Pet Travel: Traveling via Cargo with a Snub-Nosed Pet

There are certain precautions every pet owner must take when your pet is traveling in the cargo area of a plane. You want to make sure your pet is acclimated to the crate, properly hydrated so your pet travels as safe and as comfortably as possible.

For the snub nosed pet owner, things can get risky. Here are dogbreeds that can be considered as snub-nosed depending on your airline: Affenpinscher, American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier/”Amstaff,” Belgian Malinois, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bulldog, American Bulldog, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Old English Bulldogges, Shorty Bulldogs, Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chow Chow, English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel, Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff, American Mastiff, Boerboel/South African Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff, Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff, Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff, English Mastiff, Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila, Indian Mastiff/Alangu, Kangal/Turkish Kangal, Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano, Pakastani Mastiff/Bully Kutta, Pyrenean Mastiff, Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol, Tibetan Mastiff, Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa, Pekingese, Pug, Dutch Pug, Japanese Pug, Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei, Shih-Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier/”Staffys,” and Tibetan Spaniel.

Also, the following cat breeds are also snub-nosed: Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan and Persian.

These short nosed (also called “brachycephalic”) pets have difficulty breathing and acclimating to certain weather conditions. Even though these pets are considered “at risk”, taking necessary precautions and using the proper flight itinerary on a pet-safe, pet friendly airline will help reduce the chances of an incident. Below is an airline chart to help pet owners who are considering traveling via cargo with their sub-nosed breed.

Most airlines require a health certificate within 10 days prior to your travel date for pets flying in the cargo hold. (International immigration requirements also apply if traveling outside country borders)

Weather restrictions: When temperatures exceed 80-85 degrees F (27-30 degrees C) in any airport on your pet’s itinerary, the airlines restrict animals that will be accepted as checked baggage or cargo. These restrictions are enforced for the safety of your pet. The restrictions are as follows:

Summer Heat Embargo: May 15 through September 15

Winter Embargo: November 1st through March 31st

Delta: Delta has changed their banned breed policies and will no longer transport dog or cat breeds considered as snub-nosed in the cargo hold.

United: United will no longer transport snub-nosed pets in the cargo hold. See their snub-nosed breed restrictions here..

American Airlines: American Airlines has issued a permanent embargo on all breeds of snub-nosed dogs and cats.

Frontier Airlines: Frontier no longer offers checked baggage or air cargo services for live animals. If you want to fly with your pet on this airlines, it must fit in an airline-compliant pet carrier that will fit under the seat in front of you.

Alaskan Airlines: snub-nosed breeds are no longer permitted to fly Alaska Airlines in the cargo hold.

Lufthansa: snub-nosed breeds will be transported as long as temperatures do not exceed 75 degrees F anywhere on the itinerary.

KLM Airlines: KLM will only fly snub-nosed breeds as air cargo.  Four breeds of snub nosed dogs will no longer be allowed in the cargo hold on KLM aircraft: English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, and Pug

When your snub-nosed dog or cat are flying in the cargo hold, here are tips to keep them safe:

• Use a pet crate that is one size larger than is normally required
• Use a crate with ventilation on 4 sides. (If the kennel does not have ventilation on 4 sides, modify the kennel by drilling 7 holes in the rear top and 7 holes in the rear bottom of the kennel using a 3/4 inch keyhole bit).
• Acclimate your pet to its crate by letting the animal spend time in the kennel for several days before its departure
• Do not place food in the kennel during the flight, just water.
• Provide plenty of water to your pet. Frozen water bottles with tiny holes punched in the sides make a great watering tool for several hours when placed in the crate’s watering dish. Find the largest pet crate water bowl that you can.

It is always wise to call your airlines when making your reservation and disclose the breed of your dog. Also, it is a good idea to let the Captain know that you are traveling with a pet. Preparing in advance is an important part of pet travel.

More information on airline pet policies.


Comments

Pet Travel: Traveling via Cargo with a Snub-Nosed Pet — 368 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Great article! You definitely covered all of the bases with this one, I especially like the addition of each airline restriction of snub-nosed breeds. Nice touch! I value your writing/ knowledge with brachycephalic breeds. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment of your time and give me your input on a similar article I wrote https://www.travelingpetsafety.com/snub-nosed-dogs/
    Again, awesome article! I look forward to further learning from your input.

    Thanks,
    Wil

  2. Laura – have you tried Copa Airines? If they will not fly your Frenchie as checked baggage, try their cargo department. Watch out for temperatures if you plan to fly soon. If temperatures fall below 45 degrees, the airline will likely not transport your pup.
    Susan

  3. Hi,

    I have a French Bulldog and I´m permanently moving from Colombia to Canada. I would not leave my dog behind…. I have researched an researched, and I don´t find a solution… Please help me!

  4. Tess – you can contact a local office of Caribbean Airlines and inquire. If that does not work, then another option would be to fly your English Bully to FLL on Lufthansa and fly Amerijet to Grenada. We can assist you with the booking and other services if you need them. Email Campbell at info@pettraveltransport.com for more information.
    Susan

  5. Need to get our English bulldog from Uk to Grenada (Caribbean). He flew on lufthansa from Dubai to UK and was perfectly fine! Wondering if Caribbean air accept them? Any other ideas would be grateful!

  6. We lost our English Bulldog from Oz to USA. Totally heartbroken never again but now we have to French Bulldogs. We need to get on Change.org and petition for cruise ship to allow us to leave the ship with our pets.

  7. Andrei – Air France flies non-stop. It will need to fly as air cargo on AF. Lufthansa will also transport it with a stop in Frankfurt.
    Susan

  8. Hello!…with witch airline can i take my dog fro san francisco to paris?…he is a american bully ,1 year old…13-16 kg!..thank you!

  9. Viona – if Air France will take your English Bulldog, it will need to fly as air cargo, so you will need to contact their cargo department. If temperatures exceed 75 degrees F, the airlines will likely not accept it and it is not safe for your pet to fly in the cargo hold. Also know that the flight must be non-stop. AF requires that live animals be claimed and rechecked in layover cities.
    Susan

  10. Trying to fly our English Bulldog from London UK to Ho Chi Minh city (November 2019), can Air France freight take him? I know AF 258 does the Paris – Ho Chi Minh city route every Saturday. I understand snub nosed dogs are accepted by AIR FRANCE freight flights only?
    Or is there any other options? I know Lufthansa will not take him, due to ground temperature limits.

  11. Kristine – we know of 2 airlines that will transport Frenchies internationally and that is Qantas and Lufthansa. Qantas’ hub is Sydney and best you ask their cargo department what facilities they have available for your pup. Your pup will be under their care from check-in to pick-up and they should be able to assure you that your pup will be cared for during the layover.
    Susan

  12. I have a French Bulldog and am researching flying her from Auckland, New Zealand to Vancouver, Canada. I have been advised Qantas will take her breed, but there are no direct flights. So, the flight will require a 4 hour layover in Sydney (which of course is warm/hot all year round). Are you aware of any other options for flying this route?

    There are 2 times per year they fly and weather is pretty similar at both times. My cat of course can fly Air NZ direct… no worries.

    Also, do you have any suggestions on how to ask for water to be provided to her? (I know they have said they will attach an additional water bottle to her crate to be used in Sydney, but not sure if it will be frozen etc).

    (I think I have annoyed my pet transport agencies whom I am asking lots of questions of). My dog is not an anxious character, she takes things in stride and has lost most of her hearing so tends to travel really well and has always been excellent with vets, hospitals etc.

  13. try Lufthansa _
    Lufthansa: snub-nosed breeds will be transported as long as temperatures do not exceed 75 degrees F anywhere on the itinerary.

  14. Lindsay – if your Frenchie is not small enough to fly in the cabin, it will need to fly as accompanied checked baggage in the cargo hold. Check with Iceland Air into Toronto and see if they will transport your Frenchie as it is a snub-nosed breed. Once you get to Canada, you will clear customs and change to WestJet (confirm with them that they will fly your Frenchie.) The goal is to get to Canada before switching airlines. Avoid London if possible. You really should transport your Frenchie in one crate larger than normally required. Temperatures will likely be a problem, especially if you need to travel within the next few months. The airlines will not transport pets in the cargo hold when the temperatures are lower than 7 degrees C. You will need to monitor temperatures closely. Find a flight in the middle of the day if possible. As far as Canada is concerned, proof of rabies vaccination and a health certificate from your vet in French or English is what you will need.
    Susan

  15. Hi,

    I have a French bulldog and I’m moving from Munich Germany to Ottawa Canada, I have no idea how to bring him with me. I have researched and researched, all I find is conflicting information. I would love some insight. He has had two surgeries that help his breathing, not that he had issues before. our vet recommends both of these for snub nosed breeds.

    Thanks!
    Lindsay

  16. Billy – there are few airlines that will fly your dog’s breed. You can try WestJet, but, other than that, we can only suggest ground transport. Sorry…
    Susan

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