English Bulldogs Banned From Flying on Airplanes

english bulldogs airplanes

Why Are English Bulldogs Not Fit To Fly on Airplanes?


(Photo: Blog Southwest)

Bulldogs Are Now Banned From All Major Airlines.


Why is Your Bulldog On The No Fly List?

English bulldogs and airplanes can make for a deadly mix, with bulldogs ranked as one of the top breeds most likely to die during a flight. In fact, a rundown on airplane dog deaths put bulldogs in the top slot, accounting for 25 of the 122 dogs that died over a five-year span. Pugs came in second, with 11 deaths.

No Fly List | Ban of the Brachycephalic Breeds

Brachycephalic is the official term for short-nosed breeds, and many major airlines have outright bans when it comes to allowing these dogs to fly. While breathing for bulldogs is tough enough on land, it can get even more difficult when they’re subjected to changes in air quality and temperature found in the plane’s cargo area. Don’t forget your dog would also be in a crate with limited air circulation and no one checking in on him until it’s time to unload the plane.

These other short-nosed (Bracheocephalic) breeds were also included in the Doggy Do Not Fly list.

The Doggy Do Not Fly List   |   All Bracheocephalic Dog Breeds


(Photo: Dogs Arena)

  • Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Boxers
  • Pekingese
  • Boston Terrier

Their short noses make them prone to respiratory problems in general, not just during a flight. They have the same sinuses, nasal passages and hard palate as longer-nosed breeds, but they have to cram all the elements into an extremely tight space.

This can lead to abnormally sized nostrils, soft palates or windpipes, making breathing far less efficient than their longer-nosed cousins.

Breathing problems increase if the bulldog is overweight, and they make it tough for him to cool off or relax when he’s stressed out.

Does This Mean Bulldogs Shouldn’t Fly?

Yes – and no. Putting a brachycephalic breed in the plane’s cargo area is asking for trouble, and some vets won’t even give bulldogs a clean bill of health to fly if they know the dog’s destined for cargo. Although cargo is out, you have a few other flight options that get him in the passenger cabin.

Option 1: Get your bulldog certified as a service dog or qualify for an ESA.

 Official United States Service Dog Certificate 

English Bulldog Service Dog

(Photo: U.S. Service Dog Registry)

Service and emotional support animals can fly with their owners under the Air Care Access Act of 1986 at no additional cost to the owners.

Option #1  |  Get Your Bulldog Service Dog Certified

Service Animal: This option is for dogs that are specially trained to help their physically disabled owner perform tasks necessary for daily living. Training can be extensive, with the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) deeming at least 120 hours of training in various areas a must. You can have your dog trained in a local facility, provided it qualifies in training service animals.

 If Mini Horses Can Be Service Animals. Why Not Bulldogs?

mini horse service animal




While certifying or licensing your service dog is actually optional, having official paperwork can be very helpful to prove your bully is a service dog. Loads of companies claim they can certify or register your service dog, so do your homework to choose a reputable one.


Option #2  |   Get A Doctor’s Note

Doctors Will Write Your Emotional Support Note (For a Fee)


Emotional Support Animal (ESA): These dogs need no special training, although he must be well-behaved and manageable in public. The owner must have a letter from a mental health professional verifying a psychological or emotional disability that requires the dog for support.

While both types of animals are by law allowed in the cabin of the airplane with their owners, airlines may have specific guidelines governing that allowance. Emotional support animals have gotten some backlash on airplanes from flight attendants, passengers and service dog owners, so make sure you know your rights and have the qualifying documentation required to fly with your ESA.

Need an Emotional Support Letter?

For Under $200, These Companies Will Write You A Doctor’s Note To Take Your Bulldog On A Plane:

Option #3  |   Private Jets For Dogs

English Bulldogs Private Charter Jet

(Photo: Daily Mail)

Charter your own plane and you may be able to bring along as many bulldogs as you like – but you’ll be paying a pretty penny for the option. Services such as Megellan Jets and Pet Jets help you find private flights you may be able to share with other animals and their owners to various destinations.

Pet Jets is not to be confused with PetsJets, a different type of service that flies your dog with a personal escort in the cabin of a commercial plane. Another service that received some attention, Pet Airways, had been reportedly losing money since 2012 and is not in service at this time.

None of the flight options for bulldogs are very convenient, and none are 100-percent guaranteed. If you do decide to fly with your bully, make sure he gets a clean bill of health from the vet before takeoff. You can always drive to your destination instead, which is the choice many bulldog owners take when they’re itching to travel with their bully in tow.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.


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