Licence conditions for day care boarding establishments for dogs

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Local Authorities issue licences to proprietors of boarding kennels under the provision of The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. The licence can stipulate a number of conditions to secure the following objectives:
i) that dogs are kept in accommodation suitable in respect of construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness;
ii) that dogs are adequately supplied with suitable food and drink, and are visited at suitable intervals;
iii) that dogs are kept secure;
iv) that reasonable precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases;
v) that appropriate steps be taken in the event of an emergency;

vi) that a suitable consistent level of management is maintained.

This document has been prepared in the best interests of animal welfare and to improve kennel management. No liability rests with the Council for circumstances arising out of the application of conditions contained within.
1.1 Unless otherwise stated, these conditions shall apply to all buildings and areas to which dogs have access and/or which are used in association with the day care boarding of dogs.

    1. No dog registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 must be accepted for day care boarding.

    1. Dog hybrids registered under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976 (e.g. Wolf Hybrids) are not to be accepted for day care boarding.

    1. Entire males and bitches in season or bitches due to be in season or bitches due to be in season during boarding, including resident dogs, must not be boarded together.

    1. Puppies must not be boarded with other dogs until completion of a full course of inoculations.

2.1 A copy of the licence and its associated conditions must be suitably displayed to the public in a prominent position in, on or about the premises or made available to each boarder.
3.1 The maximum number of dogs to be kept at any one time shall be as specified in the licence document.
4.1 All materials used in the construction of walls, floors, partitions, doors and door frames to be made durable, smooth and impervious. There must be no projections or rough edges liable to cause injury
4.2 The premises shall have its own entrance and must not have shared access e.g. communal stairs.
4.3 There must be adequate space, light, heat and ventilation for the dogs.
4.4 All areas/rooms within the premises to which boarded dogs have access must have no physical or chemical hazards that may cause injury to the dogs.
4.5 There must be sufficient space available to be able to keep the dogs separately if required.
4.6 There must be a separate kennel for at least 50% of the capacity of day boarded dogs. These kennels shall be at least 2.3 m2, and constructed so as to comply with the Council’s conditions for dog boarding establishments.
5.1.1 A written training policy for staff must be provided. Systematic training of staff must be demonstrated to have been carried out.
5.2.1 All areas where the dogs have access to, including the kitchen etc must be kept clean and free from accumulations of dirt and dust and must be kept in such a manner as to be conducive to maintenance of disease control and dog comfort.
5.2.2 All excreta and soiled material must be removed from all areas used by dogs at least daily and more often if necessary. Disposal facilities for animal waste must be agreed with the authorised officer of the Council.
5.2.3 All bedding areas must be kept clean and dry.

      1. Facilities must be provided for the proper reception, storage and disposal of all waste. Particular care should be taken to segregate clinical waste arising from the treatment and handling of dogs with infectious diseases.

5.2.5 Measures must be taken to minimise the risks from rodents, insects and other pests within the premises.

5.3.1 All dogs shall have an adequate supply of suitable food as directed by the client.
5.3.2 Fresh drinking water must be available at all times (unless advised otherwise by a veterinary surgeon) and the drinking vessel cleaned daily. The water must be changed at least twice a day.

      1. Suitable bedding, bowls, grooming materials etc must be provided. These items must be cleaned regularly to prevent cross-infection.

      1. Where necessary, eating and drinking vessels must be provided, and where so, they must be capable of being easily cleansed and disinfected to prevent cross-contamination. They must also be maintained in a clean condition. Feeding bowls must be cleaned or disposed of after each meal and each dog must be provided with its own bowl.


      1. Airtight containers must be provided for the storage of dry foods. Uncooked food and the remains of opened tins must be stored in covered, non-metal, leak proof containers in the fridge.

      1. All bulk supplies of food shall be kept in vermin proof containers.

5.4.3 Exclusive facilities, hygienically constructed and maintained, must be provided for the storage and preparation of food for the dogs

5.4.4 A sink with hot and cold water must be provided for the washing of food equipment and eating and drinking vessels. A separate wash hand basin with hot and cold water must be provided for staff use.
5.5.1 Adequate precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious and contagious disease and parasites amongst the dogs, staff and visitors.
5.5.2 Proof must be provided that dogs have current vaccinations against Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine adenovirus), Leptospirosis (L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagicae) and Canine Parvovirus, kennel cough and other relevant diseases as specified by the Local Authority from time to time. The course of vaccination must have been completed at least four weeks before the first date of boarding or in accordance with manufacturer instructions. A record that this proof has been supplied must be kept on-site throughout the period that the dog is boarded.
5.5.3 Advice from a veterinary surgeon must be sought in case of signs of disease, injury or illness. Where any dog is sick or injured, any instructions for its treatment, which have been given by a veterinary surgeon, must be strictly followed.
5.5.4 A well-stocked first-aid kit suitable for use on dogs must be available and accessible on site. All staff must be trained in animal first aid.
5.5.5 The Licensee must be registered with a veterinary practice that can provide 24-hour help and advice. The clients own veterinary practice must be known and consulted if necessary.
5.5.6 Precautions must be taken to prevent the spread of fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites and other parasites in dogs. Written records must be maintained of all routine and emergency treatment for parasites given to the dogs whilst at the premises.
5.5.7 The premises shall be treated for fleas and parasites with an effective product as necessary.
5.5.8 Veterinary advice must be sought in relation to cleaning substances so that they or their fumes cannot be harmful to an animal.
5.6.1 Dogs showing signs of any disease or illness shall be isolated from any other dogs until veterinary advice is obtained. There must be sufficient facilities within the licensed premises to ensure effective isolation of any sick animal.
5.6.2 The Licensee must inform the Council without delay if a dog develops an infectious disease.
5.6.3 Following an episode of infectious disease during any stay, the premises must undergo a reasonable quarantine period before new dogs are admitted. This period will be specified by an Authorised Officer of the Council with advice from a veterinary surgeon.
5.6.4 The Council must be informed of any animal death on the premises. The Licensee must make arrangements for the body to be stored at a veterinary surgeon’s premises until the owners return unless directed otherwise by the owner or their representative.
5.7.1 A register must be kept of all dogs boarded. The information kept must include the following:

  • Date and time of arrival

  • Name of dog, any identification system such as microchip number, tattoo

  • Description, breed, age and gender of dog

  • Name, address and telephone number of owner or keeper

  • Name, address and telephone number of contact person whilst boarded

  • Name, address and telephone number of dog’s veterinary surgeon

  • Anticipated and actual date of departure

  • Proof of current vaccinations, medical history and requirements

  • Details of any treatment administered whilst the dog is being boarded. If any dog is involved in an incident which gives rise to concern for the animals welfare, even if no injury is visible or apparent, the owner must be notified of the incident in writing and any follow up advice given.

  • Health, welfare nutrition and exercise requirements

  • Copy of written consent from the owner to their dog having contact with other dogs

  • Date of the last season of any entire bitch

5.7.2 Such a register is to be available for inspection at all times by an authorised officer of the Council and/or a veterinary surgeon.

5.7.3 The register must be kept readily available for a minimum of 2 years and kept in such a manner as to allow an authorised officer easy access to such information.
5.7.4 If medication is to be administered, this must be recorded.
5.7.5 Where records are computerised, a back-up copy must be kept. The register must also be available to members of staff of the establishment at all times.
5.8.1 A fit and proper person with relevant experience must always be available to exercise supervision and deal with emergencies whenever dogs are boarded at the premises. This person must not have any conviction or formal Cautions for any animal welfare related offence. There shall be one such person present in any shared exercise area when dogs are being exercised. There shall be a ratio of no less than one person for every 5 dogs in the area.
5.8.2 Dogs must not be left unattended at any time.
5.8.3 The staff / licensee of the property must be aware of the location of the dogs in the property at all times.
5.8.4 A thorough assessment and introduction session must be carried out for all dogs prior to them interacting with existing day boarders, the record of this to be retained and available to staff at all times
5.9.1 Dogs must be exercised in accordance with their owner’s wishes. When dogs are taken off the premises, they must be kept on leads unless with the owners prior written permission.
5.9.2 Shared exercise areas shall be indoors. Where there is access to an outside area, the area must only be for use by the licensee. The area must be kept clean.
5.9.3 The exercise/garden area of the premises and any other area to which the boarded dogs may have access, must be totally secure and safe. Fencing must be adequate to offer security to prevent escape and be safe, with no dangerous sharp objects or protrusions. Gates must be double and able to be locked.
5.9.4 If there is a pond at the premises, it must be suitably protected so as to prevent access by dogs.
5.9.5 Dogs must wear a collar and identity tag during their time in boarding. The tag must display the name, address and telephone number of the boarding premises.

      1. The Council and the 101 Service shall be informed without delay if a dog is lost. The Council number to call is 0114 203 7410.

5.9.7 Internal shared exercise areas must be covered with a non slip, non permeable, cushioned material. Any gaps in the material used must be sealed

5.9.8 Shared exercise areas shall be sufficient to allow at least 100ft2 of space per dog.
5.10.1 Appropriate steps must be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergencies.

      1. Careful consideration needs to be given to the resting area for dogs to ensure that they can be easily evacuated in the event of a fire or other emergency, without putting the occupiers of the property at risk.

      1. A fire warning procedure and emergency evacuation plan – including details of where dogs are to be evacuated to in the event of a fire or other emergency - must be drawn up, brought to the attention of those involved in the operation and/or displayed in a prominent place on the premises. The Licensee must have suitable arrangements for the temporary boarding of dogs in the event that the licensed premises are rendered uninhabitable.

      1. Fire detection equipment must be provided in accordance with general advice given by the Fire Safety Officer. The premises must have smoke detectors in appropriate locations.

      1. All electrical installations and appliances must be maintained in a safe condition. No dog must be left in a room with loose or trailing cables or wires.

      1. All heating appliances must be free of risk of fire as is reasonably practicable. There must be no use of freestanding gas or unsealed oil appliances. Any other freestanding appliances must be kept in a safe, secure manner and should not be easily knocked over by boarding dogs.

5.11.1 If a collection or delivery service is provided, a suitable vehicle with a dog guard, cage or other suitable restraint must be used.

ADVICE – Note: These are not conditions

The following section is intended as advice for licensees.


The Licensee is advised to ensure that the establishment is covered by adequate and suitable public liability insurance, employers liability insurance and pet insurance.

Planning permission

This licence does not give any permission or approve any development under planning legislation. The operator is advised to ensure that the business does not require planning permission by contacting Planning Services at Sheffield City Council.

Nuisance Complaints

This licence does not give any exemption from the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 provisions on statutory nuisances, particularly those relating to odour or noise. The operator is advised to ensure that the business is run in such a manner as to ensure there are no grounds for complaint.

Health and safety

The operator is reminded of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, in particular to the requirements for risk assessments. These assessments need to include for the potential impact of the business on those who are not their employees, especially family members including children.

Waste disposal

All waste generated in the course of a business must be disposed of in accordance with current waste regulations.

Transport of animals

If a collection or delivery service is provided, a suitable vehicle with a dog guard, cage or other suitable restraint must be used.

Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974

Environmental Protection Act 1990

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

Control of Substances Hazardous To Health

Regulations 1988

Controlled Waste Regulations 1992

The Control of Dogs Order 1992

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

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