Flying A Snub-nosed Dog

A French bulldog, a snub-nosed dog, near a globe

Flying A Snub-nosed Dog

Flying a snub-nosed dog internationally isn’t a straightforward process. Dogs that are snub-nosed (brachycephalic breeds) are often at a higher risk during air travel than other “regular” breeds. If you plan to relocate with a snub-nosed dog (such as a Pug, French Bulldog or Boston Terrier), you should know that the move won’t be easy.

What Are Snub-nosed Dogs?

Snub-nosed dogs in luggage

Snub-nosed dogs (also called brachycephalic breeds) are dogs that have a short nose. These dogs are more likely to suffer respiratory problems under normal circumstances – so just imagine what could happen during air travel.

The reason why snub-nosed dogs have respiratory problems is because they pack the same nose structure as long snout dogs. Dogs with small snouts have the same structure and anatomy as long snout dogs but only in a more cramped structure.

Here is a list of some of the most popular snub-nosed dogs around the world:

  • French Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Japanese Chin
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Chow Chow
  • Pug
  • Shar-pei
  • Shih Tzu

Please note that there are many more breeds that are snub-nosed.

Many Airlines Have Stopped Flying Snub-nosed Dogs

Sad Pug

Many airlines around the world banned snub-nosed dogs from flying in the hold of their planes due to the fact that there were many unfortunate incidents with such breeds in the last couple of years.

There are still a couple of airlines that didn’t ban yet snub-nosed dogs. Instead, these airlines have placed tight restrictions for traveling with them. These restrictions are usually weather dependent (they won’t accept snub-nosed dogs during the summer).

Below is a list of some of the world’s leading airlines that won’t fly or restrict snub-nosed breeds:

  • Swiss – As of 2020, snub-nosed dogs can’t fly in the hold of their planes.
  • United – since mid-2018, United have stopped accepting snub-nosed breeds in their holds.
  • Delta – we don’t remember exactly when this happened, but they stopped flying snub-nosed breeds in their holds a long time ago.
  • Lufthansa – From 2020, flying a snub-nosed dog can only be done as manifest cargo or in-cabin.
  • KLM – they don’t fly Pugs, English/French Bulldog and Boston Terriers in the hold of their planes.

Even though there are many airlines that won’t fly snub-nosed dogs in their holds, it is important to note that there are plenty of airlines that will accept snub-nose breeds in cabin, as long as they meet the airline’s pet in-cabin policy. For such breeds, flying in-cabin is most likely the safest way to travel.

The Risks Of Flying A Snub-nosed Dog

Sad Boston Terrier

Snub-nosed dog breeds hold the highest recorded death ratio for pets that have traveled by air. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that deaths while flying are not common and that millions of pets fly safely around the world each year.

Snub-nosed dogs have difficulty flying because they are more sensitive to changes in air quality and to the temperature in the hold of the plane. Even though the air in the pressurized cargo hold (where pets are transported) is the same as in the passenger cabin, the air circulation might not be ideal for a snub-nosed dog.

Brachycephalic Dogs Require A Bigger Travel Crate

Brachycephalic dog next to a flight crate and luggage

In order to minimize the risks involved in flying brachycephalic dogs, airlines usually require a flight crate that is at least 10 cm larger than the dog.

Airlines that still accept brachycephalic breeds require pet owners to have an airline approved flight crate that is at least one size larger than the needed/expected size. Purchasing a larger pet travel crate will help minimize the risks!

5 Tips For Flying A Snub-Nosed Dog

Business man pointing down

Even though the flight experience varies from dog to dog, the tips you will read here are important for flying pets in general, and are significantly more important when flying “problematic” breeds.

Tip #1 – Choosing the appropriate flight crate

As mentioned in this article, snub-nosed dogs are required to fly with a larger flight crate. We understand that the relocation process isn’t cheap, but please, don’t save your money on this.

Tip #2 – Get your dog accommodated to the flight crate

After purchasing the appropriate pet travel crate, make sure your dog gets used to it before your flight.

Making your dog comfortable inside the flight crate will eventually make things less stressful for him/her.

Tip #3 – Consult with your vet

If your dog is treated regularly by a veterinarian, we advise you consult with him/her before traveling.

Tip #4 – Hire A Pet Relocation Company

Flying a snub-nosed dog is complicated and, in some ways, dangerous. Hiring an expert to assist is surely worth the money. Don’t you agree?

Tip #5 – Don’t fly when the weather is hot!

If possible, try not to fly in the summer. If you must fly during the summer season, we recommend you search for flights that leave early morning or late at night (when it’s not too hot outside).

In any case, before the flight, be sure to offer your dog plenty of water. This will prevent your dog from dehydrating.

Frequently Asked Questions About Flying Brachycephalic Dogs

Colorful stickers with question marks

Question #1: My dog is mixed with a snub-nosed breed. Will it be hard flying him?

Unfortunately, yes, most airlines won’t accept your dog as they will consider it as a snub-nosed dog.

Question #2: Can I purchase a crate that is 2-3 sizes up?

We don’t recommend that. You are required to purchase a crate that is one size larger. Purchasing a crate that is 2-3 sizes up could have a negative effect.

Question #3: How can I take my dog with me in-cabin?

We recommend you check the airline’s pet in-cabin requirements. If your pet meets the requirements, you could take your dog with you in cabin.

Please also remember to check out the destination country’s regulations. There are some countries (like the UK and Australia) that will only allow you to bring a pet into their territory as manifest cargo.

Question #4: Why do airlines require snub-nosed dogs to fly with a larger crate?

This is required as a bigger travel crate will improve air circulation and therefore, cancel out the “disadvantage” of having a short snout.

Question #5: Taking a snub-nosed dog seems very dangerous. Can you guarantee a safe trip?

We have a 100% success rate, but, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee a safe trip. There are risks involved that aren’t in our hands (or anyone else’s).

If everything is done properly, we will manage to minimize the risks involved. By minimizing the risks, we can guarantee the safest trip possible.

Flying Snub-Nosed Dogs Is Our Expertise!

World map with planes

Flying some of the world’s most popular snub-nosed dogs can take a great deal of time and preparation. Even though there will always be risks involved, if you plan carefully, you could make flying with a snub-nosed dog as safe and as stress-free as possible.

If you have a snub-nosed dog, we highly recommend you contact a pet transport company to assist you with the process.

In the past couple of years, we had the pleasure to assist hundreds of families relocate with their brachycephalic dogs. It wasn’t easy, but we enjoyed doing so.

If you need help, feel free to contact us!

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