PET owners using ‘doggy day care’ or similar facilities are being urged to check if the providers are licensed.

Anyone offering home boarding, day care or kennel boarding for dogs must be licensed by the local council – following an inspection and checks that they meet certain standards.

The licence ensures that businesses are run properly and adequately looking after the animals in their care, giving peace of mind to pet owners – who can check the register of licensed businesses online.

Michael Talbot, Tendring Council's cabinet member for environment, encouraged pet owners to check the registers and only use licensed businesses.

“Parents check Ofsted ratings before selecting a pre-school or childminder, and you might not eat at a restaurant with a low hygiene rating – so why would you put man’s best friend into an unregistered kennel?” he said.

“Being licensed gives you some reassurance that you’re leaving your beloved pet with someone who will treat them well, so check first.

“We’re aware of a number of businesses popping up in this sector, catering for a rise in demand; with many pets now bought during lockdowns when people worked from home, but are now heading back to the office.

“We’re supportive of local entrepreneurs matching that demand, but would also remind these new businesses that it is essential they register and get themselves licensed.”

For details on how to apply for a licence and other business advice, or to check the register, visit