What Breeds of Dogs Can't Travel by Plane?

Regardless of the age or size of the dog, there are certain breeds of dogs that cannot travel by plane for health reasons.
What Breeds of Dogs Can't Travel by Plane?

Last update: 21 May, 2021

While many airlines provide pet transport services, it’s important to note that not all dogs can use typical human travel methods. Large-sized dogs often can’  travel by plane. Find out what dogs can’t travel by plane in this article!

There are some species that suffer a lot of physical and psychological stress when traveling on this medium. They could even find themselves in a very complex and life-threatening situation. If you want to know which dogs are prone to problems when traveling by plane, read on.

Why can’t some dogs travel by plane?

Vacations and family gatherings aren’t complete without your pet. For this reason, it’s very common to see a wide variety of dogs that accompany their owners at airports. However, there are many difficulties that dogs of certain breeds are exposed to when traveling such long distances, especially thousands of feet high.

The difficulty and risks for some breeds of dogs that can’t travel by plane lies in the fact that they’re brachycephalic, which is why the shape of their muzzle makes them more prone to respiratory problems. This condition is what leads most airlines to have specific regulations for the transportation of certain animals.

Dogs with this condition aren’t always small, as it occurs in dogs with small respiratory systems despite having a larger body.

There are dogs that cannot travel by plane.

What’s brachycephaly in dogs?

This is a condition that affects breeds that have shorter than normal or flattened skulls, faces, and noses. In general, dogs with this trait have small nostrils. In this way, certain malformations occur, which increase the possibility of brachycephalic syndrome.

These dogs don’t tolerate the increase in environmental temperature or humidity very well. For this reason, they’re considered more vulnerable to heat stroke.

This condition makes breathing more complex, as the dog has to put more energy into the process, which gives way to other pathologies, such as bronchitis, laryngitis, lacrimation, conjunctivitis and throat obstructions. This is why breeds with brachycephaly have constant panting, gagging, and clearing of phlegm.

Dogs that should not travel by plane

According to the American Veterinary Physicians Association (AVMA), dog breeds that can’t travel by air have respiratory disorders that are aggravated by altitude, exposure to high levels of stress, and elevated environmental temperatures.

This is why, before traveling by plane, you must consider your pet’s characteristics and comply with the requirements of the airline so as not to harm the dog’s health. Among the most common brachycephalic dog breeds are the following:

  • Bulldogs (all variants)
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pugs (all variants)
  • Bull terriers
  • Pekingese
  • Chihuahuas
  • Shar-pei
  • Japanese chin
  • Mastiffs (all variants)
  • Rottweilers
  • Affenpinscher
  • Boxers (all variants)

Tips for traveling with your dog by plane

As mentioned above, each airline has stipulated rules for the transport of animals. Due to this, it’s important that you consider that these rules aren’t personal and that they exist for the safety of the animal and the passengers.

The most common recommendation – regardless of the company – is that you shouldn’t expose your dog to trips of more than 6 hours. On the other hand, if your pet weighs more than 8 kilograms, airlines don’t recommend that they travel, as it’ll be more difficult for them to breathe. Finally, a carrier or crate appropriate to the size of the dog is always recommended.

There are breeds of dogs that cannot travel by plane.

As you can see, many breeds of dogs shouldn’t travel by plane and their breathing problems are what create this difficulty. However, if you correctly handle the recommendations outlined by your preferred airline, your pet shouldn’t be at risk, as long as you choose an appropriate method of transportation.

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