Animal Boarding Establishments (Including Home Boarding) Licence

Establishments where the boarding of animals is being carried out as a business are subject to the Animal Boarding Establishments Act, which requires such establishments to be licensed by the local council.

Please Note: The Council no longer accepts cash payments for applications.  When online applications are submitted through the portal you can pay by debit card, but when you submit applications by post you will need to enclose a cheque or provide a phone number so we can take payment over the phone.

If you are providing board for any dog or cat in the course of a business, including in a private dwelling, you will need a licence from the local authority. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.

How can I apply?

Firstly you may wish to read the terms and conditions for your specific business.  You will need to work towards before the licence is granted:

You can then apply for an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence.

You can apply for an Animal boarding establishment licence online or apply by post, by downloading the Animal Boarding Application Form (PDF, 42KB) and sending it to the address on the form.

Who can apply?

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose

This summary of the Act is given for guidance only. A full copy of the legislation can be viewed using the following link Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 online

What do the regulations say?

  • That the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times.  Suitable accommodation takes into account the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions.
  • That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly.
  • That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place.
  • That adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies.
  • That a register is kept.  The register should contain a description of all animals received, their arrival and departure date and the name and address of the owner.  The register should be available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Application Process

Upon receiving your completed Animal Boarding Establishments Licence Application, you will be contacted by one of our officers to arrange an appointment with you to visit the premises to be licensed.  During the inspection the officer will refer to the specific licence conditions to make sure you can adhere to them.  Following a successful inspection your licence will be processed and granted.

Is the licence granted if you do not hear from the Licencing Authority? (Tacit Consent)

No.  It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.  If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period (4 weeks), please contact us.  You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.


An application period of 28 calendar days is required.

How much does the licence cost?

Please see current fees list Licencing Fees and Charges (PDF, 247KB)

Please note the application fee will need to be paid at the time of submitting the application form.  Payments should be made by credit/debit card; we shall contact you on the telephone number provided once the application has been validated.

Failed Application Redress

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court or, in Scotland, to their local Sheriff.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Milton Keynes Council in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court or, in Scotland, to their local Sheriff.

Consumer Complaints

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worke and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact The UK European Consumer Centre.

Last Updated: 1 May 2018