You need a licence to carry out some activities involving animals. You also need a licence to own dangerous wild animals.
When you need a licence
You must have a valid licence to carry out any of the following activities involving animals:
- selling animals as pets
- dog breeding
- boarding for dogs or cats – includes kennels, catteries, dog day care and dog boarding at home
- hiring out horses
- keeping or training animals for exhibition
You also need a licence for a:
You do not need a licence to be a professional dog walker, but you can find guidance on best practice and how to meet legal requirements at Dogs Trust: How to find a good dog walker.
You can read government guidance on how to apply for these licences and the conditions you'll need to meet, at:
- GOV.UK: Selling animals as pets licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Dog breeding licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Boarding for cats or dogs licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Hire out horses licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Keeping or training animals for exhibition licence – guidance
You can read the guidance for licensing authorities at GOV.UK: Animal activities licensing – statutory guidance for local authorities.
- the conditions for each licence type that are set at a national level
- what you need to do to meet the conditions
- steps you can take to meet the higher animal welfare standards and get a higher rating