Is it safe for French Bulldogs to travel interstate or overseas by air?

Is it safe for French Bulldogs to travel interstate or overseas by air?

Is it safe for French Bulldogs to travel interstate or overseas by air?

Transporting your beloved French bulldog interstate or overseas can be scary however if you’re aware of some important aspects when considering transporting your French Bulldog you’ll be able to improve the experience for yourself and your French Bulldog.

French Bulldog Health Check prior to pet travel 

If you’re transporting a puppy interstate it’s important they are between 8-10 weeks old (or from 8 weeks of age).
If you’re transporting a puppy overseas from Australia, it’s important they are at least 12 weeks old.
All puppies should be fit and healthy and able to cope with being confined for a period longer than 1 hour.
Some Pet Carriers, for example, Jetpets, often ask for a Fit to Fly certificate which must be completed by a vet for the brachycephalic breeds, however, as this varies from airline to airline It’s important to check with your chosen Pet Carrier.

Don’t forget an airport can be a noisy and foreign environment that can cause stress to French Bulldogs so it’s important you make them feel comfortable.

Porkypaws always recommends consulting your vet before you consider transporting your French Bulldog by air. Vets check your French Bulldog’s health and assess your French Bulldog for air travel. Unique French Bulldogs always make sure that each individual animal is healthy and Vet approved for air travel, under no circumstances do Unique French Bulldog transfer puppies by air if the animal is not fit to travel.

Quick question: Have you ever wondered what is the best harness for a french bulldog?

Prepping French Bulldogs for air travel

Your French Bulldog will be in their crate from their check-in time until they are collected so before your French Bulldog goes on their little adventure, make sure to take them to the toilet, let them run around to encourage exercise and stretching.

French Bulldog Crate Selection

Crates should comply with the current IATA Live Animal Regulations.

It is important that your French Bulldog has enough space to:

  1. Turn around naturally standing
  2. Stand and sit straight
  3. Lay down in a natural position.

Ventilation is also essential to make sure you choose a crate that offers this.
Porkypaws recommends choosing a crate with a water container and makes sure there is the ability to fill it up from outside the crate. French Bulldogs are pretty good without food on domestic flights, for international flights check the IATA recommendations. In terms of crate size, if you’re in doubt always go bigger as opposed to smaller, this will ensure your pup has enough space to move around.

For more details see: Bulldogs/Pages/index.aspx

Porkypaws recommends these Top 5 pet travel carrier suitable for the plane:

  1. Best Seller – Delta Pet Carrier
  2. Premium French Bulldog Air Carrier
  3. Two door Top Load Pet Carrier
  4. Expandable French Bulldog Air Carrier
  5. Airline Pet Supply Co. Carrier

Heat stress and French Bulldogs When Traveling

French Bulldogs body temperature can rise quickly and are at increased risk of heat stress, to minimise this it is important to consider the following:

  1. Choose a container that complies with the IATA regulations
  2. Schedule or book flights that will take place when the temperature is cooler
  3. Avoid flights during the hot parts of the day

If you’re flying dogs in summer, it is always safest to fly early morning or late night so the puppy has no contact with direct sunlight and often the main heat if the day is not there. A frozen water or milk bottle left in their crate is always a good idea so they can lean against or lick if they become too hot.

French Bulldogs can be at increased risk as they are a Brachycephalic breed, read on.
For more details see:

Brachycephalic breeds – French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are generally at greater risk of heat stress due to their flat face genetics which can impact their ability to breathe normally as soft tissue structures are squeezed into a smaller bony space thereby obstructing respiratory pathways. French Bulldog’s anatomy makes it difficult to adequately thermo-regulate and sometimes even under normal conditions. When placed under additional stressors such as being exercised, stressed/excited or placed in an environment with a high ambient temperature or inadequate ventilation they may be unable to adequately compensate and this can result in over-heating. Unique French Bulldogs take necessary precaution to ensure all French Bulldogs are air freighted on the best day to minimise heat stress.

Feeding your French Bulldog before a flight is a big no-no!

Feeding and putting food in crates is not something Porkypaws would recommend. Treat your puppy as it was having an anesthetic. Unique French Bulldogs do not feed past midnight the night before the puppy’s fly, this is because if they vomit or choke in the air and the pilot or flight attendants are unaware until the plane has landed it can often be too late. Therefore, it’s very important that puppies do not digest food after 12 the night before. Once the puppy lands and in the arms of his new owner you can feed him.

Ensure Your French Bulldog Has Access to drinking water

A water container should be present within the crate with outside access for filling. The water holder should remain in an upright position at all times and water holders need to be firmly attached to the cage. However, Unique French Bulldogs normally prefer frozen bottles instead of water as the puppy can only take small amounts and mitigates the risk of choking or having the puppy’s mat saturated.

Talk to the airline/airline freight company and Pet transport company (if you have decided to organise your French Bulldogs travel through a Pet transport agency) for more information.

The best French Bulldog Travel companies (in our opinion) are:

 Is Sedation A Good Idea For French Bulldogs When Traveling by Air?

Sedation is generally not recommended for French Bulldogs traveling by air due to health and safety concerns.

Transporting French Bulldogs FAQ’s

How much does it usually cost to transport your French Bulldog?

Depending on the weight of the puppy or dog prices can range from AUD$150 - AUD$350 (adult sized dog). It’s important to double check with your choice of carrier what the cost includes, ie Freight, Carrier.

At what age can a French Bulldog be flown interstate?

For interstate within Australia or your country anywhere between 8-10 weeks, it is recommended to wait a week or two after the puppies final vaccination at 8 weeks before flying to ensure they get over their vaccination and feeling comfortable. Puppies traveling overseas must wait until they are at least 12 weeks old.

Will my French Bulldog be OK?

A lot of French Bulldog carriers have specially formed teams made up of vets, French Bulldog handlers, and trained consultants to understand your requirements and know how to safely and comfortable manage travel for your French Bulldog.

Good carriers will walk you through the whole process and field any curly questions you have. Please note Unique French Bulldogs have extensive experience in sending French Bulldog puppies interstate and all collections or deliveries have been managed professionally and with the utmost care.

Do French Bulldogs experience nerves before the flight?

French Bulldogs are great at detecting changes in human’s mood and therefore anything that you overtly express or show may rub off on your French Bulldog so it’s important to remain positive, happy and most importantly calm. Unique French Bulldogs understand this is one of the most critical steps to ensure our French Bulldogs have a comfortable travel.

What type of crate do airports accept? Are there airport compliant crates?

Yes, if you are using your very own French Bulldog travel crate you need to double check if it’s airport compliant. Some Pet carriers sell their own French Bulldog crates which are already approved as airport compliant crates. Don’t forget to size up your crate so your French Bulldog is comfortable! Bigger is always better!

Can my French Bulldog travel with personal belongings?

To provide comfort for your French Bulldog, especially on their first travel experience it is always suggested to put a small blanket or toy with them so they can cuddle up to it. Or even better wrap a small item of your clothing around a stuffed toy to make them feel like you’re with them.

Make sure not to place any bulky items in the crate or hard objects as this may be removed by airport staff and not allowed on flights.

Make sure to welcome them home with lots of cuddles and a special toy, here are our favourites:

  1. Dawgeee Toy – 5 PlushToy Pack (including Mr.Potato Head)
  2. Louie the Ducky Duck Duck – Stuffed Toy
  3. Tug of War – French Bulldog Set
  4. Kong – Cozie Rosie Rhino – Plush Kong toy
  5. Interactive Trixi Poker Box – Treat Hunt

Should I feed my French Bulldog before they fly?

To reduce the likelihood of travel sickness it is not recommended to feed your French Bulldog after 12 the night before. Do make sure their liquids are up before the flight. Good French Bulldog carriers will ensure they have plenty of water up until and during the flight. A frozen water bottle is best to leave in their crate to prevent any saturation on their mat.

Why can’t I sedate my French Bulldog?

Sedating a French Bulldog or any kind of animal can lower their blood pressure and cause dehydration. Anxious French Bulldogs can fly with Adaptil sprayed into their crate or even on to the dog, older dogs who are known to experience stress more can also be prescribed Valium or Clomicalm which is given before they travel.

Why do French Bulldogs have to be at the airport 2 hours before departure?

Just like us, French Bulldog are required to check in early for their flight.

Majority of airlines require French Bulldogs to be checked in 2 hours before departure – double check with your airline as it may differ between carriers.

Who loads my French Bulldog onto the plane?

Trained airline staff will load them onto the plane.

Where will my French Bulldog sit on the plane?

In all approved French Bulldog carrier airlines, they have a special French Bulldog cabin! The French Bulldog cabin dimly lit for comfort, air pressured, and climate controlled very similar to our main cabin. French bulldogs will experience the same sounds and feelings as us. Their travel crate is securely fastened to avoid movement.

Does someone check on my French Bulldog during the flight?

Airline staff should be well aware that there is a French Bulldog on the flight and as soon as the flight lands, your French Bulldog will be offloaded and checked on straight away.  

What about connecting flights? I want to make sure they’re well hydrated.

All French Bulldogs receive water during transit.  

How long does it take for my French Bulldog to be ready for collection after the flight lands?

This can change depending on the airport. But generally, your French Bulldog will be ready for collection 1-2 hours after the flight lands. Upon collection of your French Bulldog, it’s important that you check if they’re thirsty. Pack a few little treats and carry a portable drinking water bottle for your furry friend.

Below are some nifty food and water carriers for those who are on the go!


Next article How To Potty Train A French Bulldog


Juriann Nolasco - September 23, 2018

I have a question. Because of the French bulldogs big head won’t their head start hurting them when the airplane gets up in the air??

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