Pugs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Persian cats and other snub-nosed (or brachycephalic) pets require special care when it comes to air travel.
These breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or high temperatures because of their facial structure and hereditary respiratory issues, so travel is more risky for them.
This doesn't mean short-nosed pets can't fly safely, but planning a smooth trip requires a little extra preparation and attention. Here's what we suggest when traveling with snub-nosed pets:
Use a larger travel crate than normally is required (allow about four to six inches of clearance on all sides) and make sure it has ventilation on all four sides.
Use only pet friendly airlines when flying—these include United for domestic and KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways for international travel.
Acclimate pets to the travel crate by working on crate training during the weeks prior to departure.
Provide plenty of water to your pet before, during, and after the flight.
Above all, make an appointment with your vet before you make any solid travel plans in order to discuss your pet's health and any questions you have about travel safety.
Realistically, some pet owners decide it simply isn't worth the risk to move forward with moving a snub-nosed pet, while others end up carrying out perfectly safe moves under the guidance of their vet and with the help of professional pet shippers.
Here's one more consideration relating to logistics: Many airlines will not fly short-nosed pets due to safety concerns and some operate with summer embargoes that may limit options. It's important to start planning pet travel well in advance so that you're aware of possible roadblocks and have time to seek out alternate routes or airlines.
For real life examples of snub-nosed pet travel, here are a few stories about snubbies we've recently helped with international relocations:
Contact PetRelocation for a consultation if you need help planning your snub-nosed pet's move—as you can see, we've had plenty of experience arranging all kinds of relocations and would be happy to discuss your options, as well.
Safe travels, everyone!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated with new information.