Pet Care Franchise Association (PCFA) officially recognised as Primary Authority

11th December 2023


In a world where pets are cherished family members, ensuring their well-being becomes a shared responsibility. Recognising this, a collective effort has emerged from a group of esteemed pet-care franchises, aiming to prioritise and elevate animal welfare standards within the £3.1 billion pet-care industry. This united front birthed the Pet Care Franchise Association (PCFA), a pioneering trade organisation dedicated to enhancing the lives of our beloved companions.

The PCFA recently achieved a significant milestone, earning official recognition from the City of London Corporation as the Primary Authority for its members. This validation has fortified the PCFA’s position as a leading advocate for animal welfare within the franchised pet-care sector.

At the helm of this initiative stands David Gray, the Brand Development Manager at Petpals, alongside other influential figures from We Love Pets, Barking Mad, and PetStay. Their collective efforts have propelled the PCFA into a role where it not only advocates but actively shapes national standards for animal care in collaboration with local authorities.

David Gray expressed his excitement about the PCFA’s milestone, emphasising how this recognition will significantly bolster efforts to influence consistent and elevated standards in the industry. This recognition serves as a robust platform for the PCFA to champion regulatory changes that prioritise animal welfare, thereby solidifying their credibility as a trusted resource for franchisees, pet owners, and industry stakeholders alike.

The PCFA’s initial focus centres on the crucial domain of home boarding services. David highlighted the inconsistencies and issues stemming from the interpretation of regulations by local authorities. Their aim is to streamline these disparities, cut through red tape, and recentre the focus on animal welfare.

Pet owners, as responsible guardians, play a pivotal role in ensuring their pets receive quality care, especially when they are away. To this end, the PCFA has outlined a set of actionable steps for pet owners:

  1. Initiate your search early: Start looking for a home boarder as soon as your holiday plans are in motion.
  2. Verify licences:  Legally, a boarder must have a copy of their licence on display when you visit the premises. Request to see a boarder’s licence during inquiries to ensure proper training and insurance.
  3. Conduct thorough checks: Do not assume expertise; ask questions, check reviews, and request references. The boarder must keep written records, be qualified and possess a canine first aid certificate dated within the last three years, so request to see them.
  4. Assume responsibility: As part of the booking and assessment process, you will be asked to sign a number of ‘consents’ allowing the boarder to walk, exercise and feed your dog, as well as a vet authorisation, if required. If you use a booking agent or intermediary to find a boarder, remember it is still your responsibility to check the person recommended is licenced.

Beyond home boarding, the PCFA aims to address broader concerns such as dog walking and public safety. Their goal is to raise industry standards, enhance training, and promote responsible practices, thereby creating a safer environment for both pets and the public.

Kevin Thackrah, Director of Petpals, highlighted the importance of ethical pet care and pledged support for the PCFA’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of pets across the nation.

For those seeking more information about the PCFA and its endeavours, visit Remember, the well-being of our furry companions is a collective responsibility—one that the PCFA is wholeheartedly dedicated to fulfilling. Together, let’s ensure our pets receive the love, care, and safety they deserve.