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Brachycephalic Breeds

Many airlines have specific restrictions and policies regarding the transport of brachycephalic breeds. Some may have breed embargoes during certain weather conditions, like extreme heat or cold, due to the breeds’ susceptibility to temperature-related stress.

Brachycephalic Dog Breeds

Below is a list of dogs that are classified as brachycephalic or may have brachycephalic tendencies, which can be important to consider during air travel:

Affenpincher, American bulldog, American cocker spaniel, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, King Charles Spaniel,  Chihuahua (apple headed), Chow Chow, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux,  French Bulldog, Japanese Chin,  Lhasa Apso, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Pekingese, Presa Canario, Pug, Shap-Pei, Shih Tzu and Tibetan Spaniel.

Brachycephalic Cat Breeds

Below is a list of cats that are classified as brachycephalic or may have brachycephalic tendencies, which can be important to consider during air travel:

British shorthair cat, Burmese cat, Exotic shorthair cat, Himalayan cat, Persian cat and Scottish Fold cat.

Due to their inherent breathing difficulties, owners and shippers of brachycephalic breeds, MUST adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The travel crate must be adequately ventilated on all four sides.
  • Brachycephalic breeds must travel in a crate which is at least one size larger than normally required; for these animals over eight years of age, the travel crate should be at least twice as large. The owner or shipper must acclimatize the animal to their travel crate by letting the pet spend daily time in their travel crate several days or better weeks, before departure.
  • The owner or shipper must have the animal’s individual risk assessed by a veterinarian prior to travel. To be eligible for air travel, all brachycephalic breeds and their crosses must be accompanied with a letter or certificate from a registered veterinarian that specifies that the animal is fit-to-air travel or to undertake the journey intended.  This is in addition to all the other veterinary certificates required by the airline and the destination country.
  • Excessive temperatures and humidity should be avoided. Where possible, it is recommended that flights be selected to leave or arrive in very hot and humid countries, either early morning or late night, when the temperature is known to be cooler.Generally speaking airlines will not take a brachycephalic animal if the temperature is above 80 degrees at all points of travel. This includes departure/layover/destination.
  • During flight, no food should be available in the travel crate. Water should be available all the time.
  • The shipper should select the most direct flights and the travel plans should avoid stops in cities where expected ambient hot temperatures or humidity differs significantly from the normal conditions the animal is exposed to.
  • Before departure and during transit, the animal must be placed in a well ventilated and very quiet area.
  • These brachycephalic pets must be verified during transit stops and fresh water should be added to their bowl.

Prior to the acceptance of any brachycephalic breed for air transport, the owner must sign an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND INDEMNITY form that is a waiver form which limits the airline’s responsibilities in case of problems during transport.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your pet travel this summer, reach out to our pet specialists today


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