Animal Welfare Act 2018: What does it mean?

Important changes are taking place in England, affecting anyone who breeds, boards, sells or provides day care for dogs. From 1st of October, the new Animal Welfare Act 2018 will come into force providing extra protection for the welfare of our pets.

Animal Welfare Act 2018

From October, dog owners in England will be able to check whether a doggy daycare or home boarder have a licence and see a star-rating awarded by the local authority. The amendments to the Animal Welfare Act will bring changes in terms of licensing and local authority compliance to anyone who sells, breeds or cares for dogs as a business.

As stated on the Dogs Trust website: “There have been significant advances in the understanding of dog behaviour and welfare in recent decades. [We are] pleased that the Government is updating this old legislation, which pre-dates the Animal Welfare Act, and are introducing measures to ensure those conducting animal activities are doing so to the best standards of animal welfare.”

Who must be licensed?

Boarding kennels
At-home boarders
Breeders
Doggy day-care providers

However, the changes to the legislation allow dog walkers, dog groomers, and dog hydrotherapists to continue without the need for a licence from their local council.

A key reform to replace a variety of outdated legislation will be to introduce a single licence for pet vending (selling), dog breeding and animal boarding including home dog boarders and pet daycare. These licences will be issued for a fixed term rather than annually at any point in the year.

Each council will use a risk-based approach to licensing, meaning lower risk and high performing business will be allowed a longer licence with fewer inspections. This new practice aims at incentivising licence holders to operate at and maintain higher standards, enabling council resources to better targeted.

For breeders and sellers, stricter regulations under the new licence will mean better protection for dogs. From October, it will be prohibited to sell puppies below the age of eight weeks in all cases matching the regulation already in place in Wales and Scotland.

The Government, along with several animal charities, hopes the new legislation and focus will help tackle puppy farms in the UK and make it easier for councils to focus their attention on combating issues affecting animal welfare in their local areas.

PetStay has been a strong advocate for licensing, ensuring all their carers across the 42 branches hold a valid licence to care for dogs in their home. Established since 2005, PetStay has built a reputation on the high criteria of their dog carers, ensuring they are checked by branch owners as well as the local authority.

To find out more about our PetStay Carers click here.

petstay

Who Can Look after Your Dog When You’re on Holiday?

Your summer holiday has finally been booked and you’re looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing in the sun with close friends and family.

But whilst you’ll be away, have you stopped to consider who’s going to look after your other family member – your beloved pet dog, of course?

If not, don’t panic: we’ve compiled a list of safe and sensible suggestions so that your four-legged friend is left in good hands.

Dog holidays

Option 1 – Dog Kennels

Your first option is to house your dog in kennels until you return from your much-needed summer break.

There are plenty of kennel services to choose from, but it’s worth opting for one based on reputation, so ask other dog owners and friends and search online to check reviews.
Some kennels will be more luxurious than others, but essentially they all offer a similar service.

Remember to ask how much exercise your dog will receive each day and whether this comes at an additional cost.

It’s also worth finding out how much space they will have available. If you own a large dog, they’ll require a sufficient area to roam around in.

Be sure to visit the kennels as well. You’ll get a good indication of how the staff will treat your dog, the condition of the premises and how many people will be interacting with your pet.

Option 2 – Dog-Sitting
If kennels are off the cards, what about getting someone you know to stay at your house and dog-sit whilst you’re away?

In this instance we’d recommend choosing someone with whom you have a good relationship – and if they own dogs, or have owned them before, even better.

This might be a sensible option if you know your pet will feel more comfortable staying in the environment they’re used to as opposed to moving to new premises.

If dog-sitting sounds right for you, just make sure that the person looking after your pet will be with them at all times.

Getting someone to call in at your home and check on your dog every now and again is the wrong approach and could even be deemed animal cruelty.

Option 3 – Home Dog Boarding

Slightly different to the above, home dog boarding means that your pet will stay with someone else in their own home while you’re away.

Think of this as your dog’s very own holiday or getaway where they get to unwind until they greet you with a wagging tail upon your return.

Just as you would for dog-sitting, make sure the people looking after your dog are reliable and trustworthy and understand the needs of your pet.

Recommendations, reviews and ratings will also play a key part in determining which home dog boarding option to choose, so once again, don’t forget to ask around.

Always make sure you meet the sitter in advance before you go on holiday so that you know you’re making the right choice. This will also give your dog a chance to become familiar with their surroundings before they end up staying there.

According to The Kennel Club, you should also check references and insurance cover and leave the sitter your contact details.

Finally, if it is a legal requirement in your local area for the individual or business to have a licence to provide this type of service, you should check this as well.

Which Option’s Right for Your Dog?

As each and every dog has their own individual requirements, try and pick the best service to meet their needs.

You know your own pet better than anyone else, so think through your options and go with a choice that you’re confident your dog will enjoy.

Ideally, you want to cause your dog as little distress as possible while you’re away so that they have their own holiday too.

If you get it right you’ll know for next time and both you and your dog can reunite after a well-earned break.

This post was written by GJW Titmuss, a leading online pet supplies, food and accessories store.

pet foods