Dog Home Boarding 2020

Dog Home Boarding 2020

Dog Home Boarding 2020

The Legislation for Animal Licensing changed in 2018; the new legislation caused a lot of controversy at the start and still does to some extent. 

Local Authorities across the country were interpreting some of the new rules and guidance differently from each other, License fees were hiked up and prices were inconsistent. 

Non Profit Organisations were formed to act as representatives to dog home boarders, to help iron out inconsistencies between councils and to re-address things with DEFRA that were unclear or things which were causing problems and were starting to put people out of business. 

A Star Rating system was also introduced based on compliance, Time Served, and Qualifications amongst a range of other things. The higher the star rating would mean a longer license period. 

The Rules are stringent, and the full legislation can be found in the link below if you are interested or at least curious, it makes for interesting reading.

Licensing for other Animal Businesses is being looked at in depth by DEFRA and it looks like other business models will also be affected in due course.  Dog Breeders now require a license; Dog Walking Businesses are also being looked into along with Dog Training, Behaviour and even regulation or licensing for Rescue Centres is on the cards.

Home Boarding Dogs requires a lot of paperwork for both the business and the customer. Vaccinations must be kept up to date; Permission slips are required to walk dogs off lead, even to mix dogs with others.  I am licensed for 3 dogs; this is based on the number of rooms with windows. Each dog should have its own designated room unless the dog owner signs to say they are happy for them to sleep in the same room, this includes dogs from the same household. Crates are now frowned upon, but if a dog is used to sleeping in a crate a permission slip must be signed.

A Double entry system must be implemented on any garden gate to ensure nobody can get in whilst the dogs are outside, and a double entry system inside the house at the door, so that you can receive visitors without the dogs escaping.

There are higher and lower standards for the double entry system on the outside gate, so its not compulsory in order to get a license it counts more towards the star rating system.

Health and Safety procedures must be procured by the business, including cleaning schedules, Walking Schedules, Feed schedules, each must be allocated their own water and feed bowls, grooming equipment, etc.

Emergency procedures for Fire, Car Breakdown, Accident, Sickness, and that’s for both the boarder and the dog.  A separate key holder is required in case of emergency. This person should be a fit and proper person who can take charge of any dogs if I am hospitalised whilst dogs are in my care.

Written permission from my vet indicating that I may use their isolation facilities should a dog become ill with a potentially contagious disease.

I now need insurance details of the dog including policy numbers, Microchip details. Full behavioural and health information.

SCHEDULE 4: Specific conditions: providing boarding for cats or dogs – Part 3 (excerpt)


A register must be kept of all the dogs accommodated in the home which must include—

(a)the dates of each dog’s arrival and departure;

(b)each dog’s name, age, sex, neuter status, microchip number and a description of it or its breed;

(c)the number of any dogs from the same household;

(d)a record of which dogs (if any) are from the same household;

(e)the name, postal address, telephone number (if any) and email address (if any) of the owner of each dog and emergency contact details;

(f)in relation to each dog, the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of a local contact in an emergency;

(g)the name and contact details of each dog’s normal veterinarian and details of any insurance relating to the dog;

(h)details of each dog’s relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and restrictions on exercise;

(i)details of each dog’s diet and related requirements;

(j)any required consent forms;

(k)a record of the date or dates of each dog’s most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments;

(l)details of any medical treatment each dog is receiving.

(2) When outside the premises, each dog must wear an identity tag which includes the licence holder’s name and contact details.


Upon first reading the legislation back in 2018, I thought to myself, “This is impossible” but once I put my head down and went through each section, things started to progress.

I was granted a 5 Star Rating and given a 3-year license back in October 2018 so all my effort paid off.  My next inspection will be in October 2021.  Although unannounced inspections are also now being undertaken, so I have to ensure I am practicing what I am preaching at all times.

Don’t get me wrong, this is no easy fete, I found that out late in 2019 when I burned myself out and wept tears of defeat. Not being the kind of person who gives up easily, I decided, to change things slightly, allowing myself more time to relax.

I started by looking at my business and seeing what and where things could be changed. I stopped the Dog Walking side of the business. I had to inform some customers that I was no longer available to walk their dog but I did try to help them by finding them another dog walker.

I have kept 3 dogs which I do still walk, Two of these dogs have been with me since Day 1 all the way back in 2011, so our bond is inseparable, no way could I just say goodbye, all 3 have been with me since Puppyhood and I love them as if they were my own. Dog Walking

I also decided that I wasn’t getting any younger, (I know your thinking, how young I look ha-ha), and trying to hold onto a large dog that has had no lead training was taking its toll on my neck and shoulders. High energy dogs like working spaniels were also becoming too demanding with all the other dogs I had to walk in-between, so I looked to my future and asked, “What made me start this job”?  It was Missy. My cute little princess who also died in 2018, I still miss her very much.  “Little” here is the operative word. Gill & Missy

How had I lost so much direction? my original vision was a house full of small dogs all cute and cuddly, playful little cuties. So I re-branded to Small Dog Home Boarding. Now don’t get me wrong here, I have some larger dogs which I board on a regular basis, including spaniels, but these particular dogs all have a calm temperament and are not over-demanding on my frail physique.   So they still come to me for boarding and I am more than happy about that.

Much quicker than I anticipated a whole load of new customers came a knocking with their little Chihuahuas and Terriers, I cannot express how grateful I am for that.

I am now back on top of my game and my mental and physical health is back to normal, but without the massive amounts of bad stress which I had suffered since 2018.  I have found time to further my education, in relation to my business and I have even won 2 Awards this year, which will be officially announced at the end of July so I am told.

Well if you have read this far, I hope you have found it interesting or even entertaining. Alas, we are still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic and I have no idea how all this will end. I am like other businesses open as usual, with procedures in place which means, you cannot enter my home, consultations take place in the garden, or if you wear a mask and gloves you can come inside and stand perfectly still in one spot and not move.  Your dog however is free to roam. (if you can’t laugh you’re doomed)

Whilst most of this year’s bookings have been cancelled and re-booked for next year, it means I’m already getting full up for 2021.  I have solid bookings for later this year which hopefully won’t be cancelled, but up until October, I’m only going to take on regular customers, and then I will re-assess the situation and see how things are shaping up in the country, as it changes every day.

Please Stay Safe, Keep Laughing, and I hope to see you all soon.

UK Dog Law 3

UK Dog Law 3

UK Dog Law Part 3

  • Reasonable Care
  • Leash Laws
  • Accidents involving Dogs
  • Dog Fouling
  • PSPO’s
  • Motorway Driving

Reasonable Care

As the owner or carer of a dog, you need to exert Reasonable Care, especially when taking a dog for a walk, on or near a road.

The Highway Code Rule 56 explains;  A dog cannot be out on the road on its own, it MUST be in the care of an appropriate adult and kept on a short lead.A public highway meaning a Pavement, a Road or Path including Bridleways. Any place shared with the public, cyclists, horseriders etc.

Reasonable care taken from ( is:

the degree of caution and concern for the safety of himself/herself and others an ordinarily prudent and rational person would use in the circumstances. This is a subjective test of determining if a person is negligent, meaning he/she did not exercise reasonable care.

You should be aware of the laws, and also your dog’s behaviour.  You should have relevant knowledge and understanding. Quite a lot of responsibility.

The term ‘Reasonable Care’ is commonly used in law to give an indication of a standard allowing the variation of circumstances an element of flexibility.

A Level of care in specific circumstances is expected but not an absolute, therefore allowing for consideration not demanding a set criterion to be fulfilled.

An example would be; If your dog cuts his leg whilst on his morning walk, you have a duty of care towards your dog to keep him healthy.

Whilst you are expected to take the dog to a Vet, it would be advised that you also take a Canine First Aid course so you can be better prepared for emergencies. This would show reasonable care.

If your garden backs onto a road, you must ensure that the fence is adequate and escape-proof. This is reasonable care.
You would, however, be excused liability if your garden had a public right of access and a rambler left the gate open. This is the same for Sheep, Cattle and Horses.

Leash Laws

The Highway Code rule 56 says: Do not let a dog out on the road on its own. Keep it on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists, horse riders, and pedestrians. This includes bridleways.

The Road Traffic ACT 1988 section 27 Control of Dogs on Road says: Anyone who allows a dog to be on a designated road without being held on a lead, is guilty of an offence. It specifies that all dogs should be kept under control by the owner, or whoever is in charge of the dog at that time. Reasonable care must be taken to ensure the dog does not cause injury or damage by straying onto a road.

The person walking a dog must also be deemed able to control it. For example, A 50kg Rottweiler escapes from the control of a 5-year-old child and causes a road accident. As the keeper of the dog in this instance is a child, the parent would be liable as reasonable care had not been taken to prevent the dog from escaping.

Exemptions to leash laws: It does not apply to any pack of hounds, or any dog being used for sporting purposes. Any dog being used for the capture or destruction of vermin. Any dog while being used for the herding of cattle or sheep. Any dog being used in rescue work, or any dog registered with the guide dog for the blind association. Any dog while being used on official duties by a member of the police or armed forces.  However, the dog must be actively engaged in this duty at the time, and not just out for a walk with his owner.

Accidents involving Dogs

If you hit a dog with your car, you must stop, try to locate the owner or contact the police. If a member of the public or the owner asks you for your name, address and contact details in relation to the incident, you must tell them. If you do not give your details you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

You must do this whether the animal was killed or injured or not, and you must do this for Dogs, Horses, Cattle, Pigs, Goats, Sheep, Donkeys and Mules……….But this does not apply to Cats!
There are exclusions to the rules which are dependent on the vehicle classification. Exceptions under Section 189 of the Highways act are:

Mechanically propelled vehicles for the purpose of cutting grass controlled by a pedestrian, and not capable of modification for another purpose. E.g. a lawnmower
Any propelled vehicle controlled by a pedestrian as stated under section 140 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. (E.g.
Electric bicycles as per the regulation and power output) including mobility scooters.
If the dog is carried within or on the propelled vehicle

Dog Fouling
We have a Legal duty to clean up after our dog unless you are registered blind of course. So you are duty-bound to pick up any mess your dog leaves in all public spaces.  This is to stop the spread of disease.  Failing to do so can lead to an on the spot fine, which can cost £75 and you could be taken to court if you persist.In court, you can face up to £1000 fine plus legal expenses.

Dog Faeces can carry parasites which can cause the spread of disease, some of these infectious parasites can carry harmful infections to humans like Toxocariasis. (NHS UK) says: 

“Toxocariasis is a rare infection caused by roundworm parasites. Humans can catch it from handling soil or sand contaminated with infected animal faeces. Roundworm parasites are most commonly found in cats, dogs and foxes, and usually affect young children. This is because children are more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil when they play and put their hands in their mouths. However, cases have been reported in people of all ages”.

Some spaces are exempt from liability these include Agricultural Land, Woodland, Rural Common Land, Marshland and Heathland, and on highways with a speed limit of 50mph or over.
Bins are provided by the council for you to place the used bag into, However, where there are no bins available, you are to carry the bag(s) home with you and put it into your own dustbin.

Estimates put the UK dog population between 6.5 and 7.4 million, producing 1,000 tonnes of faeces every day says Keep Britain Tidy.

PSPO (public space protection order)

Under recent legislation, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Local authorities were passed powers to produce Public Space Protection Orders; these include Dog Control and behaviour.
Parks and recreational areas, Shopping Centres stipulate that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Other orders include No more than 4 dogs walked at a time, clear up any faeces, and carry poo bags.  Do not enter certain parts of the area, like a play park.

The Public Space Protection Orders are usually found in parks, and places where there are children and a high volume of people, it also includes Farmland.
These spaces are well signed at the entrance.
Local councils must let the public know where PSPOs are in place. This information is usually found on their website.
If dogs are not allowed in a park, there must be signs saying so.
If the council plans to put a new PSPO in place, They must put up a notice and publish it on their website.  It will tell you where the PSPO will apply and show you a map of the area.

For not adhering to these PSPO’s you can be fined £100 on the spot (a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’) or up to £1,000 if it goes to court.

There are exemptions to the order;
It does not apply to any pack of hounds, or any dog being used for sporting purposes. Any dog being used for the capture or destruction of vermin. Any dog while being used for the herding of cattle or sheep. Any dog being used in rescue work, or any dog registered with the guide dog for the blind association. Any dog while being used on official duties by a member of the police or armed forces.  However, the dog must be actively engaged in this duty at the time, and not just out for a walk with his owner.

Motorway Rules

Reasonable Care is required when driving with a Dog(s) in your car; they must be suitably restrained in a dog harness, crate, or a Dog Guard between you and them so as to avoid any distractions, injury to yourself or the dog(s) if you have to stop suddenly. (Rule 57 of The Highway Code).

If you are driving along a Motorway towing a Horse trailer or a large vehicle transporting animals, you cannot use the Right Hand Lane. Your maximum speed limit is 60mph.

If your car breaks down on the Motorway and you have animals/dogs in the car, you must NOT let them out of the car. Unless directed to do so by a police officer. If you are involved in an accident they must be properly restrained if removed from the vehicle and must stay on the side of the road out of the way of traffic until help comes.

(The Motorways Traffic (England & Wales) Regulations 1982), section 14, contains the rules governing the handling of animals on motorways.
Under this act, it is an offence to remove or permit an animal to leave a vehicle whilst the vehicle is on the motorway.  It is also an offence to allow the dog to escape from the vehicle, or be removed from the vehicle. If the vehicle needs to be evacuated for safety reasons The dog must be kept only on the motorway verge, on a suitable lead under proper control whilst you wait for assistance.

(Liam Deacon) (12.4.2019) wrote in (The Daily Star) ‘Pet dog dies after ‘leaping from car window on M5 motorway’ Sadly the owner had the dog in the front seat, unsecured and the window of the car was open, the dog jumped out whilst they were traveling at speed and was killed by oncoming traffic.

The rules apply to all animals, including those being towed on a trailer, like livestock or horses. Any person in charge and responsible for the animals at the time of an incident must obey the rules. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.
Animals being herded on a road or country lane should be kept under control at all times. Ideally with someone at the front of the herd warning oncoming traffic and someone at the back keeping the herd moving forward.  It is best to herd during daylight hours but if you have to do it when it is dark, wear reflective clothing. The person at the front should hold a white light and the person at the back should use a red one so that any traffic can see them from both directions.  For more information see Rule 58 of the Highway Code

UK Dog Law 3

UK Dog Law 1

Some Questions answered:


The difference between civil law and criminal law

Civil law incurs no criminal record. It is a case of Liability, brought by an individual or an organisation.
Criminal law can incur a criminal record and is brought to court by the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service). It is a case of “Guilty or Not Guilty,”

How does the law define ownership of a dog?

Ownership of a dog is defined by who is feeding and caring for the dog and where it usually resides.  Microchipping and Pet Insurance are not enough to prove ownership. I am a Licensed Dog Home Boarder and the dogs I look after, that are in my care, (even though I do not own them),  I am classed as their keeper and I am responsible for the dog’s welfare and behaviour. In-Law the Keeper of the Dog and the Owner of the Dog can be different people.

What does Strictly Liable mean? Animals Act 1971 
Strict Liability does not depend on whether there is any intention or negligence on the keeper’s part.  If damage is caused, you are strictly liable.  Where damage is concerned, negligence does not have to be proven.

If you are walking a dog lets say off the lead  and it runs over to another dog, who is on a lead, and starts a fight, in the process the owner of the on lead dog gets bitten. You are strictly liable for the incident.

How is negligence determined?

Negligence does not have to be determined; if damage is caused then negligence is present. As with the example above.  If you are aware that your dog has the potential or inclination to harm another person and cause injury or fear and you do not take precautions to protect the public, you are negligent.

What are the possible exceptions to liability?

If the person who is affected by the damage “injury” is deemed to be completely to blame for the damage. provoking a dog to bite you for instance.
If the person sustaining the damage voluntarily ‘accepted the risk’. For example.  The person had full knowledge of the dog’s behaviour beforehand.
Animals kept on-premises or in a structure where the person who sustained the damage was trespassing.  So if a Trespassers such as a burglar was entering your home without permission, with the intent of committing a crime, and your Dog attacked them, there would be no case to answer.  The  Burglar would, however, need to be inside or partly inside your home.  Your Garden and even your car are now classed as a public place. If on the other hand, you ordered your dog to Attack a Trespasser you would be charged with a criminal offence, such as malicious wounding and as a result, quite a long prison sentence can be expected.