Brachycephalic Pets

Pugs, Bulldogs, Brussels Griffons, and Persian cats are amongst the snub-nosed breeds restricted for travel by many airlines. Airlines impose these restrictions because of the heightened risk of respiratory complications during travel. Because of this concern, arranging travel for these breeds can be very challenging, but with extra research and advance preparation it can be done.

Before you begin making any arrangements, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s health and determine if air travel is the best option for your pet. Then, begin researching pet-friendly airlines that will accommodate your snub-nosed companion. Additionally, inquire about any summer or winter embargoes that they may have.

Here are a few tips when planning to travel with snub-nosed pets:

  • Make an appointment with your vet to discuss risks and to learn how you can make the trip safer for your companion.
  • Acclimate them to their travel crate to avoid stress on the day of travel. Giving time for your companion to feel comfortable and safe in their crate will make a significant difference. This is useful tip for all breeds.
  • Purchase a crate one size larger for additional airflow
  • Provide ample water before, during, and after travel
  • Avoid traveling in the hot summer months where there is a higher risk of heat stroke for snub-nosed breeds. Many airlines have summer embargoes that will further limit your options for travel, begin planning as soon as possible to avoid surprises.

Visit the AVMA website for more information and tips about traveling with a brachycephalic pet.

IATA Guidance for Dimensions for Container

Guidance for travel dog crate

The data presented above gives a guideline for ascertaining the correct size for a container. They relate to an animal standing in a natural position. The calculated dimensions are internal container dimensions

A = length of animal from tip of nose to base/root of tail.
B = height from ground to elbow joint. A+1?2 B = length of container.
C = width across shoulders or widest point (whichever is the greater). Cx2 = width of container.
D = height of animal in natural standing position from top of the head or the ear tip to the floor
(whichever is higher) / height of the container (top flat or arched)
Minimum internal container dimensions:
A + ½ B = Length C x 2 + Width  D = Height
Snub nosed breeds require 10% larger container

Notes:  Measurements A, B, C and D for determining the container dimensions must related to the largest animal.
The width of the container being calculated as:

  • Two animals: C x 3
  • Three animals: C x 4

The height and length are determined the same as for a single animal.

Note: IATA does not certify, approve, endorse, or sell any particular pet container manufacturer, brand, make, or model. Equally so, IATA does not offer, solicit, endorse, or approve any particular pet or puppy transport or relocation services, regardless of whether these be offered via email or the internet. Readers should pay attention to fraudulent offerings that claim the opposite.

Should you decide to build your own wooden crate, verify with the airline if they accept custom build containers. For certain dogs, airlines may mandate the use of containers of a different more sturdy design than those of Container Requirement 1 (CR1). It is equally important to ensure that all locking mechanisms function properly, and that the animal cannot distort, gnaw at or push in/out the wire mesh or the pieces holding the mesh of the door. So, the mesh must be firmly attached to the door, not stapled.

Food and water containers (troughs) accessible from outside the container are required. The carrier, or government agency, may require that additional food be provided in a pouch attached to the container with feeding instructions.

If you are purchasing a puppy from overseas, be sure to do your research on the breeder and avoid becoming a victim of fraud. The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) shed light on the industry’s scams for an in depth study done by the Better Business Bureau: Click Here For More Info