Flying with a French bulldog can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it also requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for both you and your furry friend.
As a brachycephalic breed, French bulldogs can face certain health risks when traveling by air. Therefore, it’s important to take the necessary steps to mitigate these risks and ensure your dog’s well-being.
In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to flying with a French bulldog, including tips on choosing the right airline, preparing your dog for travel, and navigating the airport and boarding process.
Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country move or taking a vacation with your Frenchie, this guide will help ensure a smooth and stress-free flying experience for both you and your furry companion.
Can French Bulldogs Fly in Cabin?
Most airlines allow small pets to travel in the cabin, provided they are kept in an airline-approved carrier that can fit under the seat in front of the owner.
Traveling under the seat in the main cabin is the best option for French Bulldogs, as they are a small breed and can fit comfortably in a carrier of the appropriate size.
Because French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, they should never be placed in the cargo hold.
In most cases, the cargo hold is properly pressurized and temperature controlled, but unfortunately, it is still too risky for French bulldogs.
French bulldogs are not allowed in cargo on most airlines.
Airlines, of course, will charge to have your pet fly with you. Most airlines charge about $100 to $200. Most airlines will have rules and guidelines that you can find on their websites.
For example, Delta currently prohibits French bulldogs from flying in the cargo hold due to an increased risk of health concerns.
They also require that pets remain in their carriers while on the plane and in the waiting areas at the gate.
Delta’s current recommendation for a carrier is a soft-sided carrier with dimensions no larger than 18″ x 11″ x 11″.
However, they suggest that you confirm your carrier’s dimensions with them before you book your flight, as some aircraft may not fit your carrier’s dimensions.
Of course, these recommendations and rules will vary depending on the airlines, so it will be important to do plenty of research when you are booking your travel plans.
Airlines That Allow Frenchies In Cabin
The following airlines allow Frenchies to fly in-cabin under the seat in front of you.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin America
Before the Flight
Before you and your Frenchie hop on your flight, you will need to do a few things.
Preparing to Fly
As you are preparing to fly, you’ll need to do a fair amount of research to be sure that you choose an airline that can accommodate your French Bulldog.
Contact airlines directly to ask about any breed-specific bans or notices, or special instructions.
Additionally, research what size or type of kennel or carrier your chosen airlines require. You will want to make sure that your carrier is the right size, and if not, that you purchase one that is appropriate according to the airline you choose.
Book in Advance
We recommend you book your flight as early as possible. Spots on most aircraft are limited for pets.
Pick a Good Flight for Your French Bulldog
Selecting the ideal flight for your Frenchie is another crucial step in the process.
Whenever possible, opt for flights without layovers to ensure a comfortable and shorter journey for both you and your pet.
As the flight duration increases, your French Bulldog is more likely to become restless. If your flight lasts over six hours, we recommend dividing the trip into multiple segments.
It’s also a good idea to schedule your flight for the evening, as this will ensure a cooler outdoor temperature that will be more comfortable for your pet.
Notify the Airline
As mentioned before, be sure to research what is required by your airline or destination for you to travel with your French Bulldog.
Things that might be required include travel documents, health certifications from a veterinarian, or vaccination records.
And, of course, be sure to bring a chew or toy that will keep your French Bulldog completely occupied in its crate during the flight. If they aren’t sleepy, you’ll want to ensure they have something to keep them busy.
If you bring a chew, make sure it is something that isn’t too potent or smelly. Airplanes are small, confined spaces, so you don’t want to stink it up with smelly treats or chews and upset other passengers.
Choose the Right Carrier for Your Frenchie
When choosing a carrier for flying with a French Bulldog, there are several important factors to consider to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort during the journey.
- Size: First, ensure the carrier is the appropriate size for your French Bulldog, allowing them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so large that they can be thrown around during turbulence.
- Safety: Look for a carrier with a secure latch or lock to prevent your pet from escaping during the flight.
- Comfort: The carrier should have a comfortable lining and bedding for your pet to rest on, and consider adding a favorite toy or blanket to help your French Bulldog feel more comfortable. It should also have good ventilation to ensure your pet can breathe easily. Typically, a soft-sided carrier works best for this.
- Compliance: It’s also important to check with the airline you will be flying with for their specific requirements regarding pet carriers, as some airlines have strict guidelines on the size and type of carrier allowed on board.
Don’t forget to consult with your veterinarian before flying with your French Bulldog to ensure they are healthy and fit for travel.
Preparing Your Frenchie for the Flight
It will be important to prepare your Frenchie for travel well in advance. The most important prep work you do will likely be getting your Frenchie used to its carrier.
Introduce Your Frenchie to the Carrier
You’ll want to encourage your pup to spend plenty of time relaxing and sleeping in the travel crate. The goal in this is to have the carrier be a safe and comforting place for your Frenchie.
If your pup isn’t used to being in a kennel, try to make it a fun, positive and rewarding experience. The kennel should never feel like a punishment.
Don’t force your pup to go in if it doesn’t want to. Instead, encourage your pup with toys and plenty of treats, and they’ll be sure to go right in.
Once acclimated to the crate, practice going for car rides. If your pup isn’t already used to riding in the car, practicing going on a car ride can be a great way to help get them used to flying.
You’ll also be able to determine if your Frenchie is likely to suffer from any kind of motion sickness.
The goal of practicing riding in the car is to make going to the airport feel like just another regular day for your Frenchie.
If you are planning to fly with your French Bulldog, you should visit the vet to get a certificate of good health. It is essential to have them vaccinated and in good health before the flight.
This helps prevent the spread of diseases and ensures that your dog is physically capable of withstanding the stress of flying.
For your Frenchie to be allowed on the plane, you must present a Certificate of Good Health from your veterinarian within ten days of traveling.
This document confirms that your Frenchie is free of any infectious diseases and has its vaccinations up-to-date.
Reduce Carrier Anxiety in Your Frenchie
Additionally, if your Frenchie tends to get anxious or experience motion sickness in the car, it is important to talk to your vet beforehand.
They can provide advice and recommendations to help alleviate any discomfort your dog may experience during the flight.
Taking these precautions can help make the traveling experience much safer and more comfortable for your furry friend.
At the Airport
Arrive Early at the Airpot
There won’t be anywhere to go once you are in the air, so have your French Bulldog go to the bathroom immediately before you check in.
Most airports have designated pet bathroom areas outside and inside after security checkpoints.
This is to allow service animals and traveling pets to relieve themselves. Try to find one and have your dog use it before your flight takes off.
After checking in, you and your French Bulldog will go through security. Though you are expected to keep your pup in its carrier most of the time, going through security is usually one exception.
In most cases, security will ask you to remove your pet from the carrier and remove any collars and harnesses. Then, you will need to carry your pet through the metal detector with you.
The carrier will need to go through the X-ray machine alone. Just ensure you get a good hold of your Frenchie as you get him out of the carrier so he doesn’t slip out and try to bypass security.
We recommend you board late so you don’t have to sit on the plane for 10-30 minutes without air conditioning.
The temperature inside the cabin can reach up to 86°F while waiting on the runway, especially during summer.
Another advantage of boarding late, you can avoid the hassle of other passengers trying to settle down while you stand in the aisle carrying your French bulldog or any other luggage.
On the Plane
Once you’re on your flight, your Frenchie must stay in its carrier with the door closed and under your seat or the seat in front of you at all times.
Your Frenchie needs to be able to stand up and turn all the way around while in their carrier.
Closing Thoughts on Flying with a French Bulldog
Flying with a French Bulldog can be a safe and enjoyable experience if you take proper precautions.
It’s important to research the airline’s policies and requirements for traveling with pets. Choose the right carrier and ensure it’s comfortable for your Frenchie.
Then, prepare your dog for the journey with proper training and medication if needed.
Additionally, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before flying to ensure your dog is healthy enough to travel.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a stress-free and safe flight for you and your furry companion.
Remember, with proper planning and preparation, flying with your French Bulldog can be a fun and exciting adventure for both of you.