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Inspection Details - Daycare for Dogs

Part A - General Conditions

1.0Licence DisplayThe licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as the entrance or reception area.
1.1A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.
1.2The 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.
2.0RecordsElectronic records must be backed up
2.1The 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.
2.2The licence holder must keep all such records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
3.0Use, number and type of animal
3.1No 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. However, if there are welfare concerns relating to other animals then the inspector should inform either the relevant person in the Local Authority, the Police or suitable animal welfare organisation as appropriate.
3.2The 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 conditions must clearly state the numbers of dogs permitted at the premises. Undeclared breach of this number can invalidate the licence, especially if not reflected in increased staffing levels.

This figure must include any dogs kept in the licensed premises which are not present for day care and must not be exceeded.

4.1Sufficient numbers of people 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.

Staffing levels must ensure that each dog's individual welfare needs can be fully met whilst under the care of the establishment and that the welfare needs of all the animals are met. Where there is evidence that the welfare needs of the animals are not being met, the inspector should consider if the staffing levels are appropriate. The inspector should take into account:

  • The size of premises
  • The layout of the premises i.e. how many dogs may be permitted in each separate area
  • The type of dog e.g. breed, age, health status,
  • The qualifications / experience of the staff Additional services offered by the establishment
  • Use of part-time or voluntary staff
  • As a guide, a ratio of staff to dogs in established businesses must not normally exceed 1:10
Higher StandardStaffing levels will be up to 1 full-time equivalent attendant per 6 dogs kept.

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.

Training must be a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated level 2 qualification in a relevant subject, or clear evidence of knowledge and experience.

Suitable and sufficient training of staff involved in animal care must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

  • animal welfare, including recognising poor welfare;
  • animal handling;
  • animal behaviour;
  • cleanliness and hygiene;
  • feeding and food preparation;
  • Disease control;
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals and abnormalities.
  • New information on disease and inherited disease, legislation and behaviour
Higher StandardA member of staff with a relevant accredited Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.


The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal.

Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided

The training policy must be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and must include:

  • annual appraisal
  • planned continued professional development
  • recognition of knowledge gaps
  • Use of online courses and literature
  • If no staff are employed the licence holder must demonstrate their own knowledge development.
5.0Suitable Environment

All areas, equipment and appliances to which the animals have access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained.

Gaps or apertures must be small enough to prevent a dog's head passing through, or entrapment of any limb or body parts.

To protect against entrapment any such gaps must prevent the passage of a 50 mm sphere, or smaller if appropriate.

Where dogs have access to mesh, the diameter of the wire must not be less than 2.0 mm (British Standard 14 gauge welded mesh). Mesh size must not exceed 50 mm in any direction.

Exercise areas for common use must be suitably drained. Surface ponding of water must not occur and land drainage must be provided where necessary if normal site drainage is inadequate.

Where artificial turf is used in outside areas, it must be maintained in good repair to avoid ingestion hazards.

Drainage must be effective to ensure there is no standing or pooling of liquids.

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 present risk of injury to a dog. Timber, if used, must be of good quality, well-kept and any damaged areas sealed or over-clad. Exposed wood must be smooth and treated and properly maintained to render it impervious. All structural exterior wood i.e. fence posts must be properly treated against wood rot, e.g. tanalised. Only non-toxic products may be used.

Interior surfaces, including floors, must be smooth, impervious and able to be cleaned and disinfected, where appropriate. Floors must have a non-slip, solid surface.

There must be at least two secure physical barriers (door or gates etc.) between a dog and any entrance or exit to the property to the outer curtilage to avoid escape.

Fencing must be secure and safe.

Windows must be escape proof.

All doors must be strong enough to resist impact, scratching and chewing, and must be capable of being effectively secured.

Higher StandardDogs must be provided with a design and layout that provides them with choice. Separate areas for different activities should be provided. This can be achieved by, for example, inclusion of raised platforms.

Animals must be kept at all times in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) with respect to:

  1. their behavioural needs,
  2. its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature
  3. the water quality (where relevant),
  4. noise levels
  5. light levels
  6. ventilation.

The sleeping/rest area must provide the dog with at least twice the area required for the dog to lie flat.

If crates are used, a dog must not be secured in a crate for longer than one hour in any 8-hour period and must not be crated unless a crate forms part of the normal routine for the dog and the dog's owner has consented to the use of it.

Dogs must not be restricted to areas when climatic conditions may cause them distress. Insulation and temperature regulation in the day care environment must aim to keep the ambient temperature in the dog sleeping accommodation above an absolute minimum of 10 °C and below a maximum of 26 °C.

Dogs must be monitored to check if they are too hot or too cold. If an individual dog is showing signs of heat or cold intolerance steps must be taken to ensure the welfare of the dog.

A dog must be able to remove itself from a direct source of heat.

Heaters must not be sited in a manner or location where they present a risk of burning or electric shock / electrocution to dogs or humans, or a risk of fire.

Adequate ventilation must be provided to all interior areas without the creation of excessive, localised draughts, and to avoid excess humidity.

Dogs must not be exposed to excessive noise.

Higher StandardVentilation must be a managed, fixed or portable, air system to ensure appropriate temperatures are maintained in all weathers. This can be an air conditioning unit or use of removable fans.
5.3Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable

There must be sufficient clean resting places to provide comfort and warmth for every dog.

The licence holder and staff should ensure that dogs benefit from adequate routine grooming and other health regimes as needed e.g. cleaning of eyes or keeping long fur from matting and inspection for parasites.

5.4Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.

Dogs must have regular opportunities for toileting.

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 (and a minimum of three) opportunities to toilet outdoors.

In a home environment dogs must have access to a secure outside area for toileting.

5.5Procedures must be in place to ensure accommodation and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The accommodation must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

All internal furnishings must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected.

Excrement must be removed from all areas a minimum of twice a day.

Dogs must be moved from the area whilst it is being cleaned.


The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (including for example in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

If transporting dogs by road, sufficient breaks must be offered for water and the chance to go to the toilet. Journeys must be planned to minimise the time dogs spend in the vehicle.

Dogs must not be left in vehicles for unreasonable periods and must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle where the temperature may pose a risk to the animal.

Vehicles must be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

The licence holder must demonstrate that a suitable vehicle is available to transport dogs or, where a vehicle is not provided, a contingency plan in place for emergency transport.

Dogs must be suitably restrained using a dog crate, dog guard or transport harness. Dog crates must be of adequate size, designed to provide good ventilation and firmly secured.

Where the business uses vehicles to collect and return dogs, the dogs must be collected from and returned to houses on a lead to minimise the risk of any dog escaping.

5.7All 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 sufficient light in all areas of the premises to which dogs have access, to allow staff to work and observe the dogs.

Where practicable this must be natural light, but artificial light must also be available.

5.8All resources must be provided in a way (for example as regards. frequency, location and access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animalsThere must be multiples of all resources (food, water bowls and sleeping areas). Dogs must be carefully monitored, especially at feeding times.
5.9The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period likely to cause them distress 
6.0Suitable Diet 
6.1The 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 dogs require feeding during the day, they must be fed in accordance with the individual dog's needs and their dietary requirement must be discussed and agreed with the owner.
6.2Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.

Water intake must be checked and the owner alerted if dog is not drinking or is drinking excessively.

Veterinary advice must be followed if feeding debilitated, underweight or ill dogs, or those with specific dietary requirements.


Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoilt and free from contamination.

Refrigeration facilities for feed storage must be provided.

Dry feed must not be left out for more than 24 hours. When wet feed is fed it must be removed before the next feeding time.

Feed must be stored away from risk of vermin and in appropriately cool and dry places.

6.4Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.

Receptacles must be non-porous.

Receptacles must be cleaned daily and disinfected at least once a week. If damaged they must be disposed of or fixed.

6.5Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.

Fresh water must be provided daily in a clean container and changed or refreshed as often as necessary.

There must multiple water bowls provided to ensure all dogs have ready access to water.

6.6Where feed is prepared on the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation, including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.

In establishments where staff are employed a separate hand wash basin with an adequate supply of hot and cold water must be provided for them to wash their hands. This must be connected to a suitable drainage system.

Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must also be available.

7.0Monitoring of behaviour and training of animals

Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and any outside environments.

Any toys or equipment must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease and/or distress to the dog and must be correctly used. Items must be checked daily to ensure they remain safe and disposed of if they are damaged.

A programme must be available setting out enrichment, including, grooming, socialisation and play. All dogs must receive appropriate toys and / or feeding enrichment unless veterinary advice suggests otherwise.

The premises must obtain the owner's written consent if such enrichment is not recommended.

Items must be checked daily to ensure they remain safe.

Dogs must be monitored continually when toys and/or enrichment is present


For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animals' physical and mental health must be provided, unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise.

Outside areas must be suitably drained. Surface ponding of water must not occur; land drainage must be provided if normal site drainage is inadequate.

Dogs must not have direct access to bins.

Dogs must be prevented from having unsupervised access to ponds, pools, wells and any other features that might pose a risk

Consideration must be given to life stage, physical and mental health and breed when planning daily exercise.

Informed written consent from owners must be obtained to enable a dog to be walked outside the facility. Dogs exercised outside the premises must be kept on a lead at all times. No more than four dogs must be walked at the same time.

Dogs must be monitored whilst in outdoor exercise areas. Outdoor exercise areas must be safe and free from hazards which may cause injury.

Excrement must be picked up to prevent parasites from being established. Where artificial turf is used, it must be maintained in good repair to avoid ingestion hazards.

Higher StandardThere must be a clear plan setting out two walks per dog each day for a minimum of 20 minutes each or two 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.

The animals' behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a veterinarian or, in the case of fish, any person competent to give such advice if adverse or abnormal behaviour is detected.

Dogs likely to, or showing, signs of being nervous or stressed must be located in a suitable part of the establishment, bearing in mind their individual disposition. Where a dog is showing signs of being nervous, stressed or fearful, steps must be taken to address this.

The behaviour of individual dogs must be monitored daily and changes in behaviour and/or behaviours indicative of suffering, stress, fear, aggression and anxiety must be recorded and acted upon with all information passed onto the owner. Records of assessment must be kept.

All staff must be able to identify abnormalities, and in particular dogs that are anxious or fearful about contact.

7.4Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.Training must be reward based (i.e. reward desired behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour).

All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:

  • learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare, and;
  • become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment.

Documented procedures must be in place to accommodate the needs of dogs under one year of age.

Dogs under one year of age should be accommodated in a separate social group

8.0Animal Handling and Interactions
8.18.1 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 appropriately to suit the requirements of the individual dog and to minimise fear, stress, pain and distress. Dogs must never be punished so that they are frightened or exhibit aversive behaviour.

People must have the competence to handle dogs correctly. They must also have the ability to recognise and act upon undesirable behaviours.


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.

A documented policy must be in place for monitoring the introduction of new dogs to the existing group to avoid stress to new or existing animals.

The ability to separate dogs must be available and consideration must be given to the age, size and behaviour differences between dogs to minimise the risk of injuries.

A method of review must be in place to ensure that dogs are excluded if they exhibit any aggressive behaviour.

Dogs which need to be isolated from other dogs must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.

8.3The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.Dogs must receive daily beneficial human interactions appropriate to the individual dog.
Higher StandardDogs must receive beneficial human interactions throughout the day and these must be documented.
9.0Protection from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease 

Written procedures must:

  • (a) be in place and implemented covering:
    • i. feeding regimes,
    • ii. cleaning regimes,
    • iii. transportation
    • 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 dead animals);
  • (b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency.
The procedures must demonstrate how the conditions outlined in this guidance are met.
9.2All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures. 

Appropriate isolation, in separate self-contained facilities, must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.

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 sanitation protocols adhered to. Whilst in use, the clothing must be kept in the isolation unit and not be removed other than for cleaning and disinfection. Any dogs in the isolation facility must be checked regularly and unless a separate person is caring for them, they must be visited after the other dogs.

Separate feeding and water bowls, bedding and cleaning utensils must be stored in the isolation unit ready for immediate use.

Provision must be made for the isolation of sick/injured/infectious animals and those that might reasonably be expected to be carrying serious infectious diseases.

Where isolation facilities are provided by the attending veterinary practice, a letter must be provided by the practice stating that they are prepared to provide such facilities. If not the stated isolation protocols must be followed.

Staff must be observant and monitor for any signs of illness when admitting dogs to the establishment. Animals showing any signs of illness must not be accepted for day care until recovered. The owner must be notified as soon as possible of any illness of an animal which develops whilst in the dog day care.


All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread among the animals and people of infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites.

Vaccines used must be licensed for use in the UK. Homoeopathic vaccination is not acceptable.

If there is evidence of external parasites (fleas, ticks, 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 veterinarian before administering. Consent from the owner is required

An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to ensure that dogs boarded have current vaccinations against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus), leptospirosis and other relevant diseases.

Vaccination against other diseases such as kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica /Canine parainfluenza virus) may be required by the establishment.

Certification from a veterinarian of a recent protective titre test may be accepted instead of a booster vaccination as required by the establishment. 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.

9.5All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.

This must be in a clearly-marked bin which is emptied either daily or when full, whichever is the sooner. Excreta must be removed in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Storage of excreta must be away from areas where animals or food are kept.

9.6Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a veterinarian or, in the case of fish, an appropriately competent person. The advice of that veterinarian or, in the case of fish, that competent person must be followed.When a dog is suspected of being ill or injured a veterinarian must be contacted for advice immediately and any instructions for treatment recorded and strictly followed with further guidance sought if there is an ongoing concern.
9.7Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person.Any preventive treatment must be with consent from the owner and under the direction of a veterinarian.
9.8The licence holder must register with a veterinarian 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 veterinarian must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The name, address and telephone contact number, including out of hours provision, of the veterinarian used by the establishment must be displayed in a prominent place, close to the telephone and accessible to all members of staff. The veterinary practice must be within a reasonable travel time.

Written consent between the dog owner and licence holder must be obtained regarding which veterinarian is to be used when dog is first placed with licence holder.

9.9Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely to safeguard against unauthorised access, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the veterinarian.

All courses must be completed to the specifications given by the veterinarian.

Any unused medications must be returned to the owner or prescribing vet.

9.10Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or veterinarian.All medications must only be used with prior consent of the owner and / or on discussion with a veterinarian.

Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals. They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering.

Standing water must not be allowed to accumulate due to the possibility of pathogens residing in these moist environments.

Grooming equipment must be kept clean and in a good state of repair. If provided by the owner, it must only be used on that dog and must be sent home with the dog.

The choice of cleaning and disinfectant products must be based on suitability, safety, compatibility and effectiveness. Disinfectant products must be virucidal as well as bactericidal.

Cleaning and disinfection products must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Staff 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.

Toys must be cleaned and disinfected between uses for different dogs, disposed of, or returned to the dog's owner (if they came in with the dog).


No person may euthanise an animal except a veterinarian or a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose or

  • in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose;
  • in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose.
  • a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose

Only a veterinarian may euthanise a dog.

Euthanasia must be humane and effective.

The licence holder must keep a record of all euthanasia and the identity of the qualified veterinarian that carried it out. The owner or designated main point of contact must be contacted to give consent. Unless imperative for the welfare of the dog, euthanasia must not take place until consent is given.

9.13All animals must be checked at least daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently. Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian (or competent person in the case of fish) must be sought and followed.

Presence or absence of excrement and urine must be monitored daily. Any abnormalities in excreta must be recorded and acted upon as appropriate.

Dogs must be handled at least twice daily as part of their care and enrichment regime, unless handing them would pose a risk to kennel employees or cause stress to the dogs.

9.14Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed. 

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, and 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.

All electrical installations must be installed by appropriately qualified persons and maintained in a safe condition; and sited such that they do not present a risk.

All equipment must be maintained in a good state of repair and serviced according to manufacturer's guidelines.

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. As a minimum, the home must have at least one working smoke detector (or other suitable fire detection system) installed in a suitable location on each separate level / floor of the property. Where appropriate there must be a carbon monoxide detector

There must be a plan for accommodation of the dogs should the premises become uninhabitable.

There must be a documented policy in place for dealing with emergencies, including extremes of temperature and weather conditions (both hot and cold)

10.2The 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. 
10.3External doors and gates must be lockable. 
10.4A designated keyholder 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.There must be a designated person available for emergencies. A reasonable distance would, in normal conditions, be interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time.

Part B - Specific Conditions


Dogs must be accommodated within the home.

In a home environment, the accommodation provided covers two areas;

  • Indoor: There must be sufficient space available to provide an individual sleeping area for each dog with the ability to keep each dog in a physically separate room if required. This also allows each dog the choice of somewhere to go.
  • Outdoor: There must be direct access to a suitable and secure hazard free external area/garden. The area / garden must only be for use by the licence holder (not shared with other properties).

There must be no use of external construction of buildings, cages or runs for the home boarding of dogs.

The home must include its own entrance i.e. no shared access such as communal stairs.


The home must include:

  1. direct access to a private, non-communal, secure and hazard-free external area, and
  2. a secure physical barrier(s) between any dog and any entrance to or exit from it
The private, non-communal space can include a balcony or patio.
12.0Suitable Environment
12.1Dogs from different households may only be boarded at the same time with the written consent of every owner.There must be a mandatory (documented) trial familiarisation session for all dogs prior to stay. This also includes familiarisation with resident dogs.
12.2Each dog must be provided with its own designated room, where it can be kept separate from other dogsOnce dogs are familiarised with each other they may want to be together and should not be shut in their own room alone. Dogs from the same household can be kept together with written consent from the owner

Each dog must have a clean, comfortable and warm area within its designated room where it can rest and sleep.

Unless instructed otherwise by the dog's owner, soft bedding materials must be provided and adapted if necessary for old, young or infirm dogs to help regulate their body temperature. If a dog chews or destroys its bedding, it must be replaced with an alternative.

Bedding must be made of a material that is easy to wash/disinfect, or is disposable. Bedding must be changed, cleaned and disinfected between dogs.

The sleeping area must provide a clean resting place for comfort and warmth and be situated out of draughts.

The sleeping accommodation floor area must allow the dog to be able to sit and stand at full height, stretch, wag its tail and to walk and turn around without touching the sides.

The available / clear floor area must be a minimum of twice that required for a dog to lay out flat.

All beds and bedding areas must be kept clean, dry and parasite free.

12.4Each designated room must have a secure window to the outside that can be opened and closed as necessaryWindow opening restriction devices must be used as necessary to prevent access/escape.
12.5A dog must not be confined in a crate for longer than three hours in any 24-hour period. 

A dog must not be kept in a crate unless:

  1. it is already habituated to it,
  2. a crate forms part of the normal routine for the dog;
  3. the dog's owner has consented to the use of a crate.

The crate, of a suitable size and construction, must be provided by the owner.

Some adult dogs may choose to sleep in their crate during the day and overnight. The crate door must be left open to allow the dog to choose where it sleeps

12.7Any crate in which a dog is kept must be in good condition and sufficiently large for the dog to sit and stand in it at full-height, lie flat and turn around. 
13.0Suitable Diet
13.1Each dog must be fed separately in its designated room unless its owner has given written consent to the contrary. 
14.0Monitoring of Behaviour and Training
14.1Any equipment that a dog is likely to be in contact with and any toy provided must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease or distress to the dog and must be correctly used.

Items such as leads must be removed when the dog is in the home environment.

Items specific to a particular dog must be identified and recorded as such.

Toys must be suitable for the dogs present, and checked regularly to ensure they are in good condition and safe.


Each dog must be exercised at least once daily as appropriate for its age and health.

No more than four dogs must be walked at the same time.

Prior written consent from owners must be obtained to:

  • Enable a dog to be walked outside the home environment / garden
  • Enable a dog to be let off the lead
  • Enable a dog to be walked with dogs other than those from its household
Higher StandardDogs must be exercised at least twice per day. Each dog must have a written daily exercise regime including lead exercise and free running in a secure area. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time.
14.3Dogs which on the advice of a veterinarian cannot be exercised must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.This can include positive interaction with people and additional forms of toy and food enrichment and must take place at least twice a day.
15.0Housing with, or apart from, other dogs
15.1Written consent must be obtained from the owner or owners (as the case may be) to keep dogs together in a designated room.Each dog (or dogs from the same household) must still be allocated a designated room. The licence holder must be able to separate dogs into different rooms should the need arise.
15.2Unneutered females must be prevented from mating.In-season females must not be accepted for boarding with dogs from other households. Entire males must not be on the premises if an in-season female is boarded.
15.3If any person aged under 16 years resides at the home, there must be procedures in place to regulate the interactions between the dogs and that person.

If children are in residence on the premises, there must be a procedure in place to safeguard the children and the dogs.

The licence holder is required to undertake an assessment of the risks of home boarding to include the risk to or caused by children who are likely to be at the property.


A register must be kept of all the dogs at the premises which must include:

  • the dates of each dog's arrival and departure;
  • each dog's name, age, sex, neuter status, microchip number and a description of it or its breed;
  • the number of any dogs from the same household;
  • a record of which dogs (if any) are from the same household;
  • the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of the owner of each dog and emergency contact details;
  • in relation to each dog, the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of a local contact in an emergency;
  • the name and contact details of the dog's normal veterinarian and details of any insurance relating to the dog;
  • details of each dog's relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and restrictions on exercise;
  • details of the dog's diet and related requirements:
  • consent forms;
  • a record of the date or dates of each dog's most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments;
  • details of any medical treatment each dog is receiving.
16.2When outside the premises, each dog must wear an identity tag which includes the licence holder's name and contact details. 
17.0Protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease.
17.1Before a dog is admitted for boarding, all equipment to be used by or in relation to that dog must be cleaned and disinfected. 
17.2A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the veterinarian with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implemented. 

Scoring Matrix

 Minor Failings
(existing businesses that are failing to meet minimum standards)
Minimum Standards
(as laid down in the schedules and guidance)
Higher Standards
(as laid down in the guidance)
Low Risk1Star
1 yr licence
Min. 1 unannounced visit within 12-month period

3 Star
2 yr licence
Min. 1 unannounced visit within 24-month period

5 Star
3 yr licence
Min. 1 unannounced visit within 36-month period
Higher Risk1 Star
1 yr licence
Min. 1 unannounced visit within 12-month period
2 Star
1 yr licence
Min. 1 unannounced visit within 12-month period
4 Star
2 yr licence
Min. 1 unannounced visit within 24-month period


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