One of the questions we get the most is, how do I fly with my french bulldog?
French bulldogs are brachycephalic breeds–flat nosed dogs–and those breeds are banned from flying commercial airlines underneath the plane.
Airlines have banned bulldogs, pugs and other brachycephalic breeds from their planes due to health risks to the dogs. These include:
- American Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- English or French Bulldog
- King Charles Spaniel
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
What does that mean?
I think when most people read this, they automatically wonder “so, are french bulldogs allowed on the plane?” This ban only applies to dogs who are flying in the cargo and bottom of the plane. Some dogs travel by way of carrier underneath the plane but because of the temperature and issues of short-nosed breeds, it is no longer possible.
We can fly with our french bulldogs IN CABIN. Most airlines charge $100-125 each way for a “pet ticket” and all you need to do is bring them in an airline-approved carrier (Sherpa Medium) as a carry-on.
The only catch…
Most airlines have a weight limit for pets–Virgin America and Jetblue, along with a few others, have a 20 pound limit, including the weight of the carrier. The carrier weighs about 1.5-2 lbs. Fira is 14 lbs so we never have a problem and she fits very comfortably inside the Sherpa Carrier. American Airlines and United have no weight limit, as long as your pup fits comfortably inside a carrier underneath the seat in front of you.
What to bring…
About a week before you fly, plan to visit your vet and get a health certificate. This certificate declares that your pet has its current vaccinations and is healthy to travel. It’s just a quick check up and the vets usually charge $40-70 (however much the vet charges for an office visit).
Make sure to check your airline’s rules about the size of the dog carrier you need. Bring treats, disinfectant wipes and their favorite bone.
Pet relief areas
Most major airlines now have pet relief areas with artificial grass patches for your dog. At the Miami airport, there was a room with mini fire hydrants and a flush button! Once you flush, the hydrants turn on their sprinklers and clean the patch. How cute, right??
Taking your dog on a flight may seem anxiety inducing at first but once you do it that first time, it’s a cinch after. As long as you have your paperwork ready and your pup is comfortable with it, it’s a smooth process.