Snub-Nosed Dogs on Planes: How to Travel Safely and Comfortably with Your Pup [2023]

snub-nosed dogs on planes

Flying with your furry friend can be a stressful experience, especially if you have a snub-nosed dog. These breeds, also known as brachycephalic dogs, have flat faces, short noses, and respiratory issues that make air travel more challenging for them. But with proper preparation and precautions, you can make the trip safe and comfortable for your pup. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about flying with a snub-nosed dog, from airline policies to crate sizing to in-flight care.

What are Snub-Nosed Dogs?

snub-nosed dogs on planes, are Snub-Nosed Dogs?

Before we dive into the details of flying with a snub-nosed dog, let's first define what breeds fall into this category. Snub-nosed dogs are those with short snouts and flat faces. These breeds include:

  • Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Boston Terriers
  • Shih Tzus
  • Boxers
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Mastiffs

While these breeds are adorable and beloved by many, their flat faces can cause breathing problems, especially in high-stress situations like air travel.

Why Are Snub-Nosed Dogs Not Allowed to Fly?

Many airlines have restrictions on flying snub-nosed dogs due to their breed-specific health concerns. These dogs are more prone to respiratory issues, overheating, and stress in flight. In some cases, airlines will not allow snub-nosed dogs to travel in cargo holds at all.

Additionally, Pet Airways, the only pet-exclusive airline in the United States, ceased operations in 2013. As a result, it can be difficult to find an airline that is able or willing to accommodate snub-nosed dogs.

Airlines' Policies on Flying with Snub-Nosed Dogs

Before booking a flight with your snub-nosed dog, it's important to research each airline's policies regarding pet travel. Some airlines may prohibit brachycephalic breeds altogether, while others may have specific requirements or restrictions.

Here's a breakdown of some major airlines' policies on flying with snub-nosed dogs:

AirlineSnub-Nosed Dog Policy
DeltaAccepts brachycephalic breeds but may impose restrictions or require additional paperwork
UnitedAccepts most brachycephalic breeds but may prohibit certain individuals based on health conditions
AmericanGenerally permits brachycephalic breeds, but restrictions vary based on age, weight, and other factors
SouthwestHas an embargo on all pets traveling as checked baggage during summer months which include brachycephalic breeds
AlaskaHas temperature restrictions for snub-nosed dogs traveling in cargo hold
JetBlueRequires a veterinarian"fit to fly" letter stating 'inability to travel in the cargo hold as well as affirming that the cabin temperature will be maintained below 85 degrees for the flight duration
FrontierAccepts brachycephalic breeds but may require additional paperwork
SpiritDoes not allow snub-nosed dogs to fly in the cargo hold and is majorly excused from carrying pets in the cabin

When booking your flight, be sure to double-check the airline's policies and requirements.

The Risks of Flying with a Snub-Nosed Dog

Flying with a snub-nosed dog comes with certain risks and challenges. These dogs are more susceptible to respiratory problems, overheating, and stress. In-flight temperatures can also be a concern, so it's important to choose a flight with comfortable cabin temperatures.

To alleviate these risks, owners should take special precautions when flying with a snub-nosed dog. A veterinarian check-up is necessary prior to the flight to ensure your pup is physically fit to travel. In addition, owners should avoid feeding their dog before the flight to minimize the risk of vomiting and/or choking. If possible, consider booking a direct flight or opting for a larger airline that is better equipped to deal with pet-related issues.

Brachycephalic Dogs Require a Bigger Travel Crate

Due to their respiratory issues, snub-nosed dogs require larger airline-approved travel crates to accommodate their breathing. These crates should provide plenty of ventilation and be large enough for your dog to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably.

Here is a list of airline-approved travel crates specifically designed for snub-nosed dogs:

  1. Petmate Sky Kennel
  2. Vari Dog Crate
  3. Aspenpet Pet Porter
  4. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
  5. Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Be sure to check with your airline to ensure that these crates meet their specific regulations.

5 Tips for Flying with a Snub-Nosed Dog

Flying with a snub-nosed dog can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. Here are some tips to make the experience less stressful for both you and your furry friend:

  1. Book your flight early and choose a direct flight if possible.
  2. Acclimate your dog to the travel crate beforehand by gradually increasing the amount of time they spend inside it.
  3. Avoid feeding your dog before the flight to minimize the risk of vomiting and/or choking.
  4. Bring your dog's favorite toys and blankies to provide a sense of comfort in the unfamiliar environment of the plane.
  5. Communicate with the flight crew beforehand to make them aware of your dog’s condition and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Flying Snub-Nosed Dogs

What Dogs Are Not Allowed on Airplanes?

Different airlines have different policies regarding pet travel. Some airlines do not allow specific breeds, while others may have weight, size, or age requirements. It's important to check with your airline prior to booking your flight to ensure your pet is within their guidelines.

Why Can't Brachycephalic Dogs Fly?

Brachycephalic dogs have flat faces, short noses, and elongated palates, which makes it difficult for them to breathe in certain situations. Air travel can exacerbate their respiratory issues due to the high altitude, low humidity, and stress of the environment.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Snub-nosed dogs require larger travel crates due to their respiratory problems.
  • Many airlines have restrictions and policies regarding pet travel, so it's important to research prior to booking.
  • Owners should take special precautions when flying with a snub-nosed dog to minimize the risk of respiratory issues, overheating, and stress.
  • A veterinarian check-up prior to flight and communication with the flight crew can help ensure a smoother flying experience.
  • Booking early and choosing a direct flight can help make the flight less stressful.

Flying with a snub-nosed dog can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and precautions, it can also be a rewarding and successful experience. Remember to check with your airline for specific guidelines, to provide plenty of ventilation for your dog’s travel crate, and to communicate with the flight crew to make them aware of your dog’s needs. By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure your furry friend travels safely and comfortably in the skies.

As a final note, we suggest that you consult with your veterinarian and airline before making any travel arrangements with your pet.Regulations and policies are subject to rapid changes by airlines, and it's always best to double-check before traveling with your pet.


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