French Bulldog Blog

Can French Bulldogs Fly On Plane? Top 7 Safety Tips

can french bulldogs fly

Traveling with your Frenchie definitely brings so much joy to your and your pet’s life.Since these pooches are known as companion dogs, leaving them to spend time without their owners can be very stressful. So, in case you need to travel somewhere by plane, then you’re probably asking yourself a question: ‘’Can french bulldogs fly?’’ It’s only about flying with your Frenchie, it’s about their safety and health. 

Our blog post will help you find out how can you safely travel with your furry gremlin and what things to check before you sign on board.

can french bulldogs fly

Why Some Airlines Ban French Bulldogs?

In my quest to explore the world with my French Bulldog, I encountered a rather disheartening reality: some airlines have policies banning French Bulldogs, along with English Bulldogs, from flying. 

This prohibition stems from the breeds’ brachycephalic (snub-nosed) features, which make them vulnerable to breathing difficulties and overheating, especially in the stressful and sometimes poorly ventilated conditions of an airplane’s cargo hold.

In my research, I found that prominent airlines such as Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, Qantas, and Air New Zealand have all implemented restrictions on these breeds to ensure their safety and well-being during flights. 

can french bulldogs fly

Can French Bulldogs fly in cargo?

From my own experience and extensive research as a French Bulldog owner, I’ve learned that while technically French Bulldogs can fly in cargo, they really shouldn’t, and here’s why. 

The primary reason is their brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature, which makes breathing difficult even under normal conditions. In the pressurized, sometimes poorly ventilated environment of an airplane’s cargo area, my Frenchie could face serious respiratory distress.

Moreover, temperature regulation is another significant concern; these dogs can easily overheat or become too cold, given their inability to efficiently regulate their body temperature. Stress is also a major factor; being separated in a loud, unfamiliar environment can be terrifying, leading to anxiety-induced health issues. 

Additionally, there have been too many heartbreaking stories of snub-nosed breeds facing fatal outcomes during flights in cargo, which only reinforces my resolve to never let my beloved pet travel in such conditions. Finally, many airlines have recognized these risks and have implemented bans or restrictions on brachycephalic breeds in cargo, a policy that, while inconvenient, I wholeheartedly support for the safety of my Frenchie.

frenchie pilot

Can French bulldogs fly on plane? Top 7 Safety Tips

As a Frenchie parent, I really understand your concern about this topic. They have brachycephalic skulls and can’t regulate their body temperature very well. Flying with my French Bulldog has taught me a lot about the dos and don’ts of air travel with pets. If you’re planning to take to the skies with your furry friend, here are 7 essential tips to make the journey as smooth as paw-sible.

1- Understand Airline Pet Policies

Before booking a flight, I spent hours researching airlines to understand their pet policies. It’s crucial because each airline has its set of rules, especially for snub-nosed breeds like French Bulldogs. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin, while others might restrict them to cargo, and some don’t allow snub-nosed breeds at all due to their potential breathing problems. So, picking the right airline is the first step toward a stress-free journey with your bulldog.

2- Prepare Your French Bulldog for the Carrier

My French Bulldog wasn’t a fan of being in a carrier at first. To get him used to it, I made the carrier a comfortable space by placing his favorite blanket and toys inside. We started with short durations and gradually increased the time he spent in it. By the time we were ready to fly, the carrier felt like a second home to him. When traveling by plane with your French bulldog, it’s also very important to buy the TSA Approved Pet Bag. They feature the appropriate ventilation holes and can be used on planes, buses, and help you easier move your dog.

3- Visit the Vet

A health check is mandatory. I took my French Bulldog for a vet visit to ensure he was fit to fly. The vet provided a health certificate, which most airlines require, and gave us tips on how to make flying easier for him. The so-called Titre test is also required when traveling with a dog and leaving the country of your place of residence. It’s also a good time to discuss any concerns about your French bulldog’s health and get professional advice on managing anxiety or motion sickness. 

Many dogs of my friends get medicines that ease motion sickness and help their pets to feel relaxed during traveling.

4- Packing Essentials

Packing for my French Bulldog meant preparing for any scenario. I included his health certificate, vaccination records, food, water, collapsible bowls, pee pads, and some toys to keep him entertained. Keeping these items easily accessible during the flight was a game-changer, especially on longer trips. 

5- Day of the Flight

On the day of our flight, I made sure we arrived at the airport early to avoid any rush. Walking my French Bulldog before entering the terminal helped him calm down and expend some energy. While waiting, I kept him hydrated and made sure he was comfortable in his carrier. Remember, keeping a calm demeanor helps a lot; our pets can sense our emotions, and staying positive and relaxed can influence their behavior too.

6- Always Buy Your Frenchie a Ticket

First of all, your Frenchie is not a luggage. He/she really needs to have enough space and feel comfortable during flight. That’s why I recommend you to buy him/her a puppy ticket. In that way, you’ll avoid unpleasant situations and will make sure that your pooch feels comfortable.

7- Going To The Potty

In case your flight will last for more than 3 hours, then make sure you allow your Frenchie to go to the potty before boarding. Airports in the USA have pet release stations, so you’d better do this before the plane takes off.

can french bulldogs fly

What Is The Recommended Size Of a TSA French Bulldog Carrier?

Generally, for most airlines, the acceptable dimensions for soft-sided carriers are approximately 18 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 11 inches high. It’s essential to check with the specific airline you’re flying with since the under-seat space can vary between different aircraft. This research has been crucial for ensuring my pet travels safely and comfortably, keeping stress levels—for both of us—at a minimum.

Can French Bulldogs Fly As Young Puppies?

Yes, Frenchies can fly on planes during puppyhood. However, putting them in a cargo is not a good ides since it’s very noisy and warm/cold environment. It can actually turn out to be fatal for your furry gremlin. 

What Airlines Allow French Bulldogs To Fly in Cabin?

Here is the list of airlines that allow brachycephalic dog breeds to travel in cabin. However, before booking a flight, we recommend you to check the rules with the airline.

Airline Allows Brachycephalic Breeds in Cabin? Notes
Lufthansa Yes Must meet size and weight restrictions for the cabin.
Air France Yes Requires prior approval and health documentation.
KLM Yes Restrictions on number and size of pets apply.
Japan Airlines Yes Subject to certain conditions and flight durations.
British Airways No Only assistance dogs allowed in cabin.


Can French Bulldogs Fly? Wrapping up

Planning a vacay with your Frenchie might sound difficult. However, by following the tips we mentioned above, you can enjoy your trip without any fuss and buzz. French bulldogs can indeed fly by plane, but before you book a ticket you need to make sure you done all the health checks and bought essential travel items.


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