Apply for or Renew a Cat or Dog Boarding Licence

Further to the latest government guidelines, boarding of animals should only be continued to support essential key workers (e.g. NHS staff) or vulnerable people unable to care for their animals.

You must implement all reasonable precautions to operate to the latest government guidelines. Examples of how you could do this may include:

  • restrict contact with the owner of the animal in line with social distancing guidelines
  • make sure you clean your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds at a time
  • if you collect and drop off animals maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, clean your vehicle between collection/drop off
  • maintain social distancing when walking dogs, use your own leads that can be cleaned between use and don’t let off the lead.
  • use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • thoroughly clean areas used by dogs/cats before another animal is introduced

When walking dogs, you should stay local and use open spaces near your home.  Do not travel unnecessarily, adhere to the government’s advice on essential journeys to minimise your time outside of your home.



You need to apply for a licence if you want to run a boarding kennel or cattery or look after dogs in your home.


Who can apply 

You must be aged 16 or over. 



The council will inspect your premises before giving you a licence, and may inspect any time after your licence is granted.

You’ll need show that the animals you look after are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • regularly exercised
  • safeguarded in an emergency
  • protected from infectious disease – this includes providing isolation facilities 



You will be required to provide the following:  

  • a plan of the premises
  • standard operating procedures 
  • an emergency response plan 
  • an infection control procedure 
  • a preventative health care plan

You need a designated key holder who has access to all animal areas of the business. They must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.



You may not get a licence if you’ve been disqualified or had a licence refused, revoked or cancelled for an animal health or welfare offence. For more information see the The Animal Licensing Regulations 2018.


Record keeping 

You need to keep a register available for inspection by a vet or other council-approved officer, containing:

  • a description of all the animals you’ve kept
  • their arrival and departure dates
  • the name and address of their owners


Check if you need planning permission

You may need planning permission for your business.

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building, such as building an extension
  • change the use of your building

If your project needs planning permission and you do the work without getting it, you can be served an ‘enforcement notice’ ordering you to undo all the changes you have made.

To find out if your business premises will need planning permission.



Find out how much your licence will cost.

The licence fees are broken down into two parts:-

Part A covers the cost of deciding the licence application. This includes administration and inspection costs. 

Part B covers the cost of issuing the licence. 

Your licence will not be issued until all fees have been paid, this means the application fee (part a), the grant fee (part b) and veterinary fees (if applicable).


How to apply for or renew a licence

You will need to meet all aspects of the The Animal Licensing Regulations 2018 and The DEFRA guidance for your licence to be granted.   

Please ensure you read the regulations and guidance before you apply.

Download and fill in the form (DOCX, 127.7 KB)

You can use this form to apply for more than one animal activities licence type.


Pay online

You’ll need your debit or credit card details

Pay online


Send the form to us


Post to: Gloucester City Council, Community Wellbeing Team, PO Box 2017, Pershore, WR10 9BJ

If you send paperwork in by post we may not be able to collect it, therefore, we cannot guarantee when it will be processed. Gloucester City Council are supporting flexible working to ensure the safety of staff during this time.


What happens next 

Your application will be assessed and we may contact you for more information. 

You'll be visited by an inspector who will inspect your premises. The inspector will look at the animals and their environment and refer to the DEFRA guidance

A Star Rating  will be issued following inspection. The overall score will determine the star rating and the length of the licence. 

Your licence will be issued when all necessary fees have been paid.