Homestay for pets - general conditions
All premises wishing to operate a 'homestay' service must be inspected annually and licenced. Application forms will be sent out in March of each year to previously registered 'homestay' establishments. With effect from April 2016 the fee will be £97.00. The completed application form and the fee should be returned to Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture ('DEFA') Agriculture by 31 March of the same year.
You can also apply online via our online form:
A Veterinary Officer will arrange to visit and inspect the premises. Following a satisfactory inspection, the current year Licence will be issued together with a covering letter from the Inspecting Officer.
General 'Homestay' conditions:
- Dogs must be boarded in a home environment. Owners must be given clear expectations of the establishment they choose to use. Owners that request 'homestay' clearly desire a home-like environment for their pet. Under no circumstances must garden sheds, or outbuildings be used to house boarded dogs.
- Owners must be informed and accept that carpets cannot be cleaned to the same extent as a kennel. In comparing 'homestay' with kennels, the presence of carpets in most houses precludes the washing and disinfecting of such surfaces and results in a different standard of hygiene.
- No more than four dogs may be boarded 'homestay'. Owners expect their pet to be kept in a dwelling and be part of a family. This precludes the boarding of large numbers of dogs as this is not a 'normal home environment'.
- No more than 2 owners' dogs at any time (operator's responsibility to make the owners aware, and ensure dogs suitably socialised)
- Dogs from different owners must not be left together unsupervised (day or night).
- 'Homestay' operators must ensure animals have an up-to-date vaccination history, and maintain a register.
- Premises can offer 'homestay' or kennels – but not both. Operating 'homestay' and kennels from the same premises would lead to ambiguity and confusion about the level of service that is to be provided. The inspection and routine visits to such premises would also be compromised as it would be difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain which dogs were being boarded under which set of conditions.
- 'Homestay' premises should have a secure exercise area (not to be unsupervised) and two doors to the entrances and exits of the part of the premises used for 'homestay'. Security is a primary expectation of owners – they expect their pet to be returned in good health after kennelling.
For further information please contact: