Dog boarding kennels

New licensing kennel regulations

Regulations for dog boarding kennels have changed. Here's what dog owners need to know...

It's important to know what to look for when choosing a boarding kennel for your dog so you can help make sure they receive the best care possible. Since the law changed in October 2018, new standards must now be met by those running a licensed dog boarding kennel, home boarding business or doggy daycare.

Licensed dog kennels in England, as well as licensed home boarding businesses and any dog daycare businesses (including people operating as part of a franchise), are required to meet specific standards. These regulations focus on meeting the welfare needs of dogs by providing enrichment and company for the dogs whilst boarded.

Choosing a dog boarding kennel

How do the new licensing regulations impact my dog going into kennels?

Each kennel must provide a suitable environment, as well as ensure that they monitor your dog's behaviour and also keep a record of your dog's stay. These are just some of the things you should check are in place for your dog when using any boarding service.

As a guideline, while staying in boarding kennels your dog should always have:

  • Access to their own sleeping area at all times.
  • Sufficient space in the kennel to allow all dogs to sit and stand at full height, lie down fully stretch out, wag their tail, walk and turn around.
  • At least one daily walk outside of their kennel.
  • Their own kennel unit unless you have given permission for your dog to share with another dog from your household.
  • Access to toys.

Boarders who aspire to higher standards will offer two walks per day each lasting for at least twenty minutes.

Choosing dog home boarding

How do the new licensing regulations in England impact my dog going into home boarding?

Licensed home boarding businesses must provide a suitable environment, monitor your dog's behaviour and keep comprehensive records. Your dog must be:

  • Accommodated within the home and have their own room where they can be kept separate from other dogs if needed. Rooms do not include conservatories, garages, cellars, outside buildings/sheds, balconies or outside structures.
  • Exercised at least once daily and as appropriate for their age and health.

As with boarding kennels, home boarders aspiring to even higher standards will provide your dog with two walks per day and for a minimum of twenty minutes.

Choosing a doggy daycare

How do the new licensing regulations in England impact my dog going into daycare?

Any dog daycare businesses, including people operating as part of a franchise, are now required to monitor all dog behaviour, company and the environment in which they are cared for. For a dog daycare to be fully licensed, in their care, your dog must be:

  • Assessed before they can go to the daycare provider to make sure they are not scared, anxious or stressed around other dogs and people.
  • Able to access an area where they can go to the toilet when they want to.
  • Able to access an area where they can avoid seeing people or other dogs if they choose to.

Daycare providers aspiring to even higher standards will also document the interactions your dog has with people throughout the day.

As always, if you feel that these conditions aren't being met, we urge you to walk away (taking your dog with you) and file a report to the kennel's local council. You can visit CGSG online to find out more about how your dog should be looked after while in dog daycare.

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