Why Are Airlines That Fly English Bulldogs Hard To Find?

Last Updated on September 25, 2021 by Marco C.

If you’ve ever tried flying with a Bulldog breed, you will likely have come across a lot of problems! Many airlines now have rules which prevent Bulldogs from flying. But why is it so hard to find airlines that fly English Bulldogs?

This can be a frustrating problem if you want to fly with your Bulldog breed. Let’s take a look at the problems associated with flying Bulldogs. We’ll also find out the best way to fly with a Bulldog breed.

Why Is It Hard To Find Airlines That Fly English Bulldogs?

There is one big reason that airlines don’t want to fly with breeds such as English Bulldogs, and this is because they don’t want to take the risk. In recent years there have been several incidents involving flying snub-nosed dogs like Bulldogs. Because of this, many airlines will not accept Bulldog breeds at all.

It is important to note that there are two ways dogs can travel when flying. The first of these is in the cabin – this is where the passengers are seated. The second of these is in the hold, where the luggage is stored.

Flying in the hold is the area that poses the highest risk to the health of your Bulldog. Some airlines have banned Bulldogs from flying altogether, while others will allow them in the cabin but not in the hold.

What Makes Flying Bulldogs So Risky?

The reason that flying with Bulldogs is so risky is that they are more susceptible to breathing problems than other breeds of dogs. Most Bulldog breeds are what is known as brachycephalic breeds of dogs. They have a short stubby nose, a flat face, and other obstructions in the respiratory tract. This can cause a condition called Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), which is when they struggle to inhale enough air.

Dogs with BOAS will often suffer from breathing difficulties on a regular basis. They may become short of breath during even gentle exercise. The severity of the breathing problems is exacerbated during warm or hot weather or periods of intense stress.

Unfortunately, the process of flying a dog in the luggage hold exposes them to a very stressful period. They will normally travel in a crate and will be confined for several hours at a minimum.

To make things even worse, the air pressure in the cargo hold may also be very low. This will make it difficult for your dog to breathe in enough oxygen. It may also be very warm, adding to your Bulldog’s breathing difficulties.

Top Tips For Flying With French Bulldogs

 flying with french bulldog

Learn more about: Common French Bulldog Medical Issues And What To Do About Them

There are many things you can do to make travelling with your Bulldog breed less risky. The key is in thorough planning and preparation, so start thinking ahead if you are planning to travel with your dog. Here are some ways you can make the journey go smoothly:

  • Decide How Your Bulldog Will Travel

The biggest decision you will need to make is where your dog will travel. For Bulldog breeds, travelling in the cabin is always the safer option. If you have a small dog such as a French Bulldog, you may be able to fit it in a small carry-on pet carrier.

An alternative option for larger breeds such as English Bulldogs is to buy an extra ticket. This way they get to travel on the seat next to you! This can be an expensive option but worth it if you need to get your dog from one place to another.

  • Crate Training

Whether your dog is travelling in the hold in a crate, or in a carry-on cabin crate, you will need to get your dog used to it before travelling. Taking the time to crate train your dog will reduce the stress of travelling considerably.

It is also important to select the right size crate for your dog. Check with the airline to see what size crate is permitted, and buy the largest size possible. This will give extra space for air circulation, essential to help your dog breathe well during the flight.

  • Health Check

Take your dog to the veterinary clinic for a health check before travelling. The veterinarian will be able to check for any underlying health problems. They will also be able to prescribe medication to reduce stress, such as sedatives.

  • Watch The Weather!

Although changing your plans can be very frustrating, it is just too risky to fly with your Bulldog breed in hot weather. It is wise to consider taking out a flight insurance policy that will cover the cost of rescheduling your flight if an unexpected heatwave occurs.

Read more about: French Bulldog Bite Force Explained

What Airlines Accept French Bulldogs?

Due to the health risks, many airlines have banned snub-nosed dog breeds such as Bulldogs from flying altogether. Others may allow them to fly in the cabin, but this comes with its own restrictions. Some airlines will only allow Bulldog breeds to fly at lower risk periods when the weather is cooler.

The airlines that fly English Bulldogs and other snub-nosed breeds include:

  • Amerijet (heat restrictions apply)
  • British Airways (heat restrictions apply)
  • KLM (most Bulldog breeds can only travel in the cabin, not the hold)
  • Lufthansa (winter months only)
  • Etihad (heat restrictions apply)
  • Gulf Air (winter months only)
  • Copa (cool weather only)

As you will see, the list is quite small! Most airlines have some kind of restrictions in place to protect Bulldog breeds when flying. Although this can be a nuisance, they are looking after your dogs best interests.


As we have learned, there are many reasons why airlines are wary about flying Bulldog breeds. If you want to fly with your Bulldog, there are steps you take to minimize the health risk. These include flying at cooler times of the year, and crate training your Bulldog to reduce stress during the journey.

We’d love to hear about your experiences – have you ever flown with your Bulldog breed? Or maybe you have come across another problem associated with flying with Bulldogs? Add a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!

Leave a Comment