Recent Animal Welfare Act – Improves Home Boarding Services

Home Boarding, Dog, Room, Scamps and Champs

Most of us would prefer to have our dogs with us at all times, however some circumstances such as travelling abroad, means that leaving our furry friends in the capable hands of dog-caring experts is the fairest option. Dog kennels are a viable solution for some owners, however for many of us we require a ‘home-from-home’ environment for our beloved dogs, who we class as one of the family. Our home boarding services match your dog’s personality and requirements to a suitable host family, who have experience of looking after animals and who have opted to be a canine carer specifically for our company, Scamps and Champs. You have the opportunity to meet your carer and the option to approve them, before leaving your dog in their capable hands. We guarantee that your pet will treated with the love, affection and respect that they deserve and that their normal routines, diet and medications, will be catered for. Read more about our home boarding services and check availability via our Scamps and Champs website.

Understanding the Rules

Recent adjustments to Animal Welfare Government Legislation (October 2018) has meant that home boarding services have had to alter, in order to align with the new regulations. The HMRC Department for Environment and Rural Affairs documentation on the ‘Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations’ can be viewed in full. Providing guidance for the statutory conditions required when providing home boarding services for dogs.

But what does the new legislation mean for home boarding business and dog owners wanting to use our services? Rest assured the guidance has been formulated to protect your much loved pups and ensure that they are accessing an elite, caring and safe environment, when home boarding with us. Every dog must have their own private room space when home boarding, where they can relax, sleep and retreat to when needed. Here are some additional reassuring facts regarding your dog’s required personal room, to put your mind at rest:

  1. All rooms provided for dogs must be of sufficient height that an adult human can stand comfortably in it.
  2. All rooms must have a secure window to the outside in place that can be opened and closed as necessary. 
  3. All rooms must have a full height, securable door which preferably opens inwards. To ensure full access and security to the room is achieved.
  4. All rooms must have a secure latch device to the room to ensure your dog is safe at all times.

Education is Key

Home boarding carers will only be allowed to look after your dog if they hold at least a Level 2 in an OFQUAL regulated qualification, demonstrating that they have the education, knowledge and skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Dog Walking
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
  • BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care

Whilst regulation on this has yet to be finalised it would be assumed that this would mean your home board carer would have pet first aid as part of their qualification, in addition to a licence and experience of working in the animal care industry.

Policies and Procedures

Home boarding carers will need to keep full policy and procedure documentation including; training for all staff members, cleaning regimes, monitoring and ensuring the safety and welfare of all animals and emergency procedures. Full records will need to be kept on; attendance, behaviour monitoring and documentation of familiarisation sessions.

Star Rating

All home boarding businesses will be assessed against welfare standards and given a star risk rating which will help inform you as to whether the home boarding setting is suitable for your dog. If businesses are assessed as a higher risk then they will subsequently receive a low rating, whereas if the business is assessed as a low risk they will receive a high rating. View further details regarding the home boarding star rating system.

You are in Control

Consent is required from you before home board carers can do the following things. Yes that is right, you are in control! You must be completely comfortable and provide written consent before carers can:

  1. Walk your dog off the lead.
  2. Walk your dogs with other dogs from the same household.
  3. Walk your dog outside of the home or garden environments.
  4. Give any medical preventative treatments.
  5. Use a crate.
  6. Feed your dog anywhere except by themselves in their designated private room.
  7. Use enrichment such as toys and scatter feeders.
  8. Allow other dogs to use the outdoor space at the same time as your dog.

Overall it is evident that although the new legislation may initially appear daunting, it is designed to protect the welfare and safety of your beloved dogs. Ultimately providing both home boarding businesses and dog care professionals with the education and knowledge they need to ensure your dog’s safety and welfare during their stay. By providing you with complete control over what you give consent for your dogs to do during their stay, you can rest assured that you pups are provided with a uniquely tailored experience to suit their needs and personality. Finally, with their own personal rooms to enjoy whenever they wish, it ensures your pooches will be fully pampered during their relaxing home boarding holiday.

View full details of Scamps and Champs Home Boarding Services, check for availability and book in with us.

We would love to have your precious pet dog stay with us soon for their very own pup-tastic holiday!

Animal Welfare Act 2018 – What Will The Effects Be?

The new Animal Welfare Act 2018 has come into effect as of 1st October 2018, and it will have an impact on the way dogs are bred and sold in the UK. There have been many advances in the understanding of dog welfare since previous acts, the most recent of which came into force 19 years ago. The new legislation has been welcomed by animal welfare organisations, but what will it mean for you?

The key reforms

There is now a single licence for the selling, breeding and boarding of dogs, including for home boarders and daycare companies. The practice legislation for these activities has been updated with the help of animal welfare charities, implementing key requirements from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Model Licence Conditions as law.

Licences will now be issued as fixed-term, starting from any point during the year to prevent a build-up of inspections coming at a single time of year. And local authorities will utilise a risk-based approach to issuing licences, facilitating lower risk and higher performing operators being permitted to hold a licence for longer, and with fewer inspections. This will be an incentive for higher standards and reduce the burden on local authorities.

There will be no puppies sold before they reach 8 weeks of age under any circumstances. Anyone who breeds 3+ litters will need a licence (down from 5+), and anyone making money from breeding and selling will need to be licensed, regardless of how many litters they produce.

The advertising of pet sales online will be more closely monitored to ensure it is legal and ethical. This will include licensed sellers being made to disclose their licence numbers.

Will the new regulations make a difference?

It is important these new regulations are conveyed to the public to ensure they have the maximum positive impact. Businesses and local authorities also need to be fully briefed to enable them to remain fully compliant at all times.

Moving forward, there are calls for the government to build on the good work of the new Animal Welfare Act 2018. Animal welfare groups would like to see similar regulations introduced for rehoming organisations, dog walkers, dog groomers and hydrotherapy institutions. You can see the full Animal Welfare Act 2018 here.