Short-Faced Dogs More Apt to Die on Airplanes

Thinking about flying to your next vacation destination with your dog? If he's a bulldog, pug, or other short-snouted pooch, you might want to consider...

Maria Goodavage  |  Jul 19th 2010


EnglishBulldog

Thinking about flying to your next vacation destination with your dog? If he’s a bulldog, pug, or other short-snouted pooch, you might want to consider some new data from the U.S. Department of Transportation: Short-faced breeds account for about half of the dogs who died while traveling in the cargo hold in the last five years.

During this period, 122 dogs died while traveling as cargo on passenger planes, according to the DOT. The figure includes 31 bulldogs and 11 pugs. Vets say respiratory issues are usually to blame.

Owners should consult their pets veterinarians about any genetic features in dogs of this type and the medical condition of their pets before deciding to transport them by aircraft, the DOT said. Many vets recommend against transporting these dogs at all in the cargo hold.

Delta Airlines has specific regulations against flying with short-nosed dogs. According to Delta’s website, “Pug or snub-nosed dogs and cats are not hot-weather animals and therefore do not thrive in warm temperatures. As a precaution, Delta will not accept them as checked baggage or as air cargo if the temperature on any part of their trip exceeds 70 degrees F.” The site goes on to list 25 dogs breeds and 4 cat breeds that fall into this category.

Other dogs are not immune to the difficult, and sometimes deadly, conditions in the plane’s cargo area. Labs and Golden Retrievers placed fairly high on the DOT death list.

Jake doesn’t exactly fit under the seat in the passenger cabin. (He couldn’t even get his gigantic head under it, most likely.) So if he is going to vacation with us, we’ll the car. I’ve never flown with a dog in cargo, and hope never to have to. Would you? Have you? What has been your experience?

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