Can Bulldogs Fly on Airplanes?


In general, we do not recommend flying with your bulldogs on airplanes. Bulldogs are more susceptible to die while flying in airplanes compared to other dogs.

Bulldogs should not fly on planes because of their short noses and difficulty breathing. As many as 25 of the 122 dogs that have died over a period of five years (between 2005-2010) while flying have been bulldogs. This is why many airlines have banned brachycephalic breeds from flying.

While bulldogs do not find it difficult to breathe on land, it becomes quite difficult for them to do so while they are flying, especially in the cargo area of the plane. Since bulldogs are heavier set. they are not generally allowed in the main cabin of planes, and often can only fly if placed in the cargo area. The temperature and air quality in the cargo area is not good and is often the cause of death for these flying bulldogs. In the cargo bay, your pet is going to be stuck in a crate where there will be restricted air circulation making it even more difficult to breathe.

Do any airlines ban bulldogs from flying?

Many airlines at present have varying restrictions on what animals can travel on them. Most airlines usually permit animals to travel in the passenger cabin if they weigh less than 20 pounds. If your dog is heavier than that, some airlines might allow them to travel in the cargo area of the plane, but many airlines now have bans on this practice for flat-nosed breeds.

Brachycephalic breeds of dogs including bulldogs were banned by American Airlines shortly after the death of four bulldogs on its planes within a span of three months in the year 2010. English, French, and American bulldogs were banned by Delta recently following the death of three bulldogs in the period from January to March.

A couple of bulldogs died while flying on United Airlines not long ago and this airline now also prohibits the flying of bulldogs in summer. However, the restriction is lifted in the fall when the temperatures start dropping.

Which airlines ban adult bulldogs from traveling in the main cabin?

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Jet Blue
  • United Airlines

What are the health risks of flying on your bulldogs?

It has been long known by animal experts that all types of canines are at some risk while flying. Those with flat faces are more susceptible to the conditions in the cargo spaces. These animals find it difficult to breathe at high altitudes because of their short noses.

Pets such as bulldogs, Persian cats, and pugs are especially vulnerable to respiratory problems which sometimes results in the blockage of nasal passages. Moreover, pooches that are overweight can face this problem even more. Overweight dogs will have a harder time with high temperatures during take-off and landing.

A lot of airlines, as mentioned earlier, have implemented limitations on traveling with canines while some have also banned them outright either seasonally or year-round. It is particularly dangerous for animals to fly in the cargo area in the summer although traveling during spring can be somewhat tolerated.

Bulldogs are at the top of the list of flat-nosed canines that are susceptible to death when flying on airplanes.

Bulldogs can suffer from a condition referred to as brachycephalic airway syndrome where breathing becomes compromised. The syndrome can result in serious airway blockage that might require surgery. Symptoms might include heavy breathing, snoring, snorting, or other more serious conditions where the dog might faint and suffer from fatigue very easily. Over time, these conditions can become worse and therefore it will be essential for the owners to talk to the vets for establishing an effective treatment procedure.

Are there ways to mitigate the health risks of bulldogs flying in airplanes?

Bulldogs do not come with a good history of flying. If you must fly with your bulldog the below tips will cover how to reduce the health risks of bulldogs while they’re flying in airplanes. Please make sure to check with your vet before putting your bulldog on an airplane.

1. Verify the airline’s pet policy prior to purchasing your tickets. While some airlines might claim to be dog-friendly, they might not be. When this article was written, Frontier airlines permitted canines to travel in the main cabin so long as they stay in a carrier beneath the seat in front of you.

You can not remove them from the crate while you are flying for any reason whatsoever. You will also need to pay $75 for traveling with your pet and the airline does not allow your pooch to travel within the cargo hold.

2. Always maintain the normal weight for your bulldog and keep them active. Bulldogs who suffer from weight problems and elderly dogs will be at a greater risk of flying and might not be permitted to do so by your vet.

3. Make sure to crate train the bulldog before traveling. If he is accustomed to staying within the crate for extended periods of time, it will help to keep their stress levels low. In general, traveling might prove to be quite stressful for these canines. It is bumpy and loud, particularly in the cargo area. However, they might find the crate to be a comfortable area for them provided they are properly trained. Make it a point to find a crate that has plenty of ventilation and a minimum of six inches of space on every side. This will provide the pooch with adequate room to breathe in the overcrowded cargo area.

4. Do not forget to provide your pooch with adequate water while flying since it will help him to maintain the right temperature and remain calm as well.

5. Provide them with a familiar plaything or maybe a thin and small blanket for lining the crate. If the toy has the scent of your residence, it will help calm your dog’s nerves.

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Ollie the English bulldog

6. It will also be a sensible idea to take your flight times into consideration. The temperature isn’t controlled while you happen to be on the tarmac. In fact, these controls are typically off until the plane is in flight. If you become stuck on the tarmac in adverse weather conditions, it is possible for your bulldog to become exposed to that high temperature. Therefore, flying in the spring or fall might be better and more comfortable for your dog. If you do have a layover, verify the temperature where the layover is and how long the bulldog is going to be exposed to that temperature.

7. Obtain a health certificate from your vet within 10 days before traveling. This might be mandated by many airlines. Also make sure to verify the policies of the state or country you are visiting. If your pooch is flying to Hawai’i with you for example, the dog will have to be quarantined for a period of 120 days prior to travel. It will be a sensible idea to verify the regulations about canines traveling globally.

8. Make certain to mark the crate with all your personal info and that you pooch has a GPS tracker. Verify with the gate agent that all these have been done properly.

Are there safer travel methods for bulldogs than airplanes?

While making travel decisions, it will be important to go for the safest and less stressful methods for your bulldog.

If you decide to take your pooch in a car, it is best to anchor the crate with seatbelts and or bungee cords. It is safer for your dog to stay in their crate versus roaming freely around the car.

You might also consider taking your furry friend on-board a ship during a voyage overseas. However, like an airplane, only a few ships will be welcoming to dogs. While some of the shipping companies allow dogs in private cabins, most of them like to confine them to the kennels. Contact the cruise line in advance to get details on their pet policy.

At present, few rail lines allow dogs to travel on their trains. You’ll come across many trains out there in the Europe that permit dogs. In the United States, Amtrak allows dogs as long as they are registered service dogs.

Are there any airplane travel services for bulldogs that make it safer for them?

There are a few pet exclusive airline services that are starting to pop up. Unfortunately, at this time we could not find their pricing or customer satisfaction ratings. If cost is no issue to you a few private services allow for pet travel. But be prepared as they will cost you a small fortune to use.

Conclusion

Bulldogs aren’t very well suited for air travel. We recommend traveling by car or train as it’s less risky and stressful for the dog. However, if you have no other option but air travel, ask around and read reviews to find the best options. Make sure to find a reputable pet-friendly airline before putting your bulldog on a plane and try and avoid making your pet travel in the cargo area if possible.

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