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Licence Conditions for Dog Boarding Establishments

Licence Conditions for Dog Boarding Establishments

Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963


Unless otherwise stated, these conditions shall apply to all buildings and areas to which dogs have access and/or which are used in association with the boarding of dogs. Use of the term kennel refers to both sleeping and individual exercise area.

Number of Dogs Permitted

  1. The maximum number of dogs to be kept at any one time is to be determined by the local authority. This relates to the number and size of the kennels. Each dog must be provided with a separate kennel except that two dogs from the same household may share a kennel with the written consent of the dogs owner.
  2. Holding pens may be provided for temporarily kennelling a dog for not more than 24 hours. Holding pens, if provided must comply with conditions as required for main kennels except for condition 8.3. Holding pens must be a minimum area of 2.3 sq. m (25 sq. ft).
  3. All dogs entering the establishment must wear a collar and tag identifying the name and address of the owner.
  4. No animals other than dogs are to be boarded within the licensed facilities without the written approval of Swale Borough Council.
  5. Stray dogs must not be boarded without the written approval of Swale Borough Council.

General Construction

  1. The establishment must, at all times, be laid out and operated in accordance with an approved plan. Before carrying out any alterations, plans must be submitted to and approved by Swale Borough Council.
  2. Wood must not be used in the exposed construction of walls, floors, partitions, door frames or doors in the kennelling area. Where it has been used in existing construction it must be faced with a durable, smooth, impervious material other than paint. There must be no projections liable to cause injury.
  3. Where galvanised weld mesh is used the wire diameter must not be less than 2.0 mm (13 standard wire gauge) excluding any covering and the mesh size must not exceed 5.0 cm (2).
  4. Sleeping area of kennels must be so insulated as to prevent extremes of temperature.
  5. The construction must be such that the security of the dog is ensured. If kennels are open top they must be covered with suitable mesh.


  1. The interior surfaces of all walls of buildings must be of smooth, impervious materials, capable of being easily cleaned.
  2. Where concrete or other building blocks or bricks are used, they must be so rendered and sealed as to be smooth and impervious and resealed annually, or as necessary.
  3. Junctions between vertical and horizontal sections must be coved. If impractical in existing premises, all joints must be sealed with waterproof flexible grouting.
  4. Partition walls between kennels must be of solid construction to a minimum height of 1.1 m (4ft).


  1. Floors of all buildings, exercise areas and kennels must be of smooth, impervious materials, capable of being easily cleaned and must incorporate a damp proof membrane.
  2. Floors of all kennels and related exercise area must be laid to a minimum fall of 1 in 80 leading to a covered drainage channel, and must provide sufficient grip for the dog to walk or run without sustaining injury.
  3. Drainage must not pass towards sides and partitions so that contamination does not pass between kennels.
  4. Large communal exercise areas must be suitably drained but need not comply with conditions 4.1 and 4.2.


  1. Ceilings must be constructed of smooth, impervious materials and be Capable of being easily cleaned.


  1. Doors must be strong enough to resist impact and scratching and must be close fitting and capable of being effectively secured.
  2. Where metal bars and frames are used, they must be of suitable gauge (approximately 10-12 mm) with spacing adequate to prevent small dogs escaping or becoming entrapped via nose or paw. Where plastic surfaced doors with metal edging are used, the strip metal edges must be adequately chamfered to prevent injury to the dog.
  3. Door openings must be constructed such that the passage of water/waste is not impeded, or allowed to gather due to inaccessibility.
  4. Doors must open inwards towards the kennel.


  1. All windows which pose a security risk must be escape proof at all times. Such windows must be protected by weld mesh, or be made of reinforced glass, polycarbonate or other impact resistant materials.

Kennel Size, Layout and Exercise Facilities

  1. Each kennel must be provided with a sleeping area of at least 1.9 sq. m (20 sq.ft). Suitable bedding equipment which allows the dog to be comfortable and which is capable of being easily and adequately cleaned and sterilised must be provided. Such equipment must be sited out of draughts. All bedding material must be maintained in a clean, parasite free and dry condition.
  2. Each kennel must be provided with an exercise area of at least 2.6 sq. m (28 sq. ft), which is separate from the bedding area and exclusive to that kennel, for free use by the dog at all times except when bedded down for the night. This exercise area must be roofed to a minimum of half the area, sufficient to give the dog protection against the weather. The remaining area must be covered with suitable mesh.
  3. Kennels must have a minimum height of 1.8 m (6 ft).
  4. Kennels and exercise areas must open onto secure corridors or other secured areas so that dogs are not able to escape from the premises.
  5. Exercise areas must not be used as bedding areas.


  1. The establishment must be connected to mains drainage or an approved, localised sewage disposal system.
  2. The interior floor of every kennel must be constructed so as to provide a proper fall to a covered drainage channel sited to take floor washings from each kennel and discharging to a trapped gully which connects to the foul drainage system.

Temperature in Kennels

  1. The bedding area of the kennel must be maintained at a temperature of between 100C (50oF) and 260C (790F).
  2. In isolation kennels there must be a means of maintaining the temperature at a level suitable for the condition of the dog, and dependent upon veterinary advice. However, the temperature in the isolation kennel must not be allowed to rise above 260C (790F) or fall below 130C (600F).


  1. Permanent ventilation must be provided to the sleeping and exercise areas without the creation of excessive, localised draughts in the bedding area.


  1. During daylight hours lighting must be provided to exercise areas so that all parts of the area are clearly visible. Where practicable this must be natural light.
  2. Artificial lighting must be provided in the exercise areas so that all parts of the area are clearly visible if these areas are to be used after daylight hours.
  3. Lighting must be available at all times to sleeping areas so that all parts of the area are clearly visible.


  1. All kennels, corridors, common areas, kitchens etc. must be kept clean and free from accumulation of dirt and dust and must be kept in such a manner as to be conducive to maintenance of disease control and dog comfort.
  2. Each kennel must be cleaned daily. All excreta and soiled material must be removed from all areas used by dogs at least daily and more often if necessary.
  3. All bedding areas must be kept clean and dry.
  4. Each kennel must be thoroughly disinfected and dried upon vacation or every seven days whichever is the shorter. All fittings and bedding must also be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to re-use.
  5. Facilities must be provided for the proper reception, storage and disposal of all waste. Particular care should be taken to segregate clinical waste arising from the treatment and handling of dogs with infectious diseases and the final disposal route for all such waste must be incineration.
  6. Arrangements must be made with the Waste Collection Authority or waste management contractor authorised for the purposes of the duty of care, for removal of other wastes from the establishment under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Foul waste water must be disposed of by discharge to the approved drainage system.
  7. All vehicles used by the establishment for the transportation of dogs must be regularly serviced and kept clean. They must be fitted with cages of adequate size for the safe transportation of dogs and be provided with adequate ventilation. All vehicles must be secure.

Food and Water Supplies

  1. All boarded dogs must be adequately supplied with suitable food. Wholesome water must be available at all times and changed daily. Eating and drinking vessels must be secured to prevent spillage and be capable of being easily cleaned and sterilised. They must be maintained in a clean condition.
  2. Eating vessels must be cleaned after each meal.
  3. Drinking vessels must be cleaned at least once daily.

Kitchen Facilities

  1. Exclusive facilities (separate room or area) must be provided for the storage and preparation of food for the dogs.
  2. Food storage and preparation areas must be hygienically constructed and be kept clean.
  3. Where fresh and cooked meats are stored, refrigeration facilities must be provided, and food contamination must be avoided.
  4. A sink with hot and cold water must be provided for the washing of food equipment and eating and drinking vessels. A separate wash hand basin with hot and cold water must be provided for staff use.
  5. Containers must be provided for the storage of foods and shall be so constructed and kept in such good order, repair and condition as to be proof against insects and other pests.
  6. Eating and drinking vessels must be provided; these must be of a material which is capable of being easily cleaned and sterilised.

Disease Control and Vaccination

  1. Adequate precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious and contagious disease and parasites amongst the dogs, staff and visitors.
  2. Dogs boarded or resident must be accompanied by an up to date record of vaccination against distemper, kennel cough, hepatitis, parvovirus,leptospirosis and other relevant diseases. Vaccinations must have been completed at least 4 weeks before the date of boarding. This record of vaccination must be kept on-site throughout the period that the dog is boarded. Evidence of recent broad spectrum de-worming must be provided for dogs which will have access to a communal exercise area. Four weeks is the maximum time necessary for vaccines to become fully effective. A shorter time period is acceptable if suitable veterinary evidence is provided based on manufacturers instructions.
  3. Isolation facilities must be provided in the following minimum ratios:
    • Establishments with fewer than 40 kennels: one isolation facility for every 10 kennels or part thereof.
    • Establishments with 40 or more kennels: one isolation facility for every 10 kennels up to 40 units and thereafter one isolation facility for each 20 kennels or part thereof.
  4. These isolation facilities must be in compliance with the other boarding requirements but must be separate and physically isolated from the main kennels. This must be approximately 5 m (15 ft). (See also temperature control.)
  5. Adequate facilities to prevent the spread of infectious disease between the isolation and other kennels must be provided. Hands must be washed after leaving the isolation facilities before visiting the other kennels.
  6. Isolation facilities must be available for the protection and isolation of bitches in season. Such facilities must prevent contact between
    the dogs.
  7. Isolation facilities must be used where the presence of infectious disease is suspected, and when bitches are in season. Where stray dogs are accepted by the kennels they must be kept in a separate area away from boarding dogs. Isolation facilities must only be used for this purpose in exceptional circumstances i.e. where stray intake is minimal. Condition 16.05 would apply to staff handling strays.
  8. Measures must be taken to keep establishments free of rodents, insects and other pests and dogs free of external parasites.
  9. A veterinary surgeon must be called in case of signs of disease, injury or illness. Where any dog is sick or injured any instructions for its treatment which have been given by a veterinary surgeon must be strictly followed.
  10. A well stocked first-aid kit suitable for use on dogs must be available and accessible on site.
  11. A range of muzzles of varying sizes as well as a dog catching device, must be kept on site, and must be approved by Swale Borough Council.


  1. A register must be kept of all dogs boarded. The information kept must include the following:
    • Date of arrival and kennel number
    • Name of dog, as well as any other identification mark such as microchip number or tattoo
    • Description, breed, age and gender of dog
    • Name, address and telephone number of owner or keeper
    • Name, address and telephone number of contact person whilst boarded
    • Name, address and telephone number of dogs veterinary surgeon
    • Anticipated and actual date of departure
    • Health, welfare and nutrition requirements
  2. Records must be kept available for a minimum of 24 months and kept in such a manner as to enable an authorised officer to easily access such information. Where records are computerised, a hard copy must be kept. The register must also be available to members of staff of the establishment at all times.

Identification of Kennels

  1. Each kennel must be clearly and permanently numbered, and must carry a notice giving the name of owner, the name and a description of the dog, its date of arrival and date of departure. Other relevant information such as feeding habits and frequencies, medicinal treatments etc. may be stored on this fixture, but must not obscure the primary information.


  1. A fit and proper person aged 18 or over must always be present to exercise supervision and deal with emergencies whenever dogs are boarded at the premises. Dogs must be visited at such regular intervals as are necessary for their health, safety and welfare.

Fire Precautions

  1. Appropriate steps must be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergencies. The name, address and telephone number of the licensee must be permanently displayed on the premises and must also be logged with the police and fire authorities. Fire protection advice must be sought from the Fire Prevention Officer and implemented.
  2. A proper emergency evacuation plan and fire warning procedure must Be drawn up and posted on the premises. This must include an Instruction as to where dogs are to be evacuated to in the event of a fire or other emergency.
  3. Fire fighting equipment must be provided in accordance with any advice given by the Fire Prevention Officer.
  4. All electrical installations and appliances must be maintained in a safe condition. There must be an automatic electrical cut-out system on each block of kennels.
  5. Heating appliances must not be sited in a location or manner where they may present a risk of fire, or risk to dogs.
  6. Precautions must be taken to prevent any accumulation which may present a risk of fire.
  7. There must be adequate means of raising an alarm in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Licence Display

A copy of the licence and its conditions must be suitably displayed to the public in a prominent position in, on or about the boarding establishment.

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