Animal boarding establishments

A licence is needed to keep a boarding establishment for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. This includes any business which provides accommodation for cats or dogs owned by other people. Both commercial premises, such as kennels and catteries, and home boarders who look after pets within their own home require licences, as do businesses providing day-time accommodation for pets (for example, dog daycare and cat creches).

Businesses which accommodate animals only as an ancillary part of the business (for example, a vet's surgery accommodating animals overnight after treatment) do not need to be licensed. There are also no requirements for licences for the boarding of other types of animals apart from dogs and cats.

Home boarding

As home boarders care for a smaller number of animals in less-specialised premises, we apply some special provisions to these applications, including less onerous conditions and lower fees (as inspections typically take less time). However, we still expect all home boarding businesses to be run in a professional manner, with the welfare of the boarded animals the primary concern, and licences will be refused or revoked if we cannot be satisfied that this will be the case.

Applying for a licence

To apply for a boarding establishment licence, please complete and submit the application form below.

On receipt of an application for a licence, we will arrange for the premises to be inspected, usually by a council officer but for more complex cases we may require an independent vet to visit as well (please note that the cost of this inspection will be recharged to the applicant, in addition to the application fee). The inspection will look at whether the premises are suitable for use as a boarding establishment, and the condition and suitability of the accommodation. We will also interview the applicant to ensure that they and their staff, if applicable, have the specialist knowledge, experience and qualifications required to run a boarding establishment.

When we consider the application, we will take the following matters into account:

  • The suitability, qualifications and experience of the applicant and their employees
  • The report produced by the council officer or vet following the inspection, and any recommendations made
  • The need to secure:
    • that animals will be kept at all times in suitable accommodation (in terms of construction, size, number of occupants, exercise facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness)
    • a supply of suitable food and drink, bedding material, and regular visits where appropriate
    • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious or contagious diseases
    • that appropriate steps will be taken to protect the animals in case of fire or other emergency
    • that a register is kept with details of all animals boarded at the premises, and made available for inspection on request.

Application forms

Apply online for an animal boarding establishment licence (via GOV.UK)
Apply online to renew an animal boarding establishment licence (via GOV.UK)
Apply online to vary an animal boarding establishment licence (via GOV.UK)

 Animal boarding establishment licence - application form (PDF 386KB)

Details of current application fees can be found on our licensing fees and charges page.

Can I start trading before my application is determined?

No. It is in the public interest that we fully consider your application before you start to operate. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us, using the contact details below.

Maintaining a licence

Licences will usually be granted until the end of the current calendar year. If the applicant requests it, we will issue the licence for the whole of the following calendar year (although this will mean that no licence will be in force for the remainder of the current year).

Renewal applications can be made prior to the expiry of the licence. A further inspection of the premises will be carried out on each renewal application. Renewed licences will be issued for the whole of the calendar year.

Licences are issued subject to standard conditions, plus any further specific conditions as have been listed on the licence.

 Standard conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments (kennels/catteries) (PDF 16KB)
 Standard conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments (home boarding - dogs) (PDF 39KB)
 Standard conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments (home boarding - cats) (PDF 37KB)

Council officers and authorised vets may carry out periodic inspections of licensed boarding establishments to ensure that standards are being maintained and that the licence conditions are being adhered to.

If a licence-holder is convicted of an animal welfare offence, the court may decide to cancel the licence as part of the sentence. Courts may also disqualify any person from keeping a boarding establishment in the future.

Right of appeal

If your application is refused, you may appeal against the decision. Licence-holders may also appeal against a decision to attach a particular condition to their licence. In all cases, appeals must be lodged in a magistrates' court.

Licensed animal boarding establishments

In order to help pet owners ensure that they leave their animals in the care of a licensed boarder, we maintain a register of licensed animal boarding establishments in Dacorum.

All licences listed on this page expire on 31 December annually. We will update the page through the year as new licences are granted.

We strongly advise against using any animal boarders in Dacorum who are not listed below. The licensed businesses listed here have been inspected to ensure that they are safe and suitable for use, and that the owners and staff have the necessary knowledge and skills to care for your animals. Unlicensed businesses, in addition to committing a criminal offence, offer no guarantee of suitability, security or welfare of the animals.

Expand all

  • Commercial boarders (kennels / catteries)
    Cestreham Kennels, Flaunden Hill, Flaunden
    City Pups, Upper Bourne End Lane, Hemel Hempstead
    Greenfields Cattery,
    Green Lane, Markyate
    Happicats, High Street, Northchurch
    Hazel Corner Dog Hotel, Windmill Road, Markyate
    Old Pastures Boarding Kennels, Icknield Way, Tring
    Pilgrim Cottage Cattery, Megg Lane, Chipperfield
  • Home boarders
    All Canines Great and Small, Chambersbury Lane, Hemel Hempstead
    Animals at Home (Chilterns), Cavendish Road, Markyate
    Annie's Boardwalk, Adeyfield Road, Hemel Hempstead
    Auntie Kelz Home from Home Boarding, Tamar Green, Hemel Hempstead
    Barking Mand, Ridgeway, Berkhamsted
    Benson's Buddies Boarding, Hollybush Lane, Hemel Hempstead
    Best Friends Pet Care, Mill View Road, Tring
    Bulldog and Bone, Hidalgo Court, Hemel Hempstead
    Contented Dog, Cowper Road, Berkhamsted
    Creature Comforts Pet Care, Torrington Road, Berkhamsted
    CYM Petcare, Akeman Street, Tring
    Dog Days, Elmtree Walk, Tring
    Dotty Dog Days, Wingrave Road, Gubblecote, Tring
    Ellie's Ark, Old Watling Street, Flamstead
    Grooming Boutique, New Park Drive, Hemel Hempstead
    Happy Hounds, George Street, Berkhamsted
    Herts Countryside Dog Walking and Day Care, The Apple Orchard, Hemel Hempstead
    Herts Dogs, Shendish Edge, Hemel Hempstead
    Hills Hounds, Tamar Green, Hemel Hempstead
    Hopes Happy Hounds, Wood End Close, Hemel Hempstead
    House of Little Paws, White Hart Road, Hemel Hempstead
    It's a Dog's Life, Covert Road, Northchurch
    Katie's Dog Care at Little Woodend, Little Woodend, Markyate
    Kitty and Pooch, Grantham Mews, Berkhamsted
    Moore's Paws, Rucklers Lane, Kings Langley
    Padi Paws, Linnins Pond, Flamstead
    Pampered Pet Services, Gadebridge Road, Hemel Hempstead
    Pam's Happy Dogs, Rannoch Walk, Hemel Hempstead
    Paws Up Pet Services, Bulstrode Lane, Felden, Hemel Hempstead
    Pet Relief, Roughdown Villas Road, Hemel Hempstead
    Pets at Their Best, Rucklers Lane, Kings Langley
    Safe Paws, Green End Road, Hemel Hempstead
    Scooby Doo Pet Services, Linnins Pond, Flamstead
    Tringford Tails, Wiggles Lane, Tring
    Wags, Woofs and Wellies, Stornoway, Hemel Hempstead
    Yappy Campers, Micklem Drive, Hemel Hempstead


If you have a complaint about a boarding establishment, we would advise you talk to the owner first, to see if the issue can be resolved directly. If this does not work, the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to assist further and advise you on your rights.

We will investigate complaints about unlicensed boarding establishments, or boarders operating in breach of their licences. Please contact us using the details below.

More information

For more information on animal boarding establishment licences, please email or call 01442 228470.