November 30, 2021

Pet sitter (dog and cat) in micro-business: advice and regulations

Do you have a passion for animals and want to become a pet sitter? This profession of “nanny” for tomcats and doggies is in full development and consists in taking care of these domestic animals in the absence of their master. This varied and enjoyable job can appeal to lovers of small animals. Find out more about this activity carried out in a micro-enterprise by reading this file.

The job of a pet sitter

The missions of the pet sitter

The pet sitter is a micro-entrepreneur qualified to take care of pets when their owners are away. He can carry out his activity at the home of the owners, at his own home or in a dedicated room. In all cases, he must ensure the well-being of the dogs and cats he keeps, watch them, feed them and hydrate them, play with them and provide them with care (brushing, grooming, washing, possible administration of treatments, etc.) and the necessary hygiene measures (cleaning of litter, bowls, etc.). He can also take the animals out to allow them to exercise, to have fun and to relieve themselves.

The pet sitter can work in three different places:

  • at the home of its customers, the most common solution, so as not to disturb the animal by a change of environment in the absence of its owners;
  • at their own home or in a dedicated room, which then falls under the pension;
  • outdoors only when it is mainly a question of taking a dog for walks or taking an animal to the vet or the groomer.

The qualities and skills of the pet sitter

To exercise his profession, the pet sitter must demonstrate certain qualities and be equipped with essential skills:

  • passion and love for animals are imperative to exercise this profession in good conditions;
  • availability is required, as this profession requires flexibility to meet the needs of animal owners;
  • autonomy is expected, because the responsibility involved is great in the event of custody, the pet sitter having to ensure the well-being of the animal and sometimes intervene urgently in the event of a serious and sudden problem (accident, poisoning, fall , etc.).

The salary of the pet sitter

Each pet sitter in a micro-enterprise is free to offer the rates of his choice. These generally evolve according to the missions carried out and the places of practice. However, on average, a pet sitter charges a 30-minute visit between 10 euros and 20 euros.

What training to become a pet sitter?

To become a pet sitter, it is necessary to prove at least one of these professional qualifications:

  • a professional certification registered in the National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP);
  • a certificate of competence (CCAD) relating to the relationship and protection of domestic pets;
  • a certificate of knowledge issued by the Regional Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Forestry (DRAAF) following specific training in an establishment authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Legislation governing the profession of pet sitter

There are two categories of pet sitters: pet sitters who work at their clients’ homes and those who work at home or in a dedicated room. This last category is similar to animal boarding and is subject to more stringent regulations.

Indeed, as soon as the pet sitter practices at home or in a dedicated room, he is subject to article L214-6 of the Rural Code. He must then imperatively:

  • declare their activity to the DDCSPP (Departmental Directorate for Social Cohesion and Population Protection) of their department using the Cerfa 15045 form (Declaration of activity: professional carrying out activities related to domestic pets) ;
  • declare their activity at the prefecture within the framework of the care of more than 10 dogs over 4 months old;
  • obtain a prefectural authorization for the care of more than 50 dogs;
  • provide suitable premises and facilities that comply with animal protection regulations;
  • appoint a health veterinarian and provide his consent form when declaring the activity;
  • hold a certificate of professional competence for the transport of live animals if he has to transport animals more than 65 km from his place of practice;
  • keep precise registers of the entries and exits of each animal, with its identity, the identity of its owner and the reference of the related invoices.

In terms of insurance, the pet sitter is not subject to any obligation. However, he can take out a contract to protect himself in the event of an incident. If legal protection can protect him in the event of a dispute with the owners of the animals placed in his care, professional liability insurance (RC Pro) covers material and physical damage that he is likely to cause in the exercise of his job.

How to become a pet sitter in a micro-enterprise?

The profession of pet sitter is classified under code APE 96.09Z and comes under the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (CMA). The annual turnover limit is currently 72,500 euros.

Create a pet sitter micro-business

Before setting up a micro-business, the future pet sitter must adhere to the following prerequisites:

  • be qualified for this profession and have one of the aforementioned certifications;
  • carry out a market study to define the target clientele, the geographic sector concerned, with regard to the competition in the field;
  • precisely define its activity, in particular its place of practice and comply with the regulations in force;
  • plan a budget to cover equipment and travel.

Once these prerequisites have been met, the pet sitter can create his micro-business by respecting the following steps.

  • Creation: the pet sitter must create his micro-enterprise online by declaring the start of his activity, on the Guichet entreprises website directly or through a third-party service.
  • The SIRET: within two weeks, he receives his SIRET number (Establishment Directory Identification System), a unique series of 14 digits assigned by INSEE. This is the identification number of the company attached to the natural person of the pet sitter and made up of the SIREN number and other identifiers linked to the geographical sector.
  • Registration: within 30 days after the creation of the micro-enterprise, the pet sitter must register in the Directory of Trades (RM) with the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (CMA), which is his CFE of attachment.
  • The declaration of income: each month or each quarter (depending on the choice made during registration), the pet sitter must declare his income received in the course of his activity. This is its turnover, capped at 72,500 euros per year. This declaration must be made, even if the turnover is zero.
  • Payment of social charges: each declaration of turnover entails the payment of social charges, up to 22.2% of turnover for a craftsman.

What advice to become a pet sitter in a micro-enterprise and develop your activity?

These prerequisites are not enough to develop the activity of the pet sitter. In fact, to make a living from his profession, he can follow the following advice and recommendations:

  • follow the installation preparation course (SPI) dedicated to micro-entrepreneurs in order to teach them the basics of their status;
  • register on a dedicated platform that facilitates the link with customers;
  • define a detailed and clear price list to allow customers to better project themselves;
  • establish a relationship of trust with customers and their animals, in particular by offering prior visits and meetings;
  • offer additional services to stand out from the competition (sending SMS news, photos, grooming, specific outings, etc.);
  • maintain contact with customers;
  • encourage satisfied customers to leave a review online;
  • make yourself known to local vets and leave a bunch of flyers or business cards for clients;
  • create a dedicated page on social networks;
  • use word of mouth.