Pets in France


There is no joy like the love of a pet. If you are thinking of moving Fluffy and Filo with you to Paris, here are our pointers about pets in France to make the transition easier.

Generally, dogs are welcomed and loved throughout France. Don’t be surprised if you sit down at a café and find a little fluff ball on the chair next to you, awaiting their café crème. While I exaggerate only slightly, you will find that French dog owners often assume that their incredibly well behaved dogs can go anywhere and do anything. It is useful to know, however, what the rules, tips and tricks are to help raise happy healthy pets in The City of Lights.

Gaspard, Sasha’s dog, dreaming of macaroons

Arrival
France is one of the countries that does not have a quarantine period for most companion animals. Air France flies dogs and cats in a special air conditioned compartment in the hot summer months and most other airlines will fly dogs throughout the year.

Before your arrival your pet will have to have an EU passport which requires them to be micro-chipped and have all of their vaccinations up to date. Your dog or cat must be over three months old to enter the EU.

Traveling with your Pet
Dogs and cats are allowed on all trains throughout France. Small dogs and cats need to be in a travel bag or case and you are required to purchase a ticket (10€ each way) in advance for any SNCF train. Larger dogs require a ticket for 1/2 the price of an economy ticket (even if you will be traveling first class) and should wear a mussel.

Similar rules apply for the metro, although no tickets need to be purchased. Small dogs should be in bags but frequently they are not used and I have yet to be told off for it. A reprimanding or even a fine could be given, however, so be warned.

 

trying to leave the “dog park” in the Champs de Mars

Dog Parks-ish
Unfortunately, the concept of the “dog park” has not quite made its way to Paris. In fact, most parks do not allow dogs, even on the leash, to enter. I know, bummer, right? Below are a few known spots to let your pup free and get some exercise throughout the city:

Champs de Mars, 7th – the eastern side by Ecole Militaire has a space where dogs run off the leash. Around 4-6pm most days it is very much like a dog park. Dogs are allowed off-leash throughout the entire park.
Tuileries, 1st – the SFP Egg 1 north end of the park only
Jardin du Luxembourg, 6th – dogs are allowed on-leash in the southern part of the gardens
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, 19th – along the pathways but not on the grass
Parc Montsouris, 14th – everywhere as long as they are on leash
Next to Parc de Bercy, 12th – along the large grassy area between the park and the stadium. Off-leash is ok (and great as there are no cars around)
Bois de Boulogne & Bois de Vincennes – the two largest parks on either side of Paris offer lots of space for a long walk or a jog.

Walks and Poop
I know it is hard to believe, but the puppy merde on the streets of Paris has actually lessened greatly in the past 10 years. Still, 600 Parisians are hospitalized each year after slipping in doggy caca on the street. In spite of the tonnes of crottin that is left on the street daily, not picking up after your dog has done his/her business is illegal and you can be fined up to 450 euro if caught.

Daily Errands with Rover
You may be surprised to see Parisian pups accompanying their owners almost everywhere in the city. It is true that dogs in France are allowed into many more shops and businesses than you might be used to, however, it is good to know where they are allowed and what errands should be sans Rover.

Small dogs are allowed in most clothing shops and department stores as well as pharmacies, banks (although most likely not for a rendez-vous with your banker) and most restaurants. I say “most” because the general rule is, if your dog is well behaved and if there is no sign on the door stating that dogs are not allowed, it should not be a problem to have your dog accompany you inside.

Dogs are not allowed in food shops such as grocery stores and most boulangeries. Usually it is ok to tie up your pup just inside the front doors of the store. (**a quick warning on this: NEVER tie up your dog outside on the street in Paris, especially if it is a purebred or expensive breed. 60,000 dogs are stolen each year in France and are most frequently stolen after they have been tied up on the street while their owner ran inside for a baguette). Dogs are supposedly not allowed in the open air food markets, however, they are always there and no one seems to say anything.

 

Gaspard on a walk in the Champs de Mars

When You Are Away
We work with a number of private pet sitters to watch your dog or cat (at your house or theirs) while you are away. If you would prefer, however, there are two doggie daycare and boarding spots that we recommend:

CaniChrèche
32 rue de Turbigo, 75003
This doggy daycare has an indoor playground (with activities and toys) that is supervised by experienced dog care professionals who play with them and separate the ones who cannot play well with others. The center also offers pick-up and drop-off as well as dog training, agility training and grooming. In addition to the dog services at their center, CaniCrèche also can send its employees to your house a few times a day to care for and feed your cat while you are away.

City Canine
71 rue Balard, 75015
City Canine is a hollistic doggie daycare where your dog can play in their 100m2 of indoor play areas. Dogs are separated by size and the floors have been outfitted with special shock-absorbance materials to ensure safe and fun play. You can even have access to a doggy webcam while you are away to watch your pup when you miss him the most. Their billingual team of dog care professionals take your dog out for long walks in the 2 acre park next to their center. City Canine also offers a taxi pick-up and drop-off service as well as dog training, grooming, massage and whirlpool services for the luxurious pup.

**UPDATE** City Canine has closed. Please feel free to contact us as we have pet-sitters that we can recommend.

Pet Insurance
In France, there are a number of insurance companies like SantéVetwhere you can purchase medical insurance for your dog, cat, even chinchilla. Pricing varies but starts at about 120 euro/year for an indoor cat and 200 euro/year for a dog. Coverage plans vary as well but they can reimburse up to 100% as well as a portion of special therapeutic food if needed.

lounging on the grassy part of Champs de Mars

If you have any specific questions or concerns about your pet, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are experienced animal owners and have spent years navigating our way through the ins and outs of pet life in Paris. Also, if any of you have any pointers for us, please share!

UPDATE | Feb. 2014

It has come to our attention that City Canine has closed it’s doors for good. Please let us know if you have any other recommendations for day care spots. We would love to hear!

***An updated Pets in France post can be found here.

40 thoughts on “Pets in France

  1. Julie

    Sasha, Thank you! This is a wonderful article on Pets in Paris. I have been searching for information and it’s not easy to find. We just moved here a few weeks ago from the US and we have a Boston Terrier. If you don’t mind, I do have a few more questions for you. Are any of the dog parks in Paris fenced in? Wishful thinking but not sure I trust our little guy off a leash without a fence…LOL! Can you recommend a good food or food brand? Right now he is eating Buffalo Blue but we know they don’t have it here. We brought some with us but we know we will have to switch soon. Looking for something all natural. Finally, what is your favorite store for pet supplies, food, treats? Thank you for any help you can give to us. Pets are our children :-) -Julie

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Julie, I am glad that you found this post so helpful! I will be writing you an email with a few extra tips for your Boston Terrier. Best, Sasha

      Reply
  2. Teresa

    Thank you for your article–I also just moved from the US. Where/what do you recommend for dog food? The store brand (Purina) is upsetting my dog’s stomach. I have been feeding Wellness, but my movers wouldn’t bring my big bag. I am in Neuilly Sur Seine area. Thanks for all the great info!!

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Teresa,
      We recommend the website zooplus.fr. They have all major brands and you can pick a brand that suits your dog’s digestive needs. You can also often get testers and samples from the vet to try out a few brands first.

      Reply
  3. Mahi

    Hi Sasha, this is a very useful article. Thanks! we will b moving to paris shortly and will be bringing our cross terrier along. We intend to travel around Europe. Would you happen to know the fee charged for pet boarding. An approximate range would be helpful.

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      There are numerous boarding spots that range from around 30-60 per day. We also can recommend pet sitters that can come and stay at your apartment or take your terrier in their apartment as well. Don’t hesitate to be in touch.

      Reply
  4. Natalie

    Hi, thanks for this post, Gaspard is very cute, I love your pictures. Please can you tell me if I can walk my dogs on a lead throughout the Champs de Mars or would we be restricted to a specific dog area? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Natalie,
      Sorry for the late reply! You can absolutely walk your dogs throughout the Champs de Mars. Generally they are not allowed on the grass but no one seems to care about that really. The off-lead section is just off the grass on the end by Ecole Militaire.
      Best,
      Sasha

      Reply
  5. Clare

    Hi, would love details on people who will take your pets in while you are away or visit them at your own home!

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Clare,
      Absolutely. Email us at contact(at)savoirfaireparis(dot)com and we would be happy to help you.
      Sasha

      Reply
    2. Sasha Post author

      Hi Clare,
      Absolutely. Please send us an email at contact(at)savoirfaireparis(dot)com and we would be happy to help you.
      Best,
      Sasha

      Reply
  6. Jhon

    Dear Sasha,

    Thank you for the very useful info about pets in Paris. We moved here in January. My fiancé and I absolutely love it here and so does our little shiz-tzu, lola.

    I took a trip to city canine at rue Balard yesterday with lola. Unfortunately the store has closed its doors. I’m wondering if they have another location for we need someone to take care of lola because we have an event to go to on Wednesday.

    I hope you could help us find a suitable daycare. We just need to leave her for a few hours.

    Thank you and best wishes!

    Jhon

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Jhon,

      Yes, that has come to our attention as well. It is very sad as it was such a wonderful place.

      Unfortunately there is nothing really similar that we know of. We usually suggest a dog sitter/dog walker to our clients. Feel free to email us at contact@savoirfaireparis.com if you would like some recommendations.

      Best,

      Sasha

      Reply
  7. Shin

    I am thinking of getting a dog soon :) can you please tell me how much they are? & is visiting vet very expensive if we don’t get insurance? thank you so much ~

    Reply
  8. Melissa

    I am preparing to move to Paris at the end of May (for 7 months… For now). I was really hoping to bring my cat with me, but have had a difficult time finding a suitable apartment that officially allows me to bring her. I have been told that I could probably get away with having her even if it says no pets allowed, but I am leery of trying this and then having her in a bad situation. Any thoughts or tips? Thanks! One day I may return with a dog, so this is all fantastic info! 😉

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Melissa,

      This is a hard situation for sure. Most furnished apartments do not allow pets but I would write them if you are interested and explain that your cat does not claw on furniture and is very well behaved and see if they would allow it. Please feel free to email us if you have any further questions. We would be happy to help you find a suitable place.

      Best,

      Sasha

      Reply
  9. Lil

    It used to surprise me to see dogs allowed in the restaurants but nowadays I hardly bat an eyelash. They are usually so adorable and well-behaved!

    Reply
  10. Melissa

    Thank you for your article it was very helpful as I am preparing to move.

    I am moving to Paris from Niger in western Africa. I am planing on bring my German Shepherd. His shots are all up to date and he has a microchip implant. He is almost nine and I have a book, that I got from the Vet in Niger, that list all his vaccinations over the years. Does that work for the EU passport you talked about or do I need to get something else? It has all the vaccinations listed, dated, signed and stamped by the vet who administered the shots.

    Do most non furnished apartments allow pets?

    Are there any good vets you would recommend or a site to find them? Though I will be studying french a vet that speaks some English would be helpful at first.

    My dog is not used to other dogs or children, is there something that is done to caution people from letting their dogs get to close? I know in the states they tie a yellow ribbon to the dog leash, is it the same is Paris?

    Thank you,

    Melissa

    Reply
  11. Sasha

    Great site! We will be coming to Paris for vacation and then going to Gascony via plane. I know dog has to be ISO chipped and have paperwork with vet health certificate etc. but do they HAVE to also have a Euro passport when flying from Paris to Tolouse? If so, I thought that had to be gotten in France, not available prior to trip in US.

    Reply
  12. Inge

    My daughter needs someone to take her Bernese mountain dog puppy for 3 weeks over Christmas. He is presently 14 weeks old and growing fast . He is crate trained and mellow. Anyone in Paris you could suggest?
    Thanks inge

    Reply
    1. Laurel

      Hi Inge!
      I am looking at moving to Paris in a year or two for school and I have a Bernese Mountain Dog too! She is only 6 months old right now, but by the time I move she will be full grown. How did it go for your daughter having a Bernese Mountain dog is Paris? I haven’t been able to find much information about owning large breed dogs in Paris. I would love any info you have!

      Thanks,
      Laurel

      Reply
  13. Lea

    Hi, this is a great article! I live in Paris with my border collie-spaniel mix, and we were thinking of bringing over our 10 month old German Shepherd who currently lives in Lebanon, as we had to leave her there when we moved. Are big dogs usually aloud in restaurants, or do they usually disturb people? Also, is a muzzle necessary on the Metro? Do you think it would be too difficult to have two dogs in a medium-sized apartment? Also, can you give me the names of some good vets in the fifteenth please?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Leah,
      Thanks so much for your comment! Big dogs are allowed in casual cafes for the most part as long as they are well behaved and not disruptive. It is often easier during the summer months when you can sit outside. Unfortunately a muzzle is required on the metro and you will be fined if caught without a muzzle. Please feel free to email us at contact@savoirfaireparis.com with any additional questions. We can also provide you with dog walkers or dog sitters if you need them while you are out of town.

      Reply
  14. Marie

    Great article! Very very helpful. I was just wondering if you can help me find a place that can take care of my pups while I’m away. The links you posted for the doggy daycares seem to not work. Thanks again!

    Reply
  15. Lynn

    Hi. I’d like to put in a plea for people to keep an eye on their dogs, especially in off-leash areas. I’m far from the only person who won’t take their dog to the Champs de Mars, due to the number of aggressive and out of control dogs that we encounter there. No surprise, the worst-behaved dogs seem to be the ones with the most clueless owners. I love living in a city where I can take my dog with me, most of the time. If we don’t make sure our dogs behave, that’s going to stop.

    Reply
    1. Sasha Post author

      Hi Lynn,
      Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I have seen some pretty nasty stuff there. It is not all of the time and I have had some great experiences there as well but every now and then there are the out of control dogs that come with the clueless owners!
      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
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  23. Veronika

    Greetings!
    Can you please tell me where to find a puppy pug for sale in Paris or its surroundings.
    Thanks!
    Veronika

    Reply
  24. Gwen Kestrel

    Hi, Sasha! This is a great article. I love that you include pet insurance! So many folks overlook it and encounter large, unexpected expenses because of it. You mention SanteVet. I wanted to also speak up in praise for the company I work with: Petplan France. It’s well-established internationally in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, but brand new to France this year. I do work with them, so I know they’re both very caring and very professional. And their quotes are free, with no obligation.

    Reply

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