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We got 5 stars - but what does that actually mean?


You may have recently seen that we have been awarded 5 stars by our Bury Council, we are extremely delighted to be recognised by our council as a business that offers the best level of care for your dogs whilst they stay with us.

I wanted to take some time to explain what this means and why it is so important.

Firstly some background

Early in 2018 DEFRA released information that they were due to bring our new regulations for any business that commercially boarded dog, or cats, during the day or overnight and would take effect from 1st October 2018.

It makes sense to bring these new regulations into effect when you realise that kennels were currently regulated against a law that is over 50 years old! (Boarding Establishments Act 1963) The new law also took away grey areas such as doggy day cares and home boarder as these type of businesses were not around in 1963.

The new regulations don't cover businesses such as pet sitting (people coming into your home to look after your pet), pet grooming and dog walking.

With the old regulations there were major criticism as it was inconsistently applied across the country, with inspection fees varying hugely and the inspections themselves based on a variety of different criteria. The new regulations puts an end to this and all businesses across England will be assessed the same.

This new legislation doesn't just cover animal boarding, there has also been huge changes to dog breeding and selling but we won't be going into them today.

Star rating system

As part of the new regulations DEFRA has introduced a star rating system. All businesses are ranked from 1 -5 depending on 2 sets of criteria, Risk and Welfare Standards

Depending on how the business performs against both of these will determine their star rating. The better the star rating the longer the business will be issued a license for.

This is the scoring matrix that all councils use in England to assess animal boarding businesses.

Risk - This is based on many factors, The time the business has been running, previous inspections/complaints that the council has had to look into, the amount of time the dogs receive enrichment, The amount of training given to the people looking after your dog, How well the business looks after the welfare of the dogs in their care, How well the business handles any issues and what policies and procedures the business has in place.

Welfare Standards - This section covers all aspects of the business, from small things like displaying the license details on site and on our website to our staffing levels (staff to dog ratio), offering a suitable diet, a suitable environment (situation, space, air quality, cleanliness, temperature, water quality, noise levels, light levels, ventilation), How we monitor and record dogs behaviours, What we do in cases of emergency, how much enrichment a dog receives on a daily basis, what relevant qualifications the staff have and much, much more.

Getting 5 stars

As you can see theres a lot that‘s covered in granting the license and we are delighted that Bury Council rated us 5 stars agreeing that the level of service we provide is at the top level.

Once the council has inspected all aspects of the business they then make a decision on the star rating. Every business that receives their star rating MUST display this for everyone to see.

This is just the start of the new regulations DEFRA will also be looking at other animal related businesses (Rehoming organisations and sanctuaries, Dog walking, Dog grooming, Hydrotherapy) and bringing them into the legislation in the future

Other businesses

If you are unable to book in with us or you need to use a doggy day care/home boarder remember, when looking to use any Kennels, Home Boarder or Doggy Day Care check their star rating or that they even have a license to being with!

If you'd like to check if a business you use has an animal boarding license you can check on Bury Council's website. However, they currently don't display the businesses star rating.


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