Animal boarding licence

To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you 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.

Eligibility criteria

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.


A fee will be required for each application. 

A new Animal Boarding Licence costs £256.47 plus a veterinary fee (if required). To renew your licence the cost is £200.56. 

A new Animal Home Boarding Licence costs £256.47 plus a veterinary fee (if required). To renew your licence the cost is £200.56

In addition to the standard conditions attached to each licence, additional specific conditions may be attached. 

How to apply

Before you submit your application please contact the Animal Health and Welfare Officers to discuss your requirements.

View Environmental Health privacy notices.

To apply for a new licence or renewal of existing licence please complete the appropriate form:

Submit completed applications to Public Health team.

Application process

Once the application form together with all supporting documentation has been submitted, you should have a response from us within, one month, being the target completion period. If you have not heard from us within the target completion period then please make contact.

There are some criteria we will consider when making a decision to grant the licence. Based on your application we will evaluate if:

  • 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)
  • suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided
  • the animals are exercised and visited regularly
  • steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place
  • adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies
  • a register is kept containing 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)

Tacit consent

Tacit content won't apply. This means that you cannot assume that the application has been approved if you do not hear from us by the end of the target timescale. It is in the interest of the health of the animals that the local authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within one month, then please make contact.

Failed applications

If your application is refused you can appeal to the local Sheriff. Please contact us before you lodge an appeal.

Consumer complaint

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

Public register

We are required by law to publish a register of all animal health and welfare licence applications received by the council.

The register is only updated periodically, if you are a licenced premises, your details may not show immediately, but will be included in the next update.

Contact details

Environmental Health
Aberdeenshire Council
Gordon House
Blackhall Road
AB51 3WA
Telephone: 01346 415888