Flying with Pets

Everyday more and more people are choosing to travel with their pets rather than leaving them home.

Before setting your travel plans  in stone you first need to check with your airlines for any restrictions on your pet. Not every airline can, or will accommodate travel for your pet. It is important to find out which airlines will and what policies are in place for that airline.

In recent times many airlines have banned many breeds of dogs and cats on longer flights or from travelling in cargo. The reason being so many have died in flight. Brachycephalic or short-nosed animals have  much shorter snout than most other breeds. Due to their short snouts, they often have problems such as breathing issues, overheating, and other internal and less obvious problems.

They tend to overheat due to the smaller openings to their noses and soft palates on the roofs of their mouths, which make breathing more difficult for them. Their breathing problems can be increased in stressful situations like air travel, and further exacerbated in extreme heat (and cargo areas have a tendency to get warm).

189 animals died on commercial flights from 2005 to 2011; of those animals, 98 — more than half — were Brachycephalic breeds.

Some breeds affected by the restrictions include:

  • American Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • English or French Bulldog
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pug
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Persian Cats
  • Himalayan Cats

If you wish to apply for a passport, always check that the airline accepts any of these breeds before booking tickets!

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