Animal boarding, kennels and catteries, breeding and pet shops

In any environment where animals from different sources are gathered together, and where there are regular animal movements, the risk of spread of disease increases.

Where animal accommodation is in constant use, hygiene is critically important to prevent build up of organisms which can cause disease. Careful management of accommodation premises such as kennels and catteries, and protection of the health of animals which are boarding, is particularly important.


Boarding premises

Specific legislation protects the health and welfare of animals in kennels and catteries.

  • If you provide accommodation for other people’s dogs or cats, an annual licence will be required from your local council. To obtain this licence, all animals must be protected from infectious disease, this includes providing isolation facilities, for which detailed veterinary advice will be required.

Careful attention should be paid to design and fabric of boarding accommodation with respect to hygiene and disease avoidance or infection control.

  • Areas should be well maintained and capable of being cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Routinely, regularly and particularly at changeovers, all areas should be cleaned, disinfected, allowed to dry out and, ideally, rested before new animals move in.
  • Your vet can advise on appropriate disinfectant, which may require to be changed if disease occurs.

All animals should be routinely vaccinated prior to entering the kennels/cattery.

Records should be kept of all animal movements, as these are particularly important to trace movement of disease if it occurs and medicines given, as proof that animals were treated  timely, legitimately and appropriately, in order to safeguard welfare.

Vets’ advice on preparing your pet for holiday care is provided by the PDSA.



Protection of health and welfare guidance for animals kept for breeding.


Pet shops

Protection of health and welfare guidance for animals sold in pet shops.

  • All pet shops must obtain a licence, which protects animal health and welfare, in order to trade.