Airline Travel Tips for Snub Nosed Pets

The A, B, C’s of Snub Nosed (Brachycephalic) Pet Flight Safety

With emotion, we at have been, sometimes with tears in our eyes, viewing the Pet Airline Incident reports since they were first released in May of 2005.

With purpose, we had to not avert our eyes to the realities, and we have been studying them to help bring information and resolutions to our readers so that the traveling pets can be safer, avoiding injury and sometimes, death.

Incidents, according to the airlines is death, injury or loss.

What was concluded was that the main categories of incident were from the following two issues.

1. Faulty unsecured kennels

2. Breathing and overheating issues for dogs with snub noses

Although the airlines do try to limit these incidents by requiring kennels to be secured with metal hardware and cable tying the doors closed, with the additional consideration being that snub-nosed pets can travel [usually] only when the forecast calls for temperatures to stay below 70-75 degrees.

Helpful, but not enough; as still over 50% of all reported pet deaths on airplanes are dogs and puppies who have snub noses, and according to the Department of Transportation, these animals are more at risk when flying in cargo than any other pets.

Snub – Short nosed pets include but are not limited to:





Japanese Chins

Also of note are cats such as Persians and Burmese, as well as other exotic short-hair breeds.

VISIT American College of Vet Surgeons for great detail images and description of Brachycephalic Syndrome – Dog Noses and Airways

Dogs more commonly use panting to cool off yet snub nosed dogs still suffer more breathing and overheating issues than snub nosed cats, but both are at risk.

Here is what you can do to help pet airline travel to be safer for these special pets. Please pass this information along to anyone you know with a short nosed pet, even if they are not traveling anytime in the near future, so that they at least are aware of these concerns and resolutions.

A, B, C’s of Flying with a Snub Nosed Pet

A. What to do

  1. Purchase an airline kennel that is at least 1-2 sizes larger than required for your size pet to help provide plenty of air space around the pet.
  2. Make sure your kennel has ventilation on all four sides for Domestic and International flights, even though rules specify only required for International flights for Snub nosed pets more is always better. Modify by drilling additional ventilation holes in the back wall of kennel if they are lacking. Might even be good idea to add a few extra holes in bottom walls. This is the level your pets head (nose) will be at when in a lying down position, but just a few do not over do it or you could compromise the integrity of the kennel.   See diagram below.

B. When to Fly & Preventative

  1. Only fly in cool temperatures, during the cooler weather seasons or late night-early morning. Do not assume your flights will all leave on time, if the temperature is expected to get hot on either end or at your connections during the day of your flight, RESCHEDULE. So in the event there is a delay for several hours or your pet misses a connecting flight, your pet does not end up flying in the heat of the day!
  2. Refrain from feeding snub nosed pets for 6-8 hours before flying or even longer. Autopsies results listed in the Airline Incident Reports have indicated that in some of these deaths, vomiting may have been a contributing factor. It is similar to preparing your pet for surgery where a full stomach can cause vomiting which can lead to a risk of breathing obstruction. Don’t feed many hours before shipping you can still mark the Shipper’s Declaration stating you offered food in the time required (you are not required to feed only required to “offer” food). Digesting food will raise body temperature and possibly result in air-sickness vomiting and snub nosed pets can not breath easily from their tiny sinuses if they are vomiting and panting simultaneously.

C. Day Of Flight

  1. Provide plenty of cool fresh water. Use a Stainless Steel Water Bucket (hook-on type) or you can cable tie to the door either will work.  You should fill the bucket with water and freeze solid then attach to the kennel door this will help cool the air in an around your pet and also provide cool water when melted.
  2. Dampen or mist their bed, mat or cushion or look into the many dog cooling mats and pads available these will help keep your pet cool with evaporation.
  3. Do not tranquilize any pet before flying especially Snub Nosed.

After studying these Incident Reports and looking for possible solutions, we still believe it is a risk for Snub Nosed pets to travel in the cargo area of the Plane. So please research and look into other traveling options and only when you have no other option should you fly your snub nosed dogs in cargo.

For more information:

modified kennel for extra ventilation
Check with your Airline for Restrictions

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53 Responsesso far.

  1. I’m planning on flying my dog (via cargo) back from China to Canada in August, I’m not really sure if he’s snub nosed or not because he’s a mutt, but has a nose similar to a pit bull (which I know is considered a snub nosed breed). I wanted to take the precaution and treat him as a snub nosed dog, which made me wonder… if I plan on getting a cooling mat/pad to put in the crate for his 12+ hour flight, would I be able to put DryFur travel pad on top of it (since I would like to prevent him from being uncomfortable if he soils himself accidentally) and have it still be effective? What I’m afraid of is that the effects of the cooling mat/pad will be neutralized by the travel pad and my dog won’t be able to feel the cooling effect if I cover it. Would you have any other suggestions? Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Boy, August can be sooo Hot! I think I would concentrate on a cooling mat, and possibly forget the DryFur….maybe if you are convinced he will have an accident you might think about making a cover (like a pillow case) for the Cooling Mat with our Breathable Absorbent pads. You can stitch them like cloth. They are thinner and have no plastic so they would work pretty good and still let the Cooling Mat work? But main objective is keeping your Pup cool with lots of ventilation. Hope you both have a safe trip and Thanks for visiting

      • Using the breathable absorbent pads like a pillow case around the cooling mat sounds like an amazing idea, thanks for the suggestion and for the quick reply! : )

  2. I’m shipping my persian/himalayan mix cat from DC to Alaska. We’ll be driving and plan on shipping him ahead of us due to the temperature, lack of cat friendly hotels along the route, the fact that we will have to camp a couple of nights due to a lack of suitable lodging along some areas in Canada, and that we will also be traveling with a dog. We really believe that this will be the best option for the cat. We were going to have a friend watch him until we got settled and them fly him out but that would be in mid-July and way hotter than it is now. I want to make sure he’s comfortable and was looking at the fans that are available for the kennel doors. Are they a good idea to use? I was thinking of using a water bottle just so there was less mess but would that be in the way of the fan or would he hurt himself if his face got too close? Also I plan on getting a crate a little bigger than needed and the dimensions are 28×20. I saw on a different site that they had a DryFur pad that would fit that but i didn’t see it on this site. Was the other site wrong?

    • Hi Casey,
      The fans are great but they will not allow them to be operating on airlines. Many airlines will suggest you removed it before they accept the crate. They won’t allow anything in the cargo area that is battery operated and powered on or might accidentally start running during flight.

      As far as water bottles I have never been a big fan of those most pets especially cats do not take to them very easily and they have a tendency to leak with the constant vibration of the airline. Most of the bottles are empty at the end of flight but not because of drinking mostly because they leaked on the floor. So if you get one be sure it is leak proof.

      Not sure about the other site but if you tell me the floor measurement of the crate I can tell you what would fit best. I am sure we have one big enough for any cat crate. The sizes listed on the marketing materials are always a little off as they includes the outer rims and the door frames etc. not the floor measurement which is usually quite a bit smaller than the entire crate.
      So if you get the crate brand and size to me I can let you know, we carry all the DryFur sizes available as we are the manufacturer.
      Thanks for visiting

      • I was looking at the Petmate Sky Kennel Dog Crate in Medium: 28″L x 20″W x 21.5″H. I figured that it would be large enough for him to be comfortable, move around, and have a lot of air space. Also, I found a pretty good deal on it. I’m still comparing it to other crates but this is the one that I am leaning towards. Main thing, I want to make sure he is safe and comfortable. My best measurement on him is that he is 20 x 9 x 14.

        • Ok that’s a 200 and our Medium Yellow DryFur will fit the floor of this crate. You could even fit a Large Green DryFur in as well and it will fit a little snugger but both will fit this just fine.

  3. We are planning on shipping our english bulldog to Hawaii from Seattle next year. We have traveled to Hawaii quite a few times with an african grey bird but not a dog. I see now that english bulldogs are embargoed from all flights. Hawaiian Airlines states that you can sigh a waiver and they will ship the dog. Have you come across anyone shipping to Hawaii lately and what means are they using for transportation? I appreciate any feedback.


    • I am not sure what other snub nosed pet owners are doing in regard to the embargo. I think Hawaiian Airlines would be an option even with the waiver form. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the incidents reports for Hawaiian Airline now and in the months prior to you traveling. That will give you a good insight into how this process (waiver) is working for them. So far this year I do not see any deaths on Hawaiian Airlines. You can check them yourself at and check them for the last few months after the embargo has started and they began to accept with the waiver form and for the upcoming months just to make sure you do not see a spike in snub nose dog deaths on that airline. If you do might want to rethink your plans.
      Good luck and please try and travel when things are on the cool side maybe late at night?

      • We actually didn’t end up moving in 2011 but are planning to move this upcoming December 2013. I went on the website listed above and found this info. I am worried but we are working with out vet to get some pills that will relax our dog. I will be sure to follow up after my flight Dec 1, 2013 and let you know how it goes.



        Date: 19DEC11
        Time: 11:50 p.m.
        Reporting Station: SEA
        Flight: HA22
        From: HNL
        To: SEA

        Animal Information:
        Name: Unknown
        Description: Female Brindle Bulldog, age approximately 2 1/2

        Upon transport of the dog to the pickup area, agent discovered the dog was unresponsive. The dog was lying in its own vomit with fluid in his mouth.


        Corrective action: HA to reimburse pet fee as courtesy.

  4. I am wondering if putting those cooling paks (that they ship with vaccines, etc) would be an idea to put in cages during summer months. Have you heard anyone using them? Concerns about using them? I thought about freezing water bottles and placing them in the cages with the animals but I when I froze water dishes for a 3 hour trip, I found they turned to water within an hour at an 80 degree temp. Or even the hard plastic pieces they make for coolers? Any other suggestions?

    • Hi Deby,
      Should be fine as long as it does not contain Dry Ice that is very dangerous and not allowed in the cargo area of the plane when any pets or animals are on board. Many incidents have been reported when airline personal loaded pets and forgot or didn’t see the Live Animal Labels then accidentally loaded items (vaccines, seafood, etc.) packed with Dry Ice, not good and can be quite dangerous for the pets. (dry ice replaces the oxygen when it melts)

  5. Hi, I’m flying with my 5yr old boxer cross from England to Turkey 15th August…..the carrier is well ventilated along the top half of the carrier…..I will dampen the bedding she has, I have a cooling fan which i will attach to the cage door and I will be putting iced water in her bowl…..Is this enough for her do you think ?

    • Hi Babs,
      I like to have a few extra holes along the bottom half at least on the back wall so air can circulate in the lower half of the kennel about nose level when she is lying down.

      The fans are great but they do not allow them on airplanes here in the US, any mechanical moving item with battery must be left in the off position. I think they are worried about the possibility of causing sparks or fire. And I am pretty sure they do not allow them to be turned on while on the tarmac either tons of fumes there where they are fueling planes to be concerned about.

      Be sure your boxer has plenty of cool water available too.
      Thanks for visiting

  6. Hi! I’m preparing my relocation to San Francisco from Athens Greece. There s nothing else I can think of since I was considering it except how will I take my two 7 and 8 yrs old boxer dogs with me.
    Its gonna be january with Lufthansa on a 16 hour flight including a one hour connection to munich. I considered all other options and this seems safer than cargo them, even with lufthansa – unknown people -long waiting hours in plane cargo before flying etc and 2 day travel….

    they are crate trained

    My question is, is also cold a factor brachycefalic breeds have to be considered of? Lufthansa charges a lot of money for its heated checked baggage/cargo department. Do I need to freeze the water? I’m not sure it will stay there for the second long flight from germany. I read somewhere about a rabbit drinking method?

    Is cold also dangerous?

    • Hi Selene,
      Yes flying with you is always the best option in these types of situations… It’s great they are crate trained that will really lesson their stress and will keep them calmer.
      As far as cold being dangerous it can be but from my experience not any more than for any other bread. I think the trouble comes from the disadvantage these short nosed dogs have when trying to cool themselves with panting and breathing… I have still seen a few incidents in cooler weather for with snub nosed dogs reported but could have been stress related etc… I did not see any conclusions in those reports that cool weather was a contributing factor??? So it is best to travel when cooler. As far as the water bottles they are ok but I have found the water usually leaks continually until empty because of the vibration of the plane… So if you buy one you will want to test to be certain it is leak proof with constant movement or vibration…

      Thanks for visiting

  7. Hello,
    I am relocating from Southern California to Anchorage, Alaska and I see no other practical method than flying my boxer with me. Alaska Airlines boasts their pet travel services, pets are below the first class passengers in a climate controlled and pressurized area. Still I am so concerned about the fact that he is a brachycephalic breed and what the risk is. We are planning to fly at the end of April, but it will have to be two flights as they don’t fly non-stop until summer. Should I do everything possible to make the 3,500 mile drive to avoid any risk? I’m so lost.

  8. Hi, i am moving to Australia permantly from the UK. We have 2 boxers, one 8 and one 2 who will be coming with us. When i found out that snub nosed dogs are at a higher risk i started to panic thinking i can’t leave them but also don’t want anything to happen to my boys. What advice can you give me and how concerned should i be when the do travel?


    • Hi Gary,
      I have no statistic on snub nosed dogs traveling on the airlines you will be traveling. In the US our airlines are required to report all animal incidents and I know here snub nosed dogs make up more than 55% of all the pet deaths on airlines. I also know most airlines here in the US are no longer allowing them to travel. I would assume you might find the same scenario in your part of the world. But not sure if maybe the airlines there could have some type of safety precautions or procedures in place to make it safer for snub nose pets. Do you have access to the incident reports for your country? If so I would read them and see which airlines tend to have less incidents for snub nosed pets. Other than that be sure and travel when it is cool and make sure your dogs have plenty of ventilation and no big meals or even no food so they do not get air sick. Good Luck with your move and Thanks for visiting!

      • Many Thanks for the reply. Are the problems due to breathing issues with these dogs? If so would giving them some medication to open up the airways, ie decongestant – on medical advice from vets, help them at all do you think?

        • I am not sure the exact nature or the cause of snub nosed dogs increased airline incident rate. Your vet may not as well, until someone actually does extensive testing and recreates this exact scenario while monitoring the snub nose dogs while flying, I am pretty sure we will never know for sure. The Airline PetAirways who flew dogs with attendees would have been the perfect opportunity to collect data. But they are no longer flying and they only did so for a very short period. I would avoid any medications even decongestants just not enough research and even decongestants can cause the heart and respiration to alter.

  9. Hi,
    I’m planning on traveling with my chow in September, from Guangzhou, China to Washington, DC. This will be her first time traveling so I’m quite concerned with how she’ll take it. From what I’ve read, Chow are considered snub-nosed dogs but airline websites don’t have them listed as such? Do you have any idea why? I’m looking for a direct-flight on United Airlines, is there any information on their Live Animal Cargo shipping that you know of? Thanks!

    • Hi Leah,
      All the Chows I have seen have short noses but not really extreme snub noses. If yours is very snubbed then I would try and follow our tips for extra ventilation and extra room in the kennel. And you are right I have not seen a Chow listed in the Snub nosed breeds on the airlines site, But if yours has a more pronounced snub then be cautious and try not to fly during the heat and give plenty of water…Thanks for visiting!

  10. hello,
    We will be moving in just 2 short weeks from the UK to Alaska and I am in need of purchasing a crate extension or even suggestions on making my own for an extra large kennel. I have spent countless hours looking online for one as well as for ‘building plans’ and I keep coming up empty handed. Can you point me into the right direction please?
    Thank you for your time,

  11. Hello,
    My wife and I are moving back to Germany at the end of November. We have 2 boxers (one is 8 and the other about 10 months) that we would like to take with us. We will be flying from Atlanta. The high temperatures in Atlanta, at that time, can range from low 40’s to upper 60’s. Sometimes even higher. I have done alot of research trying to find safe ways to get our pups there. I have even looked into traveling on a Cargo ship. We are worried to say the least. Do you have an airline that you can recommend that has the least amount of incidents? We know all of the rules, we would just like to take the safest airline in terms of pet travel. At this point, we will pay a little more for our pets to have a safe trip.

  12. HI..
    I am planning to ship my dog from US to Hong Kong. My dog is mixed by Yorkie and Shih Tzu ( is he a snub nosed pet?) he is around 5 months old. i am worry about it is not safe to him to shipp from US to Hong Kong as he is still young and kind of snub nosed pet. however, i can’t live without him, do you have any suggestions??

    big thanks

    • Hi Aggie,
      I think he will be fine. If he has a nose that is “only kind of snubbed” and he is younger he is probably not much of a risk. If he has issues breathing from his nose and sounds congested when he breathes and does a lot of open mouth breathing for no real reason, I would be concerned. But other wise just follow our tips on this page and if you could get him to travel in the cabin even better. But if not just be sure you talk to your vet about his nose and any breathing issues prior to flying,
      Thanks for posting!

  13. HI..
    I am planning to ship my dog from US to Hong Kong. My dog is mixed by Yorkie and Shih Tzu ( is he a snub nosed pet?) he is around 5 months old. i am worry about it is not safe to him to shipp from US to Hong Kong as he is still young and kind of snub nosed pet. however, i can’t live without him, do you have any suggestions??

    big thanks

  14. Hi DryFur – I need any tips, suggestions or advice on shipping 2 persian cats to Australia from the USA. We are planning to do this in December 2012 – so it will be colder in the USA at departure, but warmer on arrival into Australia. The good thing though is that most flights going into Australia from the US arrive in the am, so it shouldn’t be too hot which is good. I’m terribly worried about them flying in cargo on 2 separate flights one domestic in the USA then LAX to Sydney. Are their any other options? Cruise ships etc? These cats are our family and I would be devastated if anything happens to them. Are their any options to fly in cabin? I read such horrible things about cargo – is this our only option to get them here, especially since they are brachiocephalic.. Thank you for your help

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Try not to worry I totally understand your feelings. But I have read and studied every incident report since they began in 2005. Each month I download and read every word so I do not miss anything the report says and what the airline report “doesn’t” say. I have not seen any reports that have in my opinion been the result of flying a Brachycephalic cat. I honestly see very very few cat deaths on the airlines at all. The biggest reason cats have had issues on airlines is escape. Now Brachycephalic dogs that’s a different story. But the airlines list both snub nosed cats and dogs as a risk but the reports prove it really is something other than just the anatomy of the pet. But what it is… is still a mystery. So I would study like you have and just be sure you travel when cooler and give the kitties ventilation on all four sides (which is already required for international) get them both checked for heart and breathing issues, be sure they are not congested the day you travel, clean their eyes and nose real good with warm wash cloth or a little Qtip with tiny bit of vaseline is what the show breeders use…be sure you line their carriers so they are not stress over getting wet and trapped in urine and SECURE the heck out of their carriers. You do not have to buy our products but be sure you put metal hardware on the kennel and HAND RELEASABLE CABLE TIES around the door. And remember THE NO.1 Reason cats have died on airlines is escape. Be sure and watch our video series at for all the tips on how to prepare their carriers and how to modify them if they are not airline ready.
      Thanks for visiting DryFur!

      • Thank you so much for the prompt reply – it definitely helps to know the information you have given. Much appreciated. Kind Regards – Jennifer

  15. I’m planning on flying with my Maltese/Japanese Chin/Llasa Apsa mix across country on Delta and United Airlines next month. Most of the tips you have given pertain to cargo flying but we plan to have her in the cabin with us. Are there still the brachycefalic risks in the cabin? I also have read that smaller dogs (she’s 7 pounds) cannot adjust as well to the changing pressure due to the altitude and can have heart trouble. Is this true?
    After doing research to make the trip the safest for her, I’m only getting more and more worried.
    Are there any tips for cabin flying you can give?
    Thank you so much!

    • One of our tips is if it is possible for your snub nosed pet to travel in cabin to absolutely go that route.. But I guess same would apply be sure you have a soft carrier with plenty of ventilation. I think I read one incident of a snub nosed dog dying in cabin, but may have been other reason. I do know it was a flight that had been stuck on the runway for extended period and it can get hot even in cabin while the plane is just sitting. And some airlines can be very strict and not allow you to unzip and let puppies out temp. But some are very understanding and have no issues in this type of situation. But to be one step ahead be sure your carrier has plenty of side ventilation. Most of these incidents had heat involved so be sure and travel when cooler and I think you will be fine. Again in cabin is the best way for these guys to travel…and the only way I would ever travel if I had a snub nosed pup…

      Thanks for visiting!

  16. Hey Dryfur I have a Question/Concern.

    I have PCS orders to Hawaii for January 10Th 2014. We have 2 pure breed Pugs, male 25lbs. and female 14lbs.
    will the airlines fly them to Hawaii with us? Can I put them both in the same create? Would that be a good time of the year to ship them, we are stationed in Georgia at Ft. Stewart.. What can we do to minimize the risk to them? What other options are available to ship them if the airlines wont take them?

    Thanks For Your Support!!

    • HI Jack, wow I am not sure which airlines still flies pugs as cargo. I am sure there is some that still do but I have no idea which ones. I think that would be your first job is finding one that does and hope they do not change the rules before next year. Airlines tend to revise rules first part of the year it would be a shame if they changed the snub nosed dog rule days before you are scheduled to fly. So I would get on the phone and call all the airlines cargo offices and see what you can find. Then try and lock in ASAP even if you do no know the dates try and pick one and alter the reservations later they do no charge to reserve or to change. That way if the rules does change hopefully they will honor your reservation. Other than that just be sure and follow our guides on how to minimize the risk of flying snub nosed pets.

      And actually thank you for your service!!!

  17. I currently live in Belgium but my family lives in the states. I am looking into taking my shar pei (4 y.o.) back with me next time I visit the states. She lives my mom, but she works full time and doesn’t have as much time to play with her etc now that my younger sister is at school too. Do you think the risks of flying my dog are too high? She has flown before (Georgia–Minnesota as a puppy) but this flight might be too long.

    Any ideas would be welcomed!

    • Hi Kate, I would not feel right advising you without knowing your little Shar Pei. I do know that I rarely read incidents for snub noses when they are young puppies so the prior experience might give you false sense of comfort. I would think long and hard before I made that decision to take such a long flight with her and you may also want to check to see which airlines would even take her breed for such a long stressful journey.

  18. Hello,
    I am moving from the west coast of America to Hong Kong with two toy breed dogs (not snub nosed) and one persian cat. I, like many others who commented, am extremely worried about my animals. The information you provided here is very helpful and I will follow recommendations for kennel size, frozen water and cooling mat under a dry fur mat. We are leaving mid April and it can get in the 70’s in Hong Kong making temperature a concern. Do you think it would be helpful to shave the cat? IT would not be a new experience for her as I do it every summer. I thought this might help cool her but was concerned she would have difficulty regulating her temperature if the cargo area gets too cold. Any advice would be helpful. THANK YOU!!!

    • To be honest I read ever single report since they started in 2005 and I think I remember 2-3 incidences that included a snub nosed cat and not sure they concluded that the snub nose had anything to do with it. Snub nosed dogs that’s a different story there has been numerous snub nosed dog incidence that was clearly proven this was the reason for the incident. So I know the airlines list both cats and dogs with snub noses are at risk when flying but I think there is clearly something missing in this data. I know snub nosed dogs often sound all congested all the time and often breath out of the mouth with tongue out even in cool weather. It is obvious these dogs are already having issue getting a good normal oxygen flow, add the stress of the flight and separation anxiety and the high altitudes. It is a recipe for disaster. But I am a cat care professional I own and operate a Luxury cat boarding facility for the last 17 years. So I take care of ten of thousands of cats in my life and I do sometimes get a snub nosed cat that is so extremely snub nosed you can hear issues with breathing but rarely see a cat get so low on oxygen that they need to mouth breath. If we do with any cat and it last MORE than 10 minutes unprovoked (meaning the car ride is over and cat is settled in) then it becomes what I consider an emergency situation. But snub nosed dogs often breath out of the mouth for hours and this becomes normal for them.

      So long story short unless your cat is extremely snubbed and already having issues breathing from the nose then I would say he is not any more at risk than your normal cat so try not to worry too much. If you can use a little Q-tip and some vasoline to gently loosen any plugs in his nose that can help just in case. But as far as shaving if he is more comfortable with his coat I would let it be, it can get chilly in the cargo.

  19. I am moving from Dallas to Phoenix in late June. I have a fifteen year old (at least) Persian cat who snorts and sneezes, barely has nostrils and has pretty much always just coped with his breathing issues. Fortunately he is all around pretty mellow and laid back although I know travel will be stressful. My question is, am I better off flying or driving? The trek across the desert is very dangerous and hot if the car breaks down. I will also have along with me my elderly mother, who is in poor health. I worry we are all in danger if the car should break down. However, I worry about putting the cat on an airplane with me. I would take an 11:30 PM flight so the temperature should be less hot. I also considered shaving the cat in case he got too warm. My vet, who moved here from Phoenix in her car with several cats, says I should fly. To make things worse my other cat of 10 years just passed away. Any advice is appreciated. I am tortured over this decision.

    • Hi Wendy, Well I would be very nervous as well. I would never fly a cat like this in cargo but I am assuming you are planning on taking him as carry-on in the cabin of the plane. If that is the case you will not need to be too worried about temperatures and breathing. Unless you end up with some type of mechanical issues and you get stuck on the runway for hours with no air etc.. Very rare but has happened. I would also recommend cleaning his eyes and nose with a q-tip and a tiny tiny bit of Vaseline or even hydrocortisone Ointment (not cream) wipe this on wait a minute or two then use a warm damp wash cloth… his face and nose should wipe very clean. The hydrocortisone can also relief any slight inflammation in his nostrils. Also like you indicated fly at night. But over all the biggest risk is cargo and snub nosed dogs. Really rare for snub nosed cats to have issues but again I would not put a 15 year old cat with breathing issues in cargo.. to risky.

  20. I have an English Bull dog,7months old(male).I plan of moving to Belize in September 2013,and I cannot
    find one airline that will transport my dog to Belize… Does anyone know of an airline that will
    transport my dog to Belize..I hate to leave him in Thailand,it would really hurt me to do that.But
    right now ,it looks like I will have to.. Does anyone know of an airline.
    Thanks/Len Aquilino

  21. Hey
    im planning to take my two year old frenchie to australia from spain next year. As far as im aware air canada is the only airline taking snub nose breeds in to Aus. Do u no what they are like to travel with from a pets point of view lol? Where could i find out their incedent reports? Any other advice would be really appreciated x

  22. Hi there,

    I am taking a 4-hour flight with my boxer in September, from Houston to Panama City. I would feel comfortable in a Varikennel #700 but they won’t fit on the airplane (737). So I am stuck with a #500 but am looking for the expansion set you display on your website from Atwoods Pet Transport. I cannot find out where to purchase one.

    I am a bit nervous because my dog means everything to me. We are flying early morning but will arrive in Panama City around 1pm.

    We will do extra ventilation as you recommended, and I am looking into a cooling mat. But I need the expansion kit. International flights require the dogs to have a 3″ headspace and so with the #500 kennel there is barely an inch headspace when he is standing. (He is a big boy). So that is the biggest issue I have right now.

    But, I want to ask you what you think of United’s PetSafe program — temperature controlled and pressurized cargo holds, and supposedly they keep the dogs waiting to board in an air conditioned van?

    I will also be flying with my cat but she isn’t too much of a concern for me as she is not snub nosed.

    I don’t want anything to happen to my dog (that is one reason we are driving across country to Houston to catch a direct flight that is only 4 hours). Your recommendations would be welcome. Thank you.

    Rebecca 🙂

  23. Hi DryFur,

    I’m traveling with a 70-lb, 4-yr old boxer from Washington DC to Vienna in Dec. 2013. He’s not as snub nosed as the typical boxer, which I assume is good. Had a couple of questions, which I hope you can help with:
    – Knowing that the more ventilation there is, the better it is for the dog — which one of the two kennels do you recommend I use, Sky Kennel or Grreat Choice?
    – Any other factors in using one model over the other?

    He’s about 28 inches tall and weighs 70 lbs (medium-sized boxer, slightly smaller and less bulkier than the typical adult boxer). Do you think the 500 model (30 inches tall) provides an abundant size for him?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Gagolo, as far as the Sky kennel vs Grreat Choice they are really both equal. I think the only difference is the Sky Kennel usually has metal grated side windows rather than molded holes in the plastic… and the Sky kennel fits together a bit better than the Grreat Choice. Let me explain: The Grreat Choice is made with 1 plastic mold for the top and bottom pieces. Since the two pieces are then the same exact same size they sit on top of one another. while the Sky Kennel it is made with two molds one for the top portion and another slightly smaller mold for the bottom half of the kennel. This way the top can slip slightly over the bottom and they fit snugger together. Also since the Grreat CHoice top and bottom are same exact size and they sit on top of one another they require longer bolts to hold them together.
      As far as size I would not feel comfortable suggestion that without knowing all the details. But you are right the bigger the kennel and the more ventilation all the better for snub nose’s safety.
      Thanks for posting at DryFur!

  24. I have a 2 year old exotic shorthair cat which means everything to me.. and im bringing him to Sydney with me from Hong Kong. I have been reading articles online and found that there have been many incidents with snub-nosed cats and most airlines wouldnt accept them coz of the increasing concern over their breathing problems. Can i please have some advice on what i should do.. like which crates may best suit him, or what i can put in the crate that would reduce its breathing problem… have you heard of any cases with exotic shorthairs? please let me know, thanks!!!

    • HI Melody, it has been my experience that this issue is much more common in snub nosed dogs not so much with snub nosed cats. I read the reports in the US every month and I really can not easily remember a case of a snub nosed cat death within the reports. They report often snub nosed dogs almost 1-2 per month but almost never a snub nosed cat so I would not worry. If you find an airline to take your Exotic Shorthair cat you will be fine. Also note with International flights they already require ventilation on all 4 sides of the kennel so be sure yours has this feature if not drill your own on the back wall if they are lacking and maybe a couple on the lower back wall too. AND BE SURE TO SECURE the kennel with hardware and cable tie the door!!! This is the biggest issue to cause incident with traveling cats they get lose and that usually spells death for cats.
      Good luck and thanks for posting!

  25. Is it completely safe for a Himalayan cat to travel 9 hrs in the cabin or is it just as risky as cargo flights?

    • In cabin is the safest way for snub noses to travel on airlines. I have not read any reports on incidences in cabin for snub noses only in the cargo area and in the heat in loading and unloading areas on the tarmac.

  26. hello>>
    i came across your Site>>very Informative information thanks

    I am Flying my 8 year old female Pug 10kgs from Dubai to Mumbai(India)>
    its a 3 hour Direct Flight,,, been very Very nervous And just want to do everything possible that she make it back home>>>
    The rest i want to leave to God As there is nothing More i can do beyound ???
    Please advise what can i do for her safe flight
    Neville marchon

  27. Hello,

    I’m planning on flying my Shih Tzu from Manila to Tokyo on May. I was wondering if it would be fine to put her in cargo on that season and for four hours.