Catteries and kennels licences

Do you need a license to board animals, how to apply and pay for a boarding estbalishment license, how to change the license, what other permissions you may need, who regulates the license and what happens if you don't apply.

How do I know what boarding establishments I can use?

You should only use a premises that holds either a valid Home Boarding Licence or a Animal Boarding Licence or a day crèche licence.

A full list of all licensed boarding establishment can be seen on our public register page.

This licence should be available on clear display at a Boarding Establishment, if you want to use a Home Boarder you can ask to see a copy of their licence.

What else should I check before choosing a boarding service?

Before you decide on an establishment to board your dogs/cats you need to check the following:

  • Is a premises properly insured?
  • Do they hold full vaccination records for all animals boarded? 

Do I need a licence to board animals?

Yes. If you want to board dogs or cats you will require either:

  • a home boarding licence - boarding up to a maximum of 3 dogs in your home, may suit those who are retired, do not work or work from home
  • an animal boarding licence (catteries/kennels)
  • day crèche licence - board dogs during the day in a commercial unit, with overnight boarding.

If you are unsure which category you fall into you can contact the licensing team for further advice.

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

If you operate without a valid animal boarding licence in place, you may be prosecuted and fined up to £500 and imprisoned for up to 3 months or both.


A cattery is a boarding establishment for cats, usually providing accommodation for one or two cats from each household for a period of time whilst their owners are away, on holiday or unable to look after them.


A kennels is a boarding establishment for dogs, usually providing a kennel big enough for 1 or 2 dogs from the same household with the facilities for the dog to exercise. Some kennels offer day creche facilities, within the boarding kennels with dog socialisation.

Day crèche

A day crèche is a boarding establishment providing day care, for dogs from different households normally between the hours of 7am-8pm with no overnight accommodation.

Home boarding licence

Find out more information on Home Boarding licences on the Home Boarding page.

How do I apply for an animal boarding establishment licence?

If you require advice and guidance on applying for a animal boarding, we offer a pre-application advice service. The fee for this service is £50 plus vat. 

If you would like to book a pre- application advice meeting please email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk 

You can apply for an animal boarding licence by completing the below form:

New animal boarding establishment application form (word 1.93mb, opens in new window)


New application for a animal boarding establishment - £200

New commercial dog day care crèche - £250


Once you have submitted your complete application you will be contacted by a licensing officer, who will arrange to visit and inspect your boarding accommodation. In order to have your licence issued you will need to meet the conditions attached to the animal boarding licence as below:

Additional conditions may be added to each licence on a case-by-case basis.

Animal boarding conditions - dog (word 25kb opens in new window)

Animal boarding conditions - cat (word 25kb opens in new window)

Day creche model licence conditions (word 25kb opens in new window)

If you meet all requirements, your licence will be granted and forwarded to you, any new application will require an inspection.

If you are unable to meet the requirements for a licence, the officer will arrange to revisit you when you have done additional work on your premises.

All animal boarding licences run from the 1 January to the 31 December each year.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, as every premise requires inspecting to ensure the standards required are fully met.

How do I renew my animal boarding licence?

A renewal application must be received by the 31 December each year, otherwise the animal boarding licence will lapse. If you continue to board animals without a licence you will be committing an offence.


Renewal application for a animal boarding establishment - £180

Renewal application for a commercial dog day care creche - £200


You can apply to renew your licence by completing the below form:

Animal boarding licence renewal application form (word 1.9mb, opens in new window)

If you have a cattery and a kennel, two renewal applications must be completed. 

Please note: you will need your credit/debit card to hand.

Please note: a renewal declaration form can only be used if nothing has changed from your existing licence, if you changed any details a new application form will be required. Your application cannot be processed without your supporting document of Public Liability insurance. 

A tacit consent does not apply to this application.

What other permissions may I need?

If you are applying for an animal boarding licence you may also need to speak to:

Who regulates boarding establishments?

The licensing team are the regulators for animal boarding establishments.

What to do if you have concerns

If a business holds a licence it should be on display in a prominent position at the premises.

If you have concerns about a premises operating under a licence, have a complaint or would like to report a business that you are concerned are operating without a licence you can contact the licensing team, by one of the following ways:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Please ensure you provide as much information as you can to help us.

You will be required to give your name and contact details so that we can ensure that the complaint is genuine.

Your details will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed unless the investigation results in a prosecution at which stage your details would have to be disclosed.

What happens if I do not apply for an animal boarding licence?

If you board cats or dogs providing them accommodation then you will require a boarding establishment licence.

If you are found to be operating without such a licence in place, the licensing team may prosecute you.

Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2018