I am confused on the difference between animaux de compagnie et animaux domestiques. If someone could explain the difference I would be most grateful.

  • 2
    Have you looked at a dictionnary first?
    – Toto
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 17:36
  • See also french.stackexchange.com/q/43381/1109
    – jlliagre
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 22:52
  • 1
    Think of the difference between pets and domesticated animals in English.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


There is a subtle difference between the two terms:

  • "Animaux de compagnie" generally refers to "Pets", animals kept for companionship and pleasure and they are usually considered members of the family such as dogs and cats.
  • "Animaux domestiques" is a broader term that encompasses all animal living with humans in a domestic setting, whether for companionship, work or other purposes. This can include not only pets such as cats and dogs but also domesticated farm animals like cows, horses, sheep, etc.
  • 1
    Would a stray dog be called an animal de compagnie? I think it wouldn't, right? Just like it wouldn't be called a pet in English. Isn't that distinction also part of the answer? That an animal needs to actually be someone's pet in order for it to be called an animal de compagnie?
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 16:22
  • yes, in both French and English, we typically refer to an animal as a "pet" or "animal de compagnie" when it's someone's companion and under their care. Stray dogs, which are homeless and without owners, wouldn't fall into this category.
    – Maryam
    Commented Sep 16, 2023 at 21:36

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