) urinate and defecate
21.3 There must be an area where any dog can avoid seeing other dogs and people if it so chooses.
This can be done by using open crates, screening with blankets as well as by separate areas.
22.0 Suitable diet
22.1 Any dog that requires specific feed due to a medical condition must be fed in isolation.
Dogs must be fed to meet the individual dog’s needs and with the owner’s written consent.
23.0 Monitoring behaviour and training
23.1 All dogs must be screened before being admitted to the premises to ensure that they are not afraid, anxious or stressed in the presence of other dogs or people and do not pose a danger to other dogs or staff.
You must keep a record of each screening you do.
23.2 Any equipment used that is likely to be in contact with the dogs or any toys provided must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease or distress to the dog and must be correctly used.
Leads must be removed if they’re a risk to the dog when in the day care facility. Any items that come into your facility with a dog must be recorded and checked for safety. This includes any toys, which must be safe and in good condition.
Optional higher standard for monitoring behaviour
Dogs must receive beneficial human interactions throughout the day and these must be documented.
24.0 Housing apart from other dogs
24.1 Unneutered bitches must be prevented from mating.
When in season, unneutered bitches must be prevented from mating.
- be separated from male dogs
- not be kept where male dogs can see, hear and (where possible) smell them
24.2 Dogs which need to be isolated from other dogs must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.
When this happens, you must:
- tell the owners if their dog needs to be kept away from others and show them how you’ll do that
- provide the dogs with other forms of mental stimulation, such as a range of toys and enrichment equipment
Isolated dogs must be provided with a dedicated range of toys and other enrichment equipment to encourage species typical behaviour.
25.1 A register must be kept of all the dogs on the premises which must include:
(a) the date of the dog’s attendance
(b) the dog’s name, age, sex, neuter status, microchip number and a description of it or its breed
(c) the name, postal address, telephone number (if any) and email address (if any) of the owner and emergency contact details
(d) the name and contact details of the dog’s normal vet and details of any insurance relating to the dog
(e) details of the dog’s relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and any restrictions on exercise
(f) details of the dog’s diet and relevant requirements
(g) any required consent forms
(h) a record of the date and dates of the dog’s most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments
(i) details of any medical treatment the dog is receiving
25.2 When outside the premises, each dog must wear an identity tag which includes the licence holder’s name and contact details.
26.0 Protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease
26.1 The dogs must be supervised at all times.
26.2 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.
26.3 Any journeys in a vehicle must be planned to minimise the time dogs spend in the vehicle.