I am retired but can I do work as a pet-sitter in France?

Working as a pet-sitting  is certainly a possibility if you like animals, however, to do it properly according to the rules involves a certain amount of dedication – and paperwork

10 December 2020
There is generally no problem with combining income from pensions with making money from self-employment, though in some cases French pensions you are drawing can be reduced if your income goes above a certain level.
By Liv Rowland

Reader question: Can a retiree make extra money by pet-sitting?

Yes, this is certainly a possibility if you like animals. However, to do it properly according to the rules involves a certain amount of dedication – and paperwork.

First, you should set up a self-employment business as a micro-entrepreneur, which you can do at Guichet-entreprises.fr or here.  

You can expect to pay 22% of your income as social charges, and you may be entitled to a small pension top-up when you stop the activity.

There is generally no problem with combining income from pensions with making money from self-employment, though in some cases French pensions you are drawing can be reduced if your income goes above a certain level. Take advice, if necessary.

Officially, anyone working as a pet-sitter should also take a short course related to animal care, called Attestation de connaissances pour les animaux de compagnie d’espèces domestiques, or Acaced.

A list of official training centres can be found here.

The cost will usually be upwards of €300 and the course will last around two days.

Taking this will entitle you to an agrément (accreditation) from the DDPP, an official health and safety body.

You should take out professional third party insurance, in case of any harm caused by the pet while it is your responsibility.

You will also have to work out the services you wish to provide. Hosting animals at your own home involves certain additional formalities, but commonly a pet-sitter makes visits to take care of the pet at its owner’s home, or often moves in while the owner is away, which can be a chance to get to know a new area.

Sources of more information include the DRAAF, for example for more on training in your area, national union for work with pets, or petsitters’ website.

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