5 Tips for Traveling Safely with Snub-Nosed Breeds

pug travel safety tipsPugs, 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.


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Airlines


Dogs, Snub-Nosed Breeds



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By david r odabashian on November 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

all the airlines i've checked with do not fly certain of these breeds, period. which ones will fly these breeds? we have a boxer mix that has no facial traits of a snub-nosed breed but as long as the vet records show boxer mix, she can't fly. any suggestions?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on November 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Hi David! Routing is dependent upon where you are moving to & from. However, we have moved Boxers on Lufthansa, Emirates & Qantas. If your pet does not have a snub-nosed, you can ask your vet to update her mixed breed on the vet records. Hope this helps!

By Sabrina Salinas on September 30, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Wow!! I just getting anxious about my next move. Thanks a lot

By Rocio Szpilfegiel on September 18, 2018 at 8:02 pm

Hi, my son has has 12 month yellow lab mix, in Milwuakee, Il. we are interested in knowing if he can travel by air? Do we need to travel with him? can he be sent alone in cargo? Is it safe for him? My son cannot care for him and I am devastated he needs TLC. Thank you, Desperate Grandma

By Maegan at PetRelocation on September 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Hi Rocio! We'd be happy to advise on your grandpup's move! We move pets safely in the cargo hold every day, so when done correctly, it is perfectly safe! Exact routing and logistics will depend on a few variables including the size of your dog, pick-up location and target move date. If you'd like to fill out our Arrange a Move form a consultant would be happy to reach out to you to deliver some options. Hope this helps!

By Christina on September 6, 2018 at 9:34 am

Greetings! We are moving to the Dominican Republic from Las Vegas Nevada. I cannot find an airline to transport my two staff terriers. Help!

By Maegan at PetRelocation on September 7, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Hi Christina! When traveling to Central America, airline options for staffys are pretty limited due to their breeds being banned on most airlines. Your best option might be to get them to Miami and have them take a cargo freighter to the DR. If we can be of assistance with your pups' trip, please fill out our Arrange A Move form here and a consultant will reach out to you soon. Hope this helps!

By Kim Hatton on August 24, 2018 at 7:22 am

planning on relocating in September from Indiana to Italy with a four month old pug. Any help or suggestions?

By TerryCarpenter on September 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Be sure to get up to date rabies vaccine...15digit iso microchip. Go online...E.U. Health certificate..576'/2013...and international Health certificate,7001. Needs to be completed by USDA.accredited vet.,//this done 10 days before flight .must FedEx..forms to aphis-vs.. USDA,for for verification,,stamp.,,overnight delivery plus 38$fee ,,quote... depends .make sure paid return postage paid..+ tracking..

By Gage Parry on August 23, 2018 at 9:45 am

Hi I am buying a American Bully from the US and am struggling to find and my shipping agent is struggling to find an airline that accepts snub nosed pets can you help?

By Christina at PetRelocation on August 28, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Hi Gage,

You should be able to book air travel for an American Bully on Lufthansa. They may require a IATA CR-82 crate, but there are no restrictions on the breed. Hope this helps!

By Jose. on August 14, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Hi I will. Like. To know if I can bring my English bulldog he is 11 months he weight 30 kilos from Lima peru to. Los. Angeles thank. You

By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 21, 2018 at 9:16 am

Hi Jose! As you may know, it is difficult to move bulldogs. There are safe ways to do it, but there is always a bit of a risk with this breed. In order to relocate your pup internationally, we will need to wait until it is cooler than 80 degrees at all points of the journey. We'd want to put you in touch with an international specialist to discuss if this route is possible, so please fill out our Arrange A Move form here. Thanks!

By Chris on August 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm

I’ve got a 100lbs great Pyrenees and I’m relocatibg to North Carolina from souther California in aug of this year.With all the carriers making mistakes carrying pets, I’m extremely hesitant to put my pet on air transport. I know it needs to be cooler since he’s got a thick coat and overheats, so that makes it less desirable as well. Any thoughts ?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

Hi Chris! Many pet safe airlines now have kennel size restrictions (i.e., United), as well as temperature restrictions (i.e., Delta). It sounds like your pup might be a good candidate for ground transportation. Feel free to reach out to us directly about additional information on our ground transportation services. Hope this helps!

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