Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know

Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know

Are you curious if Bulldogs can fly on airplanes? If so, you’re not alone. The answer to this question is more complicated than you might think. In this blog, Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know will give you a better understanding of this dilemma.

Health Risks of Bulldogs Flying

English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs belong to what is known as a brachycephalic breed of dogs. Brachycephalic breeds are dogs that have shortened snouts, sometimes referred to as a snub nosed breed. This feature can lead to an increased risk of difficulty in breathing, known as brachycephalic airway syndrome. This occurs especially when the dog is stressed.

Bulldog owners should be aware of the health risks associated with flying with brachycephalic breeds – these dogs have a relatively high risk of respiratory problems and even death in air travel. So if you’re considering bringing your bulldog along for a flight, make sure you read all the information available before making the decision!

Are There Ways To Mitigate The Health Risks Of Bulldogs Flying In Airplanes?

As stated above, brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldogs, belong to a group of dogs that have been known to experience breathing problems when flown in airplanes.

It is always important to consult with your veterinarian before flying with your bulldog, as there are ways to mitigate the health risks of flying with this dog breed.

By following all of the necessary health requirements and vaccinations, you can minimize the chances of them experiencing any breathing problems.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends that bulldogs be at least 18 months old and weigh 55 pounds or less when flying.

Keep your pet at a healthy weight. Pets with underlying medical conditions may be more likely to have problems during transport. Older and overweight pets may also be at higher risk.

Avoid using thick blankets in the crate. Your dog could bury their nose in it, leading to an increased risk of respiratory issues.

Consult your vet and get them to sign a veterinarian certificate of health that states that your bulldog is healthy enough to fly.

Should I Sedate My Bulldog When Flying?

There is no definitive answer as to whether or not sedating your French or English Bulldog will mitigate any health risks associated with flying in airplanes, but it is something to keep in mind if you are concerned.

What Is The Difference Between Sedation and Tranquilization In Dogs?

Sedation has a more substantial influence and produces drowsiness, whereas tranquilization decreases anxiety while inducing a feeling of calmness.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, sedating pets for air travel is not usually recommended. Animals, on the other hand, may benefit from being tranquilized before flying.

If this is something you are considering, speak to your veterinarian about the best way to go about this and the pros and cons of each. Make sure your vet is fully aware of the flight ahead.

Also, check with your airline because some do not allow sedated pets to fly.

Travel Crate

Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know

Brachycephalic dogs, or those with a short muzzle and broad head, require a bigger travel crate than other dogs because their heads are wider. As a result, these dogs require a travel crate that is at least 2x the size of a regular crate.

Make sure the crate size your pet needs is allowed by the airline. Some airlines only allow certain types of crates, so again, be sure to check with your airline before purchasing one.

Many airlines require the pet to be in a crate that will fit under the seat. Each airline has its own crate size regulation, so be sure to read up on them and get the correct size.

The airline standard for crate size is your pet must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier with ease.

To lessen the stress your dog will experience in flight, let your bulldog become familiar with the crate or kennel a few weeks or months before your planned departure.

Let your pet get used to being confined in it. This way, it will be natural for him to be crated and not something new that may create stress and unwanted behavior when using it for your flight.

For more information about traveling with dogs, see: The Ultimate Guide To Traveling With Dogs

Choosing an Airline

Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know

Many airlines do not allow bulldogs to fly; however, a few pet friendly airlines do. As policies change, be sure to check with the airline before booking any flights to be sure your pet will be accepted.

Air travel can be a stressful experience, so having a solid plan in place will make the experience a lot smoother.

Keep in mind that my research with airlines pertains to in-cabin flying, not cargo. If you are considering flying your dog in the cargo area, be sure to do your research.

I found that most airlines have a weight limit for pets, and most were 20 lbs, including the crate. This by itself will limit flying with English Bulldogs, especially adult bulldogs.

Finding the right airline can be a daunting task. Consider flight times, cancellation rates, and other important factors.

When you’ve finally made your decision, make sure to check out airline reviews to get a more in-depth understanding of each airline.

Table: Airline Policies

(Be sure to verify before booking – policies can change)

Travel Within The United States – International Travel Has Different Guidelines

AirlineBulldog PolicyWeight LimitCarrier RequirementDocuments
Alaska AirlinesAllowedNot Stated – Needs to Fit In Kennel Pet Carrier Under Seat.
Hard Sided – 17″ x 11″ x 7.5″
17″ x 11″ x 9.5″
None Required For Airline – But Check With Destination State
American AirlinesNot in Cargo20 lbs combined weight of kennel and petPet Carrier Under Seat.
Hard Sided – 19″ x 13″ x 9″ Soft Sided -18″ x 11″ x 11″ 
None Stated
DeltaNo Restrictions StatedNot Stated – Needs to Fit In Kennel Pet Carrier Under Seat
Soft-Sided – 18” x 11” x 11”
None Stated
Frontier AirlinesNo Restrictions StatedNot Stated – Needs to Fit In Kennel Pet Carrier Under Seat
18.5” (L) x 8.5” (H) x 13.5” (W)
Required For the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico None for Mainland
Hawaiin AirlinesAllowed25lbs combined weight of kennel and petPet Carrier Under Seat Soft Sided 16″ (L) x 10″ (W) x 9.5″ HSigned Liability Release Form
Jet BlueNo Restrictions Stated20lbs combined weight of kennel and petUnder Seat, FAA Approved Carrier
17″ (L) x 12.5″ (W) x 8.5″ (H)
None Required For Airline – But Check With Destination State
SouthwestNo Restrictions StatedNot StatedYour pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Max dimensions of 18.5” (L) x 8.5” (H) x 13.5” wide.None Required For Airline – But Check With Destination State
SpiritNo Restrictions Stated40 lbs combined weight of kennel and petYour pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. 18″ (L) x 14″ (W) x 9″ (H)None on Mainland. Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and US Virgin Island Require Rabies Certificate
United AirlinesRestrictions – Contact Airline Not StatedYour pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Hard Sided – 17.5″ (L) x 12″ (W) x 7.5″ (H)
Soft-Sided – 18″ (L) x 11″ (W) x 11″ (H)
None Required For Airline – But Check With Destination State


First and foremost, ensure that you have all the documentation required – vaccination certificate, license, health certificate, etc. The health certificate is a document you get from the vet that will show that your pet is healthy enough to travel and won’t require additional care while away from home.

Just because the airline might not require proof of vaccinations or other health documents, be sure to check with your destination as they could differ from airline policies.

Be sure your pet has id tags in case they get separated from you.

While traveling with your Bulldog, try and find a non-stop flight if possible, as it will be less stressful for both of you.

Book your flight as early as possible to avoid any last-minute scurrying.

Make sure to pack a copy of your airline’s pet policy in case there are any issues with your Bulldog during air travel.

Finally, always keep an eye on your pet during the entire travel process in case of any unusual behavior or accidents.

Packing For Your Bulldog

Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know

Packing for a long flight is always stressful, but it’s especially daunting when traveling with a pup. Here are some tips that will make the process a whole lot easier:

Remember to make sure that your pet is easily identified. A microchip is an excellent way to help ensure if your dog gets lost that, if taken to a vet, the owner can be identified. Be sure to keep the microchip information up to date.

You’ll want a tag on the collar with your name, address, and telephone number. Also, have another tag with the address and phone number of where you can be reached while traveling.

Always bring along a leash and collar.

Don’t forget to pack any medication your dog takes.

Make sure to pack food and water for your pup.

Plan ahead and bring treats and toys for your pup in case they get lonely or bored during the flight.

At The Airport

The day has finally arrived, and you’re ready to get traveling with your bulldog—a few things to remember.

Find out when you must check in for your flight. Since some pets will be stressed with all the activity at an airport, it’s best to keep pre-board time at a minimum.

Take your dog for a walk before boarding the plane.

Board the plane as late as possible – no need to have your dog in the plane longer than necessary.

After the Flight

After a long flight, it’s important to take a moment to relax and refresh yourself and your pet. Have water and snacks available for your pet, and take a moment to relax in your hotel room.

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Thank you for reading Can Bulldogs Fly On Airplanes? What You Should Know. In this article, we have covered the different facts and opinions surrounding flying bulldogs in airplanes.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely mitigate the health risks of bulldogs flying in airplanes. Ultimately, the decision comes down to whether or not you think the risk is worth taking.

We hope that you have learned something new and that you can make an informed decision about whether or not your bulldog should fly in an airplane. Thank you again for reading.

Have you flown with your dog? Do you have any additional tips to share? Comment below.

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