Next week, I’m going to have the third and final stage of becoming a registered Home Dog Boarder, it’s been quite a process and already, I’ve learned alot.
So what does it take to become a Dog Boarder & crucially, what do you need?
In this post, I’ll take a simple whizz around the key points and if you are still interested in looking after dogs in your home, I’ll add in some links too, for further reading.
My first enquiry to my local Environmental Health Technical Support Officer - also known as Holly, was a phone call explaining that I would like to look after dogs in my home. Sitting here I’m cringing at my naive question - “is it all about having good fences and then I’ll be good to go”?
“No” she replied, “not any more”.
She was of course, absolutely right.
Prior to October last year (2018) the laws were wolly around dog (& animal) care. Too many dogs were being placed houses which were far too small in comparison to the amount of animals that were placed together. Some folk were cashing in a growth industry - this new legislation puts the animals’ wellbeing right at the centre of the laws. As a dog owner myself, I’m really happy this is the case.
I printed off all 30 odd pages, glanced through, put them in a drawer and left well alone for a few months - way too much information for one sitting.
As sometimes happens, I began to implement some of the things on the guidance notes as I went along, more happenstance than one fell swoop of activity. Over these couple of months I achieved much more than I thought.
Talking to my family about my Dog Boarding plans, I met with much enthusiasm about it - they were so excited for me! This spurred me on to get back to the guidance notes and start planning the other things that needed implementing.
There are many, too many to list here and I don’t want you to lose heart. At a quiet moment for you, grab a cup of something, print off the doc and read away.
My next stage was to pay for Holly to actually come over to my house and undertake a Pre-application advisory visit for Home Boarding License - Animal Welfare (Activities Involving Animals) (that’s what it says on the invoice!) visit.
This wasn’t strictly necessary as all the information she gave me was in the document - what was invaluable however, was the walk-around of the house, garden and art studio - talking me through all the possible deal-breakers, things such as was the wire we had selected for under our garden gates thick enough? Carl and I followed Holly around, notebooks in hand scribbling madly.
Our meeting lasted about 2.5hours and was very much worth the £50 I paid for it.
Next up was writing up my Operating Procedures, Risk Assesments and a simple map of my house and garden and Veterinary Agreement. This took much research and I felt a little like I was back at college getting ready for handing in an essay. It was good to do though, as now I really do know my stuff.
The last part of this stage of paperwork is filling out my application forms. I did this online as my local council supports paperfree (which is great). The forms are pretty self-explanatory, especially having done my policies, etc. My forms were submitted and I paid my £150 online. Stage 1 is complete.
The second and final stage is happening for me next Tuesday. This is the walk-around proper. We have a list of things to do this weekend which includes, dump-runs, adding catches onto front windows, making an additional barrier gate and more. It’s going to be busy, but we always work well on a deadline.
Once this bit is done, I’m (hopefully) going to be a registered, licensed dog boarder. I am then awarded a number of stars on a scale of 1 - 5.
5 = Amazing 1 = registered and revisited in a year’s time.
I’ve been told I’ll get nowhere near 5 as I’m new, and to aim for 2 stars. This means that re-assessment will be in two years, not one.
I’ll let you know how I get on - fingers crossed for me. If you have any questions, simply leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer but obvs, I’m no expert.