These days there is a bit more to it than just letting next door look after your dog and rightly so! In the last decade the animal industry has boomed and this means along with all the great dog professionals there are some that just want to make a quick few quid! In October 2018 a new law was introduced in the interest of the welfare of the many dogs taken to home-boarders and daycares each year, it was also a way in which care could be standardised. Every daycare and boarder are inspected as part of their licence and granted a star rating- You can call your local council to ask about the ones in your area. This licence isn’t the only law that your dog sitter will need to look into!
Let’s look at some of the other legislation your dog carer will also need to think about! Under the animal welfare act and control of dogs order the owner or keeper is responsible for the dog, this means that as a professional walker, sitter or dog carer any actions of the dog in their care are their responsibility. It is their legal responsibility to ensure that each dog is under control at all times.
• Animal welfare Act 2006
• Control of dogs order 1992
• Countryside rights of way Act 2000
• Dangerous dogs act 1991
• The dangerous dogs (amendment) 1997
• Dog fouling (fouling of land) Act 1996
• Dog fouling lean neighbourhoods and environment act 2005
• Dogs protection of livestock 1953
• Microchipping of dogs regulations 2015
• Natural areas of beauty (it is against the law to use these spaces for commercial purposes this includes dog walkers)
• DEFRA guidelines (welfare of animals/ protection of animals during transport)
The other thing to look into is the National Occupational Standards, there are literally hundreds of standards to do with dog training, dog walking and dog sitting! National occupational standards are used in every part of the UK and are underpinned by law, they are designed to help describe the performance required from an individual, these are approved and agreed by employers and industry professionals so always worth considering. A few of the NOS relevant to walkers would be:
• LANANC72 Provide dog walking services
• LANCTB2 Handle and control dogs
• SFJZJ1 Maintain health and safety for dogs
If your pet professional isn’t licensed they are likely to be uninsured too!
All professionals should be insured and as part of mot insurers you will need to also carry a licence as required by law, if your pet professional doesn’t have the licence their insurance is likely to be void. What insurance should they have?
• Third-party liability
• Insurance to cover holding keys
• Insurance to cover care custody and control of the dogs
• Professional indemnity insurance
If you are worried about your pet professional speak to your local dog warden or the council and get information regarding whether or not they hold a licence.