Home Boarding For Dogs – New Legislation Concerns

Home Boarding for Dogs - New Legislation

Home boarding for dogs is a very popular service across the UK. Many pet owners don’t like leaving their pets in kennels when they go on an overseas holiday. They much prefer having their pets stay in a regular home. Due to new legislation that came into effect on October 1st 2018, it’s highly likely that finding such a service will become much harder going forward. For those who can still find such a service prices are likely to increase greatly too.

Home Boarding for Dogs – The New Rules

I should point out that when starting Premium Pet Care I took the decision not to apply for a home boarding for dog licence. I do offer overnight pet sitting in the client’s home as an alternative. A friend of mine who used to offer home boarding in the Northampton area only did so for the first year of his business. In the following article he makes it clear that the changes in regulations and impact on his house insurance made it uneconomic.

So what’s changed with the new regulations? I won’t cover the new legislation in detail but will mention the aspects that seem to be causing the most anger with existing home boarders. These main complaints seem to be as follows:

  • Total number of dogs that people are covered for by the licence has in many cases been drastically reduced. This new legislation says that each dog must have its own room in the house. The main reason for this is so a dog can be isolated if they are need to be on health grounds. This has impacted on existing home boarders who have smaller properties or those with more open plan style homes.
  • The cost of the licence has in many cases increased enormously. Whilst for many this is true it’s not something that can be blamed on the new legislation. The cost of a licence is set by each local authority. Prices vary hugely across the UK for what is in effect the same checks and service. For many who live in an area with high licence fees they have either decided to stop offering the service or they have passed on these increases to the customer.
  • There is a new star rating system for home boarders. The rating system is partly based on a risk assessment and not quality. The risk element looks at previous compliance and complaints. New businesses are automatically assumed to be high risk because of the lack of previous data.

Home Boarding for Dogs – Likely Outcomes of the new legislation

It’s safe to say that not everyone is unhappy with the new regulations. Kennels have long felt that home boarders are a competition to them. They have wanted home boarders to face the same legislation that they do. There are many dog owners who will never use kennels. Some have had a negative experience in the past and some just feel that their dog needs that home environment and attention that kennels can’t really provide. The new legislation will mean that there are less people offering home boarding for dogs. Those who continue are likely to be licenced for fewer dogs and prices for the service are likely to increase.

Unfortunately tighter regulations don’t really help with the problem of unlicensed home boarders. I’m not talking about a friend or family member who is willing to look after your dog but people who advertise offering such a service to complete strangers for money. By being unlicensed there are no council checks on the property and no guarantees that basic animal welfare standards are being followed.

For those in the Leamington Spa area who are struggling to find an official home boarder we offer an alternative. We offer overnight pet sitting in the clients own home. Such a service is not covered by the regulations but it is something we are insured to offer. The client has the peace of mind that their dog(s) are in their own familiar surroundings. Unlike home boarding there are no concerns about how your dog will get along with other dogs who might be booked in at the same time. Having someone in your home who is able to water plants and take in the post is also an added security aspect whilst you are enjoying your holiday.


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