Can I Have Dog Kennels In My Garden?

UK residents can have dog kennels in their gardens as long as they have an animal boarding licence that’s issued by a representative of their local council. If you want to earn one of these documents, then you’ll have to go before the council and state that you plan on running a kennel from a private dwelling.

While that might sound like a pain, it shouldn’t take very long and the fee for doing so is normally quite reasonable. You’ll need to prove that you’re operating within the standards laid out by the Animal Boarding Establishments Act, which has been on the books since 1963.

Due to the age of this law, it’s really not all that stringent. Your council will mostly want to know that you’re not abusing the animals in any way or keeping the neighbors up.

Councils will usually set a hard limit on the number of dogs you can have boarded at any given time, though they might be more lenient if you own a farm or homestead. Tenants who live in council flats aren’t normally allowed to board any dogs that don’t belong to them or close family members, however.

Local regulations are a little more complicated for those living across the pond, in part because each US state and county can set its own requirements regarding the boarding of dogs. Most areas, though, are mostly concerned with cleanliness and want to ensure that the dogs have enough food and water to stay healthy.

HOAs sometimes have certain restrictions on running any sort of business from your home, so you’ll want to check with the representatives of your association before you ever begin building any place to keep dogs in your backyard. In most cases, you should find that the original homeowners’ agreement you signed when you purchased your house will spell out whether or not you can keep animals in your yard on a commercial basis.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Dog Kennel?

Residents of rural areas in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland won’t normally need planning permission for an outside dog kennel if their nearest neighbors are located a certain distance from the area in which they wish to put up said kennels. This means you shouldn’t run into planning-related issues unless you’re building kennels right near your property line.

According to the UK Blue Cross, Westminster has updated some regulations as they apply to those trying to set up kennels in English households. As of October 2018, households both in the London and Bath metros as well as in rural areas of England are beholden to the Licensing of Activities Involving Animals act instead of the 1963 set of regulations.

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That means you might have to get in touch with a national authority and provide at least some documentation that illustrates the fact you’re keeping your dogs properly. You may need to also provide evidence that your kennel is of sufficient size.

Those in the Cardiff, Rhondda, Bridgend and Neath areas are still able to register with a local council representative under the 1963 regulation. The same goes for those in the seaside Welsh towns of Port Talbot and Colwyn Bay, though individuals in these areas won’t normally be able to kennel animals in downtown housing gardens.

In theory, Edinburgh area residents might have some of the least restrictive rules as far as garden dog boarding go. However, a healthy portion of Edinburgh proper is made up of council housing, and residents of those developments aren’t normally allowed to have dog kennels in their gardens.

As for those across the pond, most major US cities won’t allow you to commercially board animals in a backyard area, though you’ll run into less problems in suburban residences. Authorities in some metro areas, like Chicago and Indianapolis, will allow you to run a kennel out of your backyard as long as you’re not in the downtown area.

However, you’ll have to register your operation as a commercial business if that’s the case. Special laws are in place in Hawaii and US insular areas, which are due to the fact that animals could potentially cause quite a bit of damage in these areas if they were to escape.

Where Should I Put My Dog Kennel Outside?

As long as it’s stable and well-made, your dog kennel can be put up in any location where there is sufficient space to house it. If you’re using commercially manufactured plastic kennels, then you might consider building a frame to hold them on the backside of your home or other residence.

Those who have a slightly larger lot of land may consider putting up some chain fencing along the side of their building, which can serve not only as a kennel but also a place for dogs to run around in. This kind of arrangement would give you plenty of space to keep several dogs, especially if you’re able to partition your outside kennel.

Regardless of where you put it, make sure that it’s somewhere that doesn’t get too much sun. You’ll also want to ensure that your kennel is adequately shielded from rain and other inclement weather.

Those who only board one or two dogs at a time might want to put their kennel in a place that makes it easy for them to transfer the dogs inside if the weather gets bad.

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Do HOAs Frequently Ban Kennels?

Unfortunately, homeowners’ associations frequently do ban dog kennels. In the most extreme examples, they may ban dog kennels you put up for yourself and never intend on using as part of a business venture.

Technically, if you put up a dog kennel and never use it as a business you won’t have to follow any laws besides those related to animal cruelty and public nuisances. HOAs, however, are normally able to ban these independently of any legislation due to the fact that you’re required to sign a document when you move into an area governed by one.

This document gives the HOA the authority to set rules apart from those levied by public agencies. You might be able to get around some of these rules, however.

If your HOA has a blanket prohibition against dog kennels, then see if you can organize a meeting with some representatives from it. In many areas, you’ll be given the option to appeal a decision and present drawings or other illustrations that can help to show that the kennels you’re building aren’t some huge monstrosities.

While this might not help those who want to run a garden kennel as a business, appealing a decision may work if you just want an exterior kennel for yourself.