Bulldogs are a snub nosed dog breed. This term is used to describe dogs that have a shorter than normal snout, also called brachycephalic. Bulldog’s noses and sinuses are compressed, causing smaller nostrils and a narrowed windpipe. The very characteristics that make bulldogs so cute and distinctive, also make them not as efficient breathers as other breeds. Not only is it harder for them to breathe, it is also harder for a bulldog to cool down. This makes them even more susceptible to air quality and temperature changes that may be encountered during air travel. For these reasons, flying a bulldog can be a health concern. But with the right help and planning from a pet shipping expert, some of the risks can be reduced.
Most airlines have restrictions for all dogs traveling during summer and winter, but their restrictions are even stricter for flying bulldogs. Some airlines refuse to ship bulldogs all together. A pet shipping expert can help you find an airline that will ship bulldogs. The requirements for flying bulldogs are usually that the forecasted temperature at all points during the flight be over 45F and under 85F. Planning ahead of time to fly your bulldog can make all the difference. Pick your flight carefully so it is the shortest possible, direct flights are best. Plan for an ideal time of day too, avoiding the middle of the day during the hotter months and the late night and early morning times during the colder months.
Make sure your bulldog is healthy and at an ideal weight. Dogs who are overweight have an even harder time breathing, so it is very important for bulldogs to be at a healthy weight. Your veterinarian can help you reach your dog’s ideal weight ahead of travel.
Buy a custom crate from a pet shipping expert that provides great airflow and at least an extra 4 to 6 inches of space from every dimension than the normal requirements. Or buy at least one size larger crate than the average for your dog’s weight and size. Get your bulldog used to the travel crate way in advance so he’s comfortable in it and not nervous. Take him on car rides to fun places inside his crate so he can get used to the movement, and reward all calm behavior.
To minimize the risk of overheating, we suggest a very thin blanket or paper to line your bulldog’s travel crate instead of a thick blanket or towel. Frozen water bottles with little holes in them can provide cool water throughout the flight while avoiding a bowl being overturned during the flight. Also provide empty bowl so the pet care crew can water and feed your bulldog in case of delays.
That being said, our network of pet shipping experts can also arrange for air conditioned ground transportation where necessary, which in some cases might be the only way to transport your bulldog. They can take lots of breaks along the way to make sure your bulldog is comfortable throughout their journey.