Animal boarding

On 1st October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. This legislation has changed the way the boarding of dogs and cats is licensed and regulated in relation to:

  • Commercial boarding of dogs and cats (kennels and catteries)
  • Home boarding for dogs
  • Day care for dogs

The new licence will be referred to as an 'Animal Activity Licence'.

Commercial Boarding (Kennels and Catteries)

Businesses which provide accommodation for other people’s dogs and cats, where the provision of that accommodation is part of or solely the activity of the business, are subject to licensing. This includes businesses which provide home boarding of cats where the cats are kept in purpose built cattery units and not in the domestic home.

Home Boarding for Dogs and Day Care for Dogs

The following activities are subject to licensing:

  • Home Boarding: Businesses which provide overnight accommodation for dogs in a home environment. This must be inside a domestic home which is not the usual home where the animals are kept, and not in external kennel accommodation.
  • Day Care for Dogs: Businesses which provide daytime accommodation for dogs away from the dogs' normal place of residence and do not keep them overnight.

Out of scope criteria

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are not subject to licensing:

  • Businesses where accommodation is provided for other people’s cats and dogs, but where the provision of that accommodation is not the purpose of that business, for example, veterinary practices where the accommodation provided is part of the treatment of the animal.
  • Home boarding of cats within a domestic setting is not permitted.
  • Businesses that look after dogs and / or cats within their normal place of residence (i.e. dog / cat sitters).

Making an application

  • Complete the application form
  • Pay the application fee of £140 (please note this is subject to change)

Upon receipt of your application we will arrange to carry out an inspection of all premises where licensable activities are to take place before the application can be determined.

Existing licence holders

Licences held under the current system for animal boarding establishments will continue until the expiry date shown on the licence. 10 weeks prior to the expiry date of this licence, existing licence holders need to make an application for a licence under the new regulations and comply with the new requirements.

If you are the holder of an existing licence or registration you are advised to familiarise yourself with the new licence conditions, to ensure you are able to comply with these before making an application for a new licence.

The licensing of day care for dogs is a new provision, and was not licensable prior to 1st October 2018.


Licensing service

Municipal buildings, Corporation Street, Blackpool, FY1 1NF
Telephone 01253 478570

The Licensing Service is available to contact by telephone or to visit in person to the Licensing desk at Blackpool Council's Customer First Centre on Corporation Street between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.