Going for a vacation without your lovely pet means that you always miss something. My French Bulldogs are part of my family, which is why I always try to take my Frenchies along as much as I possibly can when I’m traveling.
Flying with a French Bulldog might be a little different and require special preparations but it can still be surprisingly smoother than you think if you know what to do.
That’s where this guide would come in handy! In today’s article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the process of flying with French Bulldogs. This includes recommended airlines, health checks, and everything else that’s necessary, so you don’t miss a thing!
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Which Pet-Friendly Airlines Accept French Bulldogs?The first thing to consider while preparing to fly with your French Bulldog is the airline itself. In fact, airlines are quite different about how they regard your dog. You will want to look for an airline that treats your dog as a part of your family and not just a commodity that they can keep in the cargo section. Luckily, there are many airlines that accept French Bulldogs on board. However, you should know that each of these airlines will have different policies when it comes to the weight limit, ticket fee, placement of the carrier, and the possibility of flying internationally. Here’s a brief list of pet-friendly airlines that will accept your Frenchie.
- American Airlines: the maximum weight limit is 20 lbs including the carrier (must be 8 weeks or older) and placed in a carrier or a kennel under the seat.
- Air Canada: the maximum weight limit is 22 lbs including the carrier (must be able to move around inside the kennel) and placed in a carrier or a kennel under the seat.
- JetBlue: the maximum weight limit is 20 lbs including the carrier and the carrier must have specific dimensions
- United Airlines: no limit on the weight but must fit comfortably within the carrier and older than 8 weeks.
- Delta: no weight limit but must be 10 weeks or older for domestic and at least 16 weeks old for international
Should French Bulldogs Flying on Planes Go in the Cabin or Cargo?French Bulldogs belong to the brachycephalic breeds of dogs, which are known for having flat-faces with short noses, such as French Bulldogs, pugs, and boxers. These breeds, including French Bulldogs, suffer from breathing difficulties all their lives, which puts them at a huge risk while flying, let alone flying them in the cargo section of the plane. In fact, back in 2018, there was a huge tragedy following the death of a French Bulldog named “Kokito”, due to leaving the pet carrier in the overhead bin. This caused a huge backlash that made a lot of airlines ban brachycephalic breeds like Frenchies from transporting in the cargo section. However, there are still some airlines that allow it, such as:
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
Buy Your French Bulldog a Ticket and Let The Airline KnowEven if you’re sure that the airline accepts Frenchies in the cabin, you should make your reservations in advance by buying your Frenchie a ticket and letting the airline know that you’re bringing your dog along. This will save you from any unexpected surprises, as some airlines will have a limited number of pets allowed on a single flight. While picking the seats, try to choose one as close to the front as possible, as it allows you to easily board last and leave first. While choosing a flight, try to take the weather into consideration, especially during summer. Try to book a trip that’s either in the early morning or late evening when temperatures aren’t so hot. Also, try to make it a non-stop trip with the least amount of transient time possible to avoid overwhelming your dog for the entire day.
Checklist of Things to Prepare for the Flight DayNow that you’ve made sure that the airline is expecting you to have your bulldog in the cabin with you, you have a few days to prepare everything for the flight day. Ideally, you should prepare a small checklist to get yourself through the things you need. This list should include objectives like:
- Health checks and documentation for your dog
- Essential items like food, water, pet carriers, leash, ID collars, harness, etc.
- Additional items, such as the favorite toy, dog wipes, potty pads, and a small bag of treats.
Get a TSA-Approved Pet CarrierThere are many pet carriers and kennels on the market. However, not all of them are approved by the TSA. Don’t be tempted to assess one by how cute and lovely some of it may seem. Instead, you should consider a pet carrier based on other strict qualities. Let’s have a quick look at those aspects.
Things to Consider While Choosing a CarrierWhen picking a carrier for air travel, you have to make sure that it’s large enough to accommodate your dog comfortably. This means that your dog is able to stand up, turn around, and lay down naturally inside the carrier. The bag should also be empty of extra blankets and accessories that might cause breathing difficulties in such a long journey. One thing you should know is that your dog shouldn’t try the carrier for the first time on the plane. You need to give your dog enough time to get used to it before boarding inside it. The carrier should also offer enough ventilation on at least 2 to 3 sides. However, you should go for as much ventilation as possible for Frenchies.
Top 5 TSA Approved Pet Carriers for a French BulldogIf you’re in a hurry, I’ve compiled a list of the best TSA-approved carriers that would work great for French Bulldogs. These pet carriers offer space, ventilation, and comfort necessary for delicate breeds like French Bulldogs:
- Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier – The best overall choice
- Pet Smart Cart Rolling Carrier with wheels – Best carrier with wheels
- MASKEYON Airline Approved Pet Carrier – Best expandable option
- Henkelion TSA-Approved Dog Carrier – Ideal pick for buyers on a budget
- Katziela Pet Carrier with Removable Wheels – Comes with a Telescopic Handle