DOG OWNERS are being warned to make sure they check that the people they leave their beloved pets with when they go away on holiday are all above board.
The owner of a dog boarding business is urging dog-lovers to ensure they only use licensed and insured businesses – for their own peace of mind as well as the safety of their pets.
Tina Sanford runs Doggy-Daycare at her home in Mays Lane, Stubbington, where she is licensed to take two dogs.
And she is calling for greater awareness around the issues of setting up a pet boarding business from home.
Mrs Sanford said: ‘The animals’ welfare is the most important thing.
‘Legally, the person taking the dogs in should be licensed – there are a lot of rules and regulations that need to be adhered to.’
Licensed dog boarders are subject to regular council inspections and limits on how many dogs they can take at any time.
She said: ‘I know of several people who operate unlicensed.
‘A lot of people who call me and make an inquiry have no idea that the person should be licensed. It provides protection for both sides.
There are some genuine people who set up a business and because they’re doing it out of their home don’t realise it should be licensed because they didn’t know any better. We are no different to childminders in that respect.
‘There are also people who do know, but just see the pound signs and want to take the money and will take seven or eight dogs a day.’
And Tina revealed how she discovered a boarder she used to use for her own dog, a shih tzu called Oscar, was unlicensed after she started her own business and knew what questions to ask.
‘It’s only when you become a member of this community that you realise that people you thought were reliable, may not be,’ she added.
‘Most dog owners don’t know to ask if you’re licensed – people are taking a risk with their pets, but they’re doing it unwittingly.
‘Some people go into it on the business side with the best of intentions, but they just don’t know the rules.’