Tips for Flying with a Short-Snouted Dog
The following breeds are considered to have short snouts (some airlines include more breeds, so be sure to check before your flight):
It’s a sad statistic, but over the past five years, these breeds have accounted for half the dog deaths on airlines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Why? Their short snouts – along with small nostrils and narrow windpipes – cause them to have breathing and overheating issues. And the stress of flying just compounds these problems.
“They are in a crate, in a small enclosed area. There are new smells. Then the plane takes off and it’s an unsettling experience. And there is the noise,” Adam Goldfarb, director of the Humane Society of the United States’ Pet Risk program, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
You should note that many airlines won’t transport short-snouted (or any other) dogs as checked baggage during summer months.
American Airlines will not transport any short-snouted breed or mix as checked luggage any time of the year.
Delta does not allow these dogs on its flights when temperatures exceed 75 degrees (it will not transport any dog when temperatures are above 85 degrees).
United does not allow these breeds to be checked in as baggage on its flights from June 1 to September 30.
The American Veterinary Medical Association offers these tips for a safe flight with your short-snouted dog:
Get your dog used to his crate before the flight to lessen his stress.
Line his crate with newspaper or a very thin blanket. Your dog could wrap himself or bury his nose in thicker blankets, making it even more difficult for him to breathe.
If your dog is small enough for a carrier that fits under an airline seat, and meets your airline’s weight restrictions, bring him into the cabin with you instead of checking him as baggage. Your dog will probably need a reservation, so be sure to take care of this ahead of time and not when you’re boarding the plane.
Minimize layovers so your dog isn’t kept in the cargo hold or on the tarmac in uncomfortable temperatures.
Don’t give your dog a tranquilizer since it can worsen his breathing problems.
To totally be on the safe side, you may want to consider a different mode of transportation altogether. “When it comes to traveling with your pets, consider … whether your pet wants to go with you and whether it’s worth it,” Goldfarb said.