Home boarding licence (dog sitting)


If you are operating a home boarding or ‘dog sitting’ service within the city of Southampton, you require a licence from Southampton City Council. Home sitting is where you take dogs into your home for a length of time in return for payment.

You do not require a licence if you are looking after a pet in its own home while the owner is away.

Public register

There is no legal requirement to keep a register. Please contact us on animal.welfare@southampton.gov.uk if you want to know whether a premises is licensed.


You are not eligible to apply if you are banned from any of the following at the time of 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


Before we issue a licence, an animal welfare officer will inspect your premises to ensure it is suitable to home board or provide day care for dogs.

How to apply

A licence is valid from the date of issue until the end of the year to which it relates to. Licence renewals are valid from the 1 January or the date the application is received, whichever is later.

Please read the guidance notes below to ensure you can comply with the licence conditions.

Apply for a home boarding licence


The home boarder licence fee is £184.00

Paying the licence fee

You can make a Debit or Credit card payment online via the council's secure online payment service. You are not required to register to use this service. Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.


Before you make a payment

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself a couple of minutes to fill in the form.

You will need:

  • Payment card (registered with 3D secure)

Pay for a home boarding licence

How long will my application take?

We aim to determine applications within 28 days from receipt of a completed application, including payment.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before we can grant a licence. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period.

Change of circumstances

You must tell us if there any change in circumstances. This includes surrendering a licence or any other changes. There is a fee due in respect of any change that requires a new licence to be issued.


Please read the guidance notes for home boarding