Can French Bulldogs Fly on Airplanes? Yes!

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Flying with a French Bulldog

There has been a lot of debate recently over whether brachycephalic breeds (flat-faced) such as the French Bulldog should be permitted to fly on airlines.

Properly preparing for the flight can reduce the risk of any possible complications.

Read on to…

  • Ease your worries about flying with your Frenchie— it can be difficult & a bit stressful the first time, but with the right preparations, everything will be just fine
  • Learn why flying with Frenchies is highly controversial— never let your Frenchie fly under the plane
  • Learn how to choose an airline carrier for your Frenchie— the wrong carrier can make traveling a pain… we’ve picked out the best airline carriers that are Airline Approved
  • Tips to prepare your Frenchie for flying— you can’t just buy a carrier & hop on a plane… flying with your Frenchie takes requires a trip to the vet, stocking up on some supplies, and getting the acclimated to their carrier
  • Learn what to do during the flight— if you’ve properly prepared, this should be a relatively low-stress part of traveling… my Frenchie usually sleeps the whole time
  • Learn what to do after you land— at this point, the worst is behind you… but it’s not over yet!

In a rush?

If you already know how to fly with your dog and are just looking for the best French Bulldog Airline Carrier, then look no further than the Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier.

With Wheels!
Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier
5.0
$99.99 $78.69
Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Airline approved
  • Ventilated on all 4 sides
  • Has wheels & padded pull strap
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
02/03/2023 03:40 am GMT

Remember, not all Frenchies are built the same!

Just like airline carriers, our Frenchies come in all different shapes and sizes.

You’ll probably be fine with the carrier listed above, but be sure to check out our overview of the 5 Best French Bulldog Airline Carriers if you’re having any doubts!

Table of Contents

  • Choosing an Airline— not all airlines allow Frenchies to fly in-cabin
  • Before the Flight— everything you need to do and have to make flying a smooth process
  • Choosing a Carrier— a solid airline carrier is arguably the most important part of flying with your Frenchie
  • During the Flight— some tips for helping your Frenchie stay cool & calm during the flight
  • After the Flight— it’s not over yet! Learn exactly what you need to do when you land & after getting off the flight
  • FAQ— anything else not covered will be answered here

Should I Be Concerned About Traveling With My Frenchie?

Should you be worried about traveling with your Frenchie?

Not neccessarily, however, you should take the necessary precautions before you board that plane.

Just keep in mind that traveling with a French Bulldog requires special care and consideration.

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Choosing an Airline

Airlines typically charge a pet fee ranging from $100-$200. This varies airline-to-airline.

Book your flight early

Airlines limit the number of pets allowed on a single flight so book your flight early to avoid any inconveniences.

The earlier you make your reservation, the more likely you are to secure a spot for your pet.

Verify with the Airline

Be sure you contact the airline to verify whether they have any restrictions on specific breeds such as French Bulldogs.

When booking your flight, tell the airline that you plan on traveling with your French Bulldog in the cabin.

Brachycephalic Bans

Unfortunately, more airlines may start to ban French Bulldogs from flying on their airline in the future due to the recent number of tragic deaths of brachycephalic breeds on board.

Can French Bulldogs Fly on Planes in Cabin?

This answer is different for each airline, but typically yes, French Bulldogs can fly in the cabin of a plane.

The cabin area of the plane is where all the passengers sit, compared to the cargo area of the plane, which is where the luggage goes (and some dogs even fly down there in a climate-controlled, pressurized compartment!)

These 11 Airlines Accept Frenchies In-Cabin

The following 11 airlines are known to allow Frenchies to fly in-cabin under the seat in front of you…

  1. Alaska Airlines
  2. American Airlines
  3. Delta
  4. Frontier Airlines
  5. JetBlue
  6. KLM
  7. Lufthansa
  8. Qantas
  9. Southwest Airlines
  10. United Airlines
  11. Virgin America

The cabin is the only place I’d let my Frenchie fly!

NEVER let your Frenchie fly under the plane in the cargo area!

Just Say No To Cargo

While many airlines have banned French Bulldogs and other flat-faced dogs from transporting in the cargo area of the plane, there are a few that still allow it.

You should NEVER let your French Bulldog be transported in the cargo area of the plane.

Only Fly In-Cabin

You should ONLY fly with your Frenchie in the cabin with you.

Even if the airline has an option for your Frenchie to fly under in the cargo area, don’t do it!

There have been numerous cases of French Bulldogs dying when traveling in the cargo area.


Before the Flight

You’re going to need to fasten your seatbelts because preparing to fly with your Frenchie is a load of work!

Before you & your Frenchie hop on your flight, you’re going to need to do a few things.

6 Things You’ll Need To Do

  1. Book an ideal flight
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Good Health from your vet
  3. Notify the airline you are flying with your Frenchie
  4. Satisfy other requirements if flying internationally
  5. Stock up on the essential supplies
  6. Find an emergency vet clinic at your destination

Booking your flight

Picking the Ideal Time of Day

You definitely want to look for a flight either early in the morning or later in the evening.

During these times, the airplanes won’t be excruciatingly hot (especially in the summertime).

In Warmer Climates

If you live in a warmer area, try to book your flight for the early morning or late at night so the cabin isn’t too hot.

In Colder Climates

In cold climates, choose a mid-day flight or pack a blanket for your Frenchie.

Picking the Ideal Seat

We also recommend that you choose a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible so you can get off as soon as you land.

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the back of the plane when it lands and they turn off the air conditioning… it gets so hot!

Notify the Airline

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to contact the airline to verify whether or not they have any restrictions on specific breeds such as French Bulldogs.

Rules are always changing, and the last thing you want to do is be rejected at the gate.

Book In Advance

We recommend you make your reservations well in advance to secure a spot for your pet.

Pet spots are limited

Airlines limit the number of pets allowed on a single flight so book your flight early to avoid any inconveniences.

Don’t spend all day traveling (if possible)

When booking your flight, if possible, try to book a non-stop flight or one with the least flight changes. One flight is probably more than enough for our Frenchies, let alone three!

Try to keep the whole duration of your traveling as short as possible.

Veterinarian Checkup

Before your Frenchie flies, they’re going to need to visit the vet to get a certificate of good health.

Not only does your vet need to check if your Frenchie is healthy and all, but they’ll also need to make sure they have all the necessary vaccines depending on where you’re traveling to.

Certificate of Good Health

In order for your Frenchie to be allowed on the plane, they must receive a Certificate of Good Health from their veterinarian within ten days of traveling.

This document states that your pet is free of any infectious diseases and has its vaccinations up-to-date.

Traveling International with your French Bulldog

If you are traveling out of the United States to other countries, you may be required to have their document certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

You should also contact the respective Foreign Consulate or Regulatory Agency as there may be other health requirements to be met.

Locate an Emergency Vet Clinic Near You

You’re going to want to make sure you know where the 24-hour emergency clinics are in the area that you’re traveling to.

In an emergency, you do not want to be wasting precious time looking for the closest vet hospital; just a few minutes could mean the difference between life or death!

How to find an Emergency Vet near you

You can find Emergency Vets on Google Maps or use a site like www.vetlocator.com to help you find one.

FrenchieWiki Pre-Flight Checklist

Don’t want to forget anything for your flight?

Download our Airplane Travel Checklist!

Flying with your French Bulldog Preflight Checklist

Choosing an Airline Carrier

Most important of all, you’re going to need a pet carrier.

When looking to purchase one, make sure it meets the following specifications.

Airline Carrier Requirements

  • Lots of ventilation (3-4 sides recommended)
  • Comfy & roomy (must be able to turn around while standing)
  • Compliant with airline requirements (Look for “Guaranteed On Board”)

My Favorite Airline Carriers

It can be difficult trying to find a carrier that is the right size for your Frenchie…

Here are some of the best French Bulldog Airliner Carriers on the market…

With Wheels!
For Bigger Frenchies
Great Alternative
Best Value
No Frills
5.0
4.5
4.0
4.5
4.5
Pros:
  • Airline approved
  • Ventilated on all 4 sides
  • Has wheels & padded pull strap
  • 1-year warranty
Pros:
  • Built for the biggest Frenchies
  • Flexible design
  • Durable materials
  • Available in 10 different colors
Pros:
  • Has wheels & a pull-handle
  • 3 sides of ventilation
  • Anti-slip material
Pros:
  • No-frills
  • Affordable
  • 4 sides of ventilation
  • 1-year warranty
Pros:
  • Airline approved
  • 1-year warranty
  • Has a convenient storage pocket
  • Comes in 3 different colors
$99.99$78.69
$94.95
$105.11$79.50
$33.82
$84.00$37.00
With Wheels!
5.0
Pros:
  • Airline approved
  • Ventilated on all 4 sides
  • Has wheels & padded pull strap
  • 1-year warranty
$99.99$78.69
For Bigger Frenchies
4.5
Pros:
  • Built for the biggest Frenchies
  • Flexible design
  • Durable materials
  • Available in 10 different colors
$94.95
Great Alternative
4.0
Pros:
  • Has wheels & a pull-handle
  • 3 sides of ventilation
  • Anti-slip material
$105.11$79.50
Best Value
4.5
Pros:
  • No-frills
  • Affordable
  • 4 sides of ventilation
  • 1-year warranty
$33.82
No Frills
4.5
Pros:
  • Airline approved
  • 1-year warranty
  • Has a convenient storage pocket
  • Comes in 3 different colors
$84.00$37.00
02/03/2023 03:40 am GMT

Lots of Ventilation

The carriers listed above are also ventilated on three or more of its panels which is more than enough for keeping your French Bulldog at a comfortable temperature.

Airlines require carriers to be leak-proof and ventilated on at least 2 sides, however, I recommend having 3-4 sides ventilated.

Must be Comfy

The carrier must be large enough for your Frenchie to stand, sit, and lay down naturally.

They should not be crammed in the carrier and must have enough space to turn around while standing.

Clear the Runway

Avoid adding any extra, bulky items such as heavy blankets or towels in the carrier when flying.

Items such as these can increase the risk of breathing problems and also can make your Frenchie hotter. If you must, use a thin blanket for them to lie on.

3 Tips on Reducing Carrier Anxiety

  • Purchase your carrier early
  • Put treats inside the carrier to get them comfortable with going inside it
  • Use it as a bed while at home
Get The Crate Early

Don’t buy your carrier last minute— you want to give your Frenchie some time to get adjusted to the carrier at home.

We recommend purchasing your carrier at least a month before your flight.

Crate Training

Crate training with your carrier is the best way to reduce anxiety and stress while traveling.

A Positive Association

It’s already uncomfortable enough to be under the seat in a completely new environment… by familiarizing them with the carrier, they’ll hopefully start to view it as a positive experience.

Guaranteed on Board Program

Travel with peace of mind with the Guaranteed on Board Program.

If you are denied boarding due to your Frenchie’s carrier, you’ll be refunded the cost of the carrier.

Compliant with Most Airlines

Sherpa makes pet carriers in small, medium, and large that are all part of the Guaranteed on Board Program, which means they are compliant with most major airlines’ specifications and if you are denied boarding, they will refund the cost of the carrier!

I recommend the large size for any adult Frenchies.

If you plan on traveling with your French Bulldog often, I also recommend the Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier, which is similar to the original one, with the addition of wheels, a handle, and an additional ventilation panel.

With Wheels!
Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier
5.0
$99.99 $78.69

Lugging your Frenchie around the airport is no fun— with the Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier, you can push/pull them around just like a suitcase!

It's part of the Guaranteed on Board program, meaning it's airline approved.

If you are denied boarding due to the carrier, Worldwise will refund you the entire cost of your flight.

Dimensions: 21" L x 12.25" W x 10.5" H

Weight: up to 22 pounds (10kg)

Pros:
  • 1-year warranty
  • Airline approved
  • Ventilated on all 4 sides
  • Has wheels & padded pull strap
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
02/03/2023 03:40 am GMT

I can tell you from personal experience that carrying your dog around is exhausting especially after a long day of traveling.

This carrier is also part of the Guaranteed on Board Program and should be good to go for most airlines!

Essential Items for Flying

While these aren’t necessarily required to board your flight, they’re absolutely essential in my opinion.

  1. Treats
    1. Dog wipes— if your Frenchie makes a mess with their food or anything, you’ll be glad you have these!
    2. Potty pads— especially useful during long days of traveling… while you’d ideally take them to a designated outdoor area, a potty pad is better than them just peeing on the airport floor (watch for signs of them having to pee like sniffing around in circles)
    3. Waste bags— while some Pet Relief Areas may have waste bags for you to use, it’s better to have your own on hand in case they don’t
    4. A flashlight— if you plan on traveling through the night and need to take your French Bulldog to pee where there aren’t designated areas

    1. A Leash & Harness

    While you likely already have a leash & harness, it’s important to have one that fits snugly & comfortably so that your Frenchie has no chance of escaping its harness and running around the airport.

    This is a No-Pull Harness

    This rabbitgoo harness is a No-Pull Harness which clips in the front to discourage pulling on the leash.

    It also has a clip in the back if your Frenchie isn’t a puller.

    Discourages Leash Pulling
    rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
    4.5
    $16.98

    It is frustrating when your Frenchie pulls on the leash— and training them to stop can be even more frustrating at times...

    For Frenchies that won't stop pulling on the leash, a front-clip harness is one of the best ways to help stop this annoying behavior.

    Pros:
    • 2 clips— one in the front, one in the back
    • High-visibility— reflective material for night visibility
    • Controllable— handle that is easy to grab to control your dog
    • Perfect fit— The large size is perfect for most adult Frenchies
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/03/2023 05:40 am GMT
    A Shock-Absorbing Leash

    Okay, even if your Frenchie isn’t a notorious leash-puller, they probably still get excited and occasionally charge bunnies or other animals that excite them outside.

    That’s where a leash like this Tuff Mutt Bungee Leash comes in— it protects your Frenchies neck & spine by absorbing any leash-pulling impacts.

    Shock Absorbing Leash
    Tuff Mutt Hands Free Bungee Dog Leash
    4.7
    $24.97

    Shock-absorbing bungee technology protects your Frenchie's joints from the stress of leash-pulling

    48 inches – extends to 60 inches

    Pros:
    • Easy to grab— control handles to easily grab your dog
    • High-visibility— reflective stitching for nighttime visibility
    • Good for joints— protect your Frenchie's joints from the shock of them pulling on the leash
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    02/03/2023 01:48 am GMT

    2. Treats

    Treats are essential for traveling…

    For when you can’t give them their entire meal or want to reward them for their good behavior, you’ll want to have some snacks handy.

    These are my favorite treats that aren’t too high in calories but still make a super tasty snack.

    Tasty Hard Cheese Snack
    Himalayan Yak Cheese Dog Chews
    4.4
    $23.40 $19.95 ($2.02 / oz)

    Made from 100% yak and cow’s milk along with salt and lime juice to create a tasty treat that takes hours of chewing to scrape each bite off

    Sourced in the Himalayas so you know your dog is getting the best quality chews available

    Designed to resist messes, staining, and spreading unwanted odors

    Pros:
    • Super tasty— will keep your Frenchie busy chewing for hours
    • Free of any artificial preservatives or additives
    • Gluten-free, grain-free, lactose-free, soy-free, and corn-free
    Buy Now on Amazon
    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
    02/02/2023 03:48 pm GMT
    My Frenchie's Favorite
    Zuke's Mini Naturals
    4.6
    $8.99 $7.99 ($1.33 / oz)

    Frenchies may be stubborn— but with a treat like this, they'll be doing whatever it takes to get another one...

    With chicken as the #1 ingredient and only 3 calories per treat, this is one of my favorite Frenchie treats for both training & snacking.

    Pros:
    • Made with chicken
    • Less than 3 calories per treat
    • Made with natural, whole ingredients
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/02/2023 10:53 pm GMT
    Best Value
    Wellness Wellbites
    4.6
    $7.99 ($1.33 / oz)

    The perfect low-calorie training treat.

    With real beef as the #1 ingredient and no by-products or artificial ingredients, these are sure to have your Frenchie listening for more.

    Pros:
    • All-natural
    • Made in the USA
    • Created by nutritionists and veterinarians
    • Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids to support healthy brain & coat development
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/02/2023 10:58 pm GMT

    3. Toys

    Toys and things for them to chew this helps keep your Frenchie busy & distracted while traveling

    Keep in mind that some toys may not be allowed through some security checkpoints!

    Bring a simple, no-frills toy that you don’t mind losing.

    Kong Toy & Snack (all-in-one)
    Hours of Play
    Kong Classic Dog Toy
    4.6
    $11.99

    A classic toy that is a must-have for every Frenchie.

    Fill it up with kibble, peanut butter, or any other snack you can find— or just keep it as-is.

    Not to mention, it's also great for...

    • Barking
    • Boredom
    • Crate training
    • Separation anxiety
    • Teething & chewing
    • Weight management
    Pros:
    • Unpredictable bounciness for hours of entertainment
    • Relieve separation anxiety, reduce boredom, and have fun
    • Perfect for stuffing with treats, peanut butter, or KONG Stuff'N Easy Treat Paste
    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
    02/03/2023 01:03 am GMT

    These KONG toys can be filled up with peanut butter and keep your French Bulldog busy as your travel. It’s also a great snack and can keep them calm & busy during the flight!

    Perfect for Tug-of-War
    No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toys (3 pack)
    $14.99

    Available in fox, raccoon, and squirrel characters

    No stuffing— safer than toys with stuffing

    Perfect for tug-of-war

    Has 3 squeakers

    Easy for Frenchies to bite/grab


    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
    02/03/2023 02:43 am GMT
    Rugged Construction
    Outward Hound Invincibles Blue Snake Plush Dog Toy, Large
    4.1
    $12.99

    Perfect for tug-of-war between you or with other dogs

    Super-tough— Frenchies' jaws are no match for this toy

    Pros:
    • No stuffing — no mess
    • Available in 3 different sizes (3, 6, and 12 squeakers)
    • Squeakers keep squeaking even when they're punctured
    Cons:
    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
    02/03/2023 01:08 am GMT
    Hours of Play
    Kong Classic Dog Toy
    4.6
    $11.99

    A classic toy that is a must-have for every Frenchie.

    Fill it up with kibble, peanut butter, or any other snack you can find— or just keep it as-is.

    Not to mention, it's also great for...

    • Barking
    • Boredom
    • Crate training
    • Separation anxiety
    • Teething & chewing
    • Weight management
    Pros:
    • Unpredictable bounciness for hours of entertainment
    • Relieve separation anxiety, reduce boredom, and have fun
    • Perfect for stuffing with treats, peanut butter, or KONG Stuff'N Easy Treat Paste
    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
    02/03/2023 01:03 am GMT
    KONG Squeakair Balls
    4.3
    $8.49

    Medium is the perfect size for a Frenchie

    My Frenchie can play with these alone for hours just squeakin' them (ya, it gets annoying)




    Pros:
    • Soft on their teeth
    • They have squeakers your Frenchie will love
    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
    02/03/2023 01:17 am GMT
    ZippyPaws - Mini Donutz
    4.5
    $7.99

    The super cute donut design boasts bright, eye-catching colors your dog will dig.

    Pros:
    • Durable
    • Squeakers
    • Perfect size for Frenchies
    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
    02/03/2023 01:24 am GMT

    4. Bowls

    Silicone Collapsible Travel Bowl (2 pack)
    4.7
    $5.99

    Collapsible & convenient— a must-have for traveling, long walks, and long days out of the house.

    Pros:
    • BPA-free & dishwasher safe
    • Folds flat for efficient storage and travel
    • Climbing buckle to attach to nearly anything
    • Make mealtime easy and quick anywhere, indoors or outdoors
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/03/2023 05:52 am GMT

    5. Dog wipes

    All-Purpose Grooming Wipes
    Pogi's Grooming Wipes
    4.6
    $14.99 $12.99

    Sure, Frenchies don't need to be groomed every week, but they still get messy.

    These grooming wipes are perfect for keeping your Frenchie fresh in between grooming.

    Use to wipe away any odors, dirt, and dander from your Frenchie's coat.

    Pros:
    • All-natural— free of any hard ingredients
    • Hypoallergenic— won't irritate sensitive skin
    • Easily removes odors
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/02/2023 07:13 pm GMT

    6. Potty Pads

    Just in case!
    Amazon Basics Potty Pads
    4.6
    $21.91 ($0.44 / Count)

    You never know when your Frenchie will have to go potty...

    Whether you're...

    • In the airport
    • In a hotel on the 47th floor
    • Somewhere it's inconvenient to go outside
    • Hesitant to go outside in a dark & unknown area

    You'll be glad you have these in your travel bag!

    Pros:
    • Leakproof lining
    • Easy to cleanup
    • Highly absorbent
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/03/2023 04:23 am GMT

    7. Waste bags

    If you don’t already have waste bags for when you walk your Frenchie (what are you doing?!), you might want to get one for when you travel.

    Clips onto your leash & holds used bags

    This waste bag holder clips onto any leash and has a hook on it to hold the used bags.

    Does the Dirty Work
    Dog Waste Bag Holder w/ Bags
    4.8
    $7.99 $5.99 ($5.99 / Count)

    Who likes walking around with plastic bags & carrying them home after your Frenchie's done their business?

    Let this waste bag holder do the dirty work for you— not only does it conveniently hold a roll of waste bags, but it also has a hook for the used bag as well!

    Pros:
    • Fits any size & style of leash
    • Comes with 15 unscented bags
    • Hook on back to hold used bags
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/02/2023 06:03 pm GMT

    8. A flashlight

    Sure, our phones have flashlights— but even two or three iPhones won’t be able to match the brightness & distance of a flashlight like this…

    Besides, who wants to waste their precious phone battery when traveling (not me!)

    Flashlights are perfect for…
    • Taking your Frenchie outside in a new & dark area
    • Spotting anthills or any other hazards when walking your Frenchie
    • Giving your Frenchie lots of visibility to find the perfect place to pee
    • Nighttime visibility so that cars on the road can see you from far away
    Small but Super Bright
    Compact Flashlight
    4.6
    $11.99 $9.99

    This flashlight may be small, but don't let that fool you... it's super bright!

    Perfect for traveling with your Frenchie during those times where you need to take them outside in dark unknown areas.

    Pros:
    • Portable small size
    • AAA Batteries included
    • IPX4 water resistant design
    • Super bright with 492 feet distance
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/03/2023 05:43 am GMT

    9. Pet First Aid Kit

    If you have enough room for a first-aid kit, I’d highly recommend keeping one on you— this one is small enough to be convenient to travel with, but it has everything you’d need in case of an emergency.

    Dog First Aid Kit
    4.4
    $30.95
    Pros:
    • 49 pieces
    • Includes pet first aid guide
    • Compact size that's easy to travel with
    Buy Now on Amazon
    02/03/2023 05:09 am GMT

    Health Requirements

    International Requirements

    On The Day of the Flight

    3 Simple Tips for Flying with your Frenchie

    • Arrive at the airport early— this reduces stress for both you & your Frenchie
    • Be one of the last to board the plane— lots of airlines don’t turn on their air conditioning until the plane is ready to depart
    • Take pictures of your Frenchie in case they get lost— I’m sure you have tons of pics of your Frenchie, but it’s nice to have ones of them on the day of traveling showing their harness, collar, and anything else that could help one recognize them

    Photoshoot!

    In the event that your Frenchie got lost, you’d want to have recent photos to help others in locating them.

    We recommend taking photos prior to traveling, preferably on the day of your trip

    Arrive Early

    Make sure you arrive at the airport early; you don’t want to miss your flight because you had to take your pup out for a potty break.

    Get Comfortable

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling, I like to have some time to hang out and let my Frenchie get comfortable with her new surroundings.

    Tucker Them Out!

    While I’m waiting for it to be time to board, I also will play with my Frenchie to tire her out as much as possible– I don’t want her to even have the energy to be anxious on the flight.

    Board Late

    When it comes time to board, I’m usually one of the last to get on the plane.

    It Gets Hot!

    You don’t want to be one of the first to board and have to sit on the plane for 10-30 minutes without air conditioning.

    The cabin of the airplane can get as high as 86° F. when waiting on the runway.

    Being the last one on the plane also means you can avoid dealing with other people cramming in the aisle while you stand there lugging around your Frenchie.

    During the Flight

    During the flight, I sometimes will let my Frenchie stick her head out of her carrier.

    I’m sure that this goes against the airline’s rules, but I’ve found that most flight attendants could care less as long as you are respectful about it.

    Keep It Cool!

    The bigger airplanes usually have air vents on the floor which helps them stay cool, but you’re going to want to keep a close eye on them and their breathing.

    I always direct the upper air vents toward my Frenchie.

    After the Flight

    Once the wheels touch the ground, the worst is over. What a relief.

    Get Some Fresh Air

    As soon as it is safe to do so, I’ll let my Frenchie poke her head out from her carrier and give her a drink of water.

    Get Off ASAP

    When exiting the plane I try to get out of the jetway as soon as possible because they’re usually not air-conditioned either.

    Take it Easy

    When you arrive, you should take it slow as your Frenchie is probably overwhelmed by the new environment.

    Go sit down and give them time to adjust while you wait for your bags.

    Watch for Potty Signals

    Place down a potty pad nearby especially if you notice signs that they have to potty such as sniffing the floor or turning in circles while sniffing.

    Pet-Relief Areas

    You should also look for the closest place for your Frenchie to go potty.

    They’re required in major airports

    Most major airports should have a designated pet-relief area due to a federal regulation that requires airports that serve more than 10,000 passengers annually to have one in each terminal.

    Where to find Pet-Relief Areas

    PetFriendlyTravel.com has a great tool to find pet-relief areas in every airport in the United States!

    If you’re too far from one of these areas or your airport does not have one, you should use a potty pad instead.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Should I Sedate my French Bulldog when Flying?

    Not the best idea

    Sedatives and tranquilizers are not recommended when flying with pets, especially flat-faced breeds such as the French Bulldog.

    The reason for this is that they can increase the risk of heart and breathing problems!

    Natural Alternatives

    There are also all-natural options to help with their nerves such as these Zesty Paws Hemp Elements.

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    They’re made from a mix of “flower essences” which are said to have calming properties.

    When In Doubt, Ask Your Vet

    Be sure to ask your vet about other natural options when you take them in for their health certificate and vaccinations.

    The Importance of a Healthy Weight

    French Bulldogs are already predisposed to many health conditions and obesity increases the risk of developing joint issues, heart problems, and makes breathing even harder for these little ones.

    If you ever plan on traveling with your Frenchie in the future, make sure you are keeping them at a healthy weight.

    What Airlines Accept French Bulldogs in Cargo?

    Despite the significant risks associated with brachycephalic breeds flying in the cargo area of the plane, there are still a few airlines that allow this.

    I highly discourage transporting your Frenchie in the cargo area of the plane. Just don’t do it.

    Flying in cargo means your Frenchie will go under the plane where all the luggage is.

    Whatever you do, NEVER ALLOW YOUR FRENCHIE TO FLY IN CARGO.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Alaska Airlines
    • Frontier Airlines
    • Hawaiian Airlines
    • Sun Country Airlines

    Of the 122 deaths of dogs on airplanes in the past 5 years, about half were brachycephalic breed dogs.

    You should always fly with your French Bulldog in the cabin area of the plane.

    What Other Breeds are Banned by Airlines?

    The following breeds, most of which are brachycephalic breeds, were recently banned by United Airlines.

    What does brachycephalic mean?

    Simply put, it means “flat-faced” or “shortened head”.

    While we find these smooshed-faced pups absolutely adorable, they are notorious for breathing problems. For these breeds, it’s even more important that you keep them at a healthy weight to avoid worsening their airways.

    Breeds Banned by Airlines

    These breeds have been banned from flying in the cargo area of most major airlines as of 2018.

    This doesn’t mean that these breeds are banned from flying in the cabin area of the plane though.

    2018 United Airlines Tragedy

    In March of 2018, a black French Bulldog named Kokito was flying with United Airlines from Houston to New York.

    The flight attendant wanted the dog stored overhead

    During the flight, a flight attendant asked Kokito’s owner to place his carrier in the overhead compartment.

    The owner argued

    Like the rest of us dog owners, Kokito’s owner was adamant about not putting her puppy in such a dangerous situation.

    The flight attendant insisted, stating that the dog was a “hazard” because someone might trip on it.

    The owner finally caved

    After some more arguing, Kokito’s owner finally listened to the flight attendant and put him in the overhead compartment. According to witnesses, the owner was busy dealing with her infant, taking her attention off of her Frenchie.

    The unimaginable happened

    After a few hours of flying, the plane finally landed. Just as it is on any flight, the passengers were eager to get off the plane. As everybody was gathering their belongings, Kokito’s owner realized what had happened. Other passengers on the plane reported “sobbing and gasping” and saw her collapsed on the floor as she realized the dog had died.

    While this is undoubtedly one of the saddest tragedies to happen recently on an airline, I feel there is a lesson we all need to learn from this story.

    The takeaway from this story

    Don’t let anybody tell you what to do with your dog, especially when traveling.

    Don’t let someone tell you that your Frenchie must fly under in the cargo area or in the overhead compartment; even if you aren’t allowed on the plane— you must put your pet’s life first.

    Safe travels!

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