A Dog’s Life

Oh how Parisians love their dogs.  There are nearly 150,000 dogs in the city and you see them everywhere:  on the métro, in restaurants, poking their heads out of windows, even strolling down the Champs-Elysées. Although it may seem to be a free for all, there are, of course, rules for behavior for dogs and their owners alike.  And while you will almost certainly see your neighbors flouting these rules, it’s a good idea as an expat to remember that you are a guest here and therefore have an extra responsibility to respect the word of authorities.  The basic rules are as follows:

  • Your dog must have either an electronic chip or be tattooed for identification purposes.
  • You must keep your dog on a leash when walking it.
  • Your dog, even on a leash, should be kept close to you.
  • You may not take your dog into food stores and markets.
  • Keep an eye on your pet if you leave it outside of a store.

Picking Up after Your Pet

For a city as beautiful as Paris, the amount of dog droppings on sidewalks can be both surprising and upsetting.  Technically, the city of Paris requires that your dog take care of its business in the gutter and that you pick up the droppings. You can actually receive a fine of up to 450 euros for not picking up after your pet.  Regrettably the city seems to be fighting an uphill battle on this issue.

Taking Your Dog to the Park

A large number of Parisian parks and gardens are accessible to dogs, but certain rules such as keeping the animal on a leash and picking up after it must be respected. Service dogs are allowed in all parks and gardens, sometimes even without a leash.  You can download a detailed list of the restrictions for each park and garden here: http://www.paris.fr/portail/Parcs/Portal.lut?page_id=6678&document_type_id=5&document_id=18558&portlet_id=15202

Taking Your Dog on Public Transportation

If your dog is small (weighs less than 6 kilos), it can travel free with you in the métro, RER, buses, trams and the funicular Montmartre. But you must carry your pet in a bag or basket and prevent it from dirtying or inconveniencing other passengers.  If your pet is large, you can take it on the RER provided it is kept on a leash and muzzled. You also have to buy a half fare ticket valid throughout your journey.

Service dogs can move freely on all networks (métro, RER, trams, buses).

Taxis generally do not take dogs with the exception of seeing eye dogs.  If you absolutely need to take your dog in a taxi, call the taxi company in advance to verify.   Taxi Dog and Aniwal will transport dogs with or without you but be aware that the fees are substantial compared to a regular taxi.

In Case of an Emergency

Urgences vétérinaires (Ecole nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort): paramedics and emergency response
01 43 96 23 23 (from 1 pm to 8 am during the week, 24 hours a day on weekends; closed the month of August)

SOS  vétérinaires (from 8 pm to 8 am and holidays) This call is billed at 34 centimes per minute.

Pet Poison Control (Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm)


2 responses to “A Dog’s Life

  1. What about dog food and supplies? We were just there last week checking out some new neighborhoods and we didn’t see any pet stores. The only one we know of is the BHV in the Marais. Our dog is on a special Duck and Potato food by Natural Balance but we are thinking we should try to gradually switch him back to the Royal Canin regular diet because we found that at the BHV.


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