Are French bulldogs too big to fly with?

We all know that our furry friends are more than just pets; they’re family. But what if we want to bring our beloved French bulldogs along on our airborne adventures? Are they too big to fly with?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the fascinating question of whether French bulldogs can soar through the skies like little aviators. Get ready for some surprising and delightful details that might just blow your mind.

French bulldogs have skyrocketed in popularity lately, thanks to their playful personalities, unique looks, and undeniable charm. However, their compact yet muscular bodies can raise concerns when it comes to air travel.

So let’s dig deep into the world of flying with our French bulldog buddies. We’ll uncover everything from airline policies and industry rules to the special physical traits that make these adorable pooches stand out. No stone will be left unturned as we embark on this journey of knowledge.

Join us as we unravel the mysteries surrounding these four-legged travel companions. Whether you’re a proud owner planning your next adventure or simply curious about furry aviation, this blog post is here to provide all the answers.

Buckle up and prepare for a wild ride through the clouds of information. Let’s find out if French bulldogs are truly too big for takeoff or if they can spread their wings and conquer the skies.

Average Size of French Bulldogs

In this article, we will explore the average size of French Bulldogs and how it affects their ability to fly with most airlines. We’ll also provide valuable tips to ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience for both you and your furry companion.

Understanding the Average Size:

On average, French Bulldogs typically weigh between 16-28 pounds (7-13 kilograms) and stand around 11-12 inches (28-30 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. These measurements may vary slightly due to factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise.

Despite their small stature compared to larger breeds, French Bulldogs have a solid and robust build, with a sturdy bone structure that gives them a compact appearance.

Airline Guidelines:

Most airlines have specific guidelines regarding the size and weight of pets allowed in the cabin. Generally, pets must fit comfortably in an airline-approved carrier placed under the seat in front of the passenger. While carrier dimensions may vary slightly between airlines, they typically measure around 17-19 inches long, 11-12 inches wide, and 10-11 inches tall.

French Bulldogs and In-Cabin Travel:

Considering the average size of French Bulldogs, they usually fit comfortably within these carrier dimensions. However, it’s essential to measure your individual dog’s size and compare it to the airline’s guidelines before making any travel arrangements. Contacting the airline directly is recommended to inquire about their specific pet policies and restrictions.

Prioritizing Comfort and Well-being:

Due to their brachycephalic (short-nosed) structure, French Bulldogs are prone to respiratory issues and may have difficulty breathing in stressful or confined environments. Adequate ventilation and providing enough space for your furry friend to move around comfortably within the carrier are crucial.

Consulting with your veterinarian before flying is also advisable, especially if your French Bulldog has pre-existing health conditions.


In conclusion, the average size of French Bulldogs usually falls within the range accepted for flying in-cabin with most airlines. However, it’s essential to adhere to each airline’s specific guidelines regarding pet size and carrier dimensions.

Considering their brachycephalic nature, prioritizing your French Bulldog’s comfort and well-being during air travel is crucial. Consulting with your veterinarian and taking appropriate precautions will help ensure a smooth journey for both you and your beloved French Bulldog.

Airline Guidelines for Pet Travel

If you’re planning to take your French Bulldog on a flight, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the airline guidelines for pet travel. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Size and Weight Restrictions: French Bulldogs are considered a small to medium-sized breed, which often meets the size requirements to be allowed in the cabin. However, it’s crucial to check with the specific airline you plan to travel with, as their guidelines may differ. Some airlines have restrictions on certain breeds of dogs due to their respiratory issues or other health concerns.
  • Cabin vs. Cargo: If your French Bulldog exceeds the weight or size limit for cabin travel, they may need to be transported in the cargo hold. This can be a stressful experience for pets, so it’s essential to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made. The cargo hold should be temperature-controlled and pressurized to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet.
  • Documentation and Health Certificates: Familiarize yourself with the airline’s specific requirements for pet travel, including necessary documentation and carrier specifications. Some airlines may require a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within a certain timeframe before travel. It’s important to have all the necessary paperwork in order to avoid any last-minute complications.
  • Booking in Advance: It is recommended to book your pet’s travel well in advance and inform the airline about your intention to bring a pet onboard. Some airlines have restrictions on the number of pets allowed on each flight, so early booking is essential.
  • Additional Fees: Be aware that some airlines may charge additional fees for traveling with pets. It’s advisable to visit the airline’s website or contact their customer service for detailed information on their pet travel policies and any associated costs.

Does Your French Bulldog Fit in the Cabin?

If you’re planning to fly with your French Bulldog, one of your main concerns might be whether they will fit in the cabin. After all, French Bulldogs are known for their compact size, but airlines have specific rules and regulations when it comes to traveling with pets.

In this guide, we’ll explore the size restrictions of flying with a French Bulldog in the cabin, giving you all the information you need for a hassle-free journey.

Size and Weight Restrictions

When it comes to traveling with a pet in the cabin, most airlines have specific size and weight restrictions. Generally, small dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin as long as they can comfortably fit in an airline-approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. This means that if your French Bulldog can fit snugly in a carrier that meets the airline’s requirements, they should be able to fly with you in the cabin.

To determine whether your French Bulldog will fit in the cabin, consider their size and weight. French Bulldogs typically weigh between 16-28 pounds (7-13 kg) and stand around 11-12 inches (28-31 cm) tall at the shoulder. These compact dimensions make them suitable for traveling in the cabin, as long as they can comfortably fit in an appropriate carrier.

Choosing the Right Carrier

To ensure a comfortable journey for your French Bulldog, it’s important to choose a carrier that provides enough space for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Look for carriers that are well-ventilated and secure, with enough room for your furry friend to move around. Some airlines may have specific size restrictions for carriers, so make sure to check with your airline beforehand.

Acclimating Your French Bulldog

Before the flight, it’s essential to acclimate your French Bulldog to their carrier. This will help them feel more comfortable and reduce stress during the travel process. Gradually introduce them to the carrier by placing treats and their favorite toys inside, allowing them to explore and associate positive experiences with it. This will make the journey much more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Following Airline Guidelines

When traveling with your French Bulldog in the cabin, it’s crucial to follow all airline regulations and guidelines. This includes keeping your pet in the carrier for the duration of the flight, ensuring they remain quiet and well-behaved, and following any additional requirements set by the airline. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in denied boarding or other complications.

Brachycephalic Features and Respiratory Issues

In this blog post, we will delve into the details of why these adorable flat-faced dogs are more prone to respiratory issues during air travel and provide you with essential insights to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your beloved pet.

The Impact of Brachycephalic Features:

French bulldogs’ brachycephalic features, such as their shortened nose and elongated soft palate, can lead to narrowed airways, making it difficult for them to breathe efficiently. This compromised ability to take in sufficient oxygen becomes especially problematic in high-stress situations like air travel. The changes in cabin pressure and decreased oxygen levels can further strain their already compromised respiratory system.

Overheating Concerns:

Apart from their limited respiratory capacity, French bulldogs also struggle with regulating their body temperature effectively. This predisposition to overheating can be exacerbated during flights, particularly in warm or humid environments. The combination of stress, anxiety, and inadequate ventilation can cause increased panting and breathing difficulties for these dogs.

Additional Respiratory Issues:

In addition to their brachycephalic features, French bulldogs may also suffer from stenotic nares (narrow or partially collapsed nostrils) and elongated soft palates that obstruct the airway. These conditions can contribute to snoring, snorting sounds, and further respiratory distress during air travel.

Precautions for Safe Air Travel:

To ensure the well-being of your French bulldog during air travel, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian experienced in brachycephalic breeds. They can evaluate your dog’s overall health and provide guidance on whether flying is a safe option.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with airline regulations and policies specific to brachycephalic breeds. Some airlines may require additional documentation, while others may have restrictions on transporting these dogs due to the increased risk of respiratory distress.

While French bulldogs are not too big to fly with solely based on their size, their brachycephalic features and associated respiratory issues must be carefully considered. Prioritizing the comfort and safety of your four-legged friend is paramount when making travel decisions.

By being aware of the potential risks and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a stress-free journey for both you and your French bulldog.

Remember to consult professionals, research airline policies, and make informed choices that prioritize the well-being of your beloved pet.

Veterinary Documentation and Medical Clearance

Flying with your furry friend can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to prioritize their health and safety. Before you jet off with your French bulldog, make sure you have obtained veterinary documentation and medical clearance. Here’s why it’s so crucial:

  • Ensuring Good Health: Just like humans, dogs can experience health issues that may not be immediately apparent. Veterinary documentation, such as a health certificate, confirms that your French bulldog is in good health and fit for travel. This certificate is issued by a licensed veterinarian and ensures that your pup has received all necessary vaccinations and is free from contagious diseases.
  • Addressing Underlying Health Conditions: French bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have a shortened nose and flat face. This adorable feature can unfortunately lead to respiratory challenges, especially at high altitudes or in stressful situations like air travel. By obtaining medical clearance, your veterinarian can assess your dog’s respiratory system, heart function, and overall physical condition to ensure they are ready for the journey.
  • Meeting Airline Requirements: Different airlines have different requirements when it comes to veterinary documentation. Some may ask for additional documents like proof of microchipping or a rabies vaccination certificate. It’s essential to check with your airline about their specific requirements to avoid any last-minute surprises.
  • Preparing in Advance: To obtain veterinary documentation and medical clearance, it’s important to schedule a visit to the veterinarian well in advance of your flight. This allows enough time for any necessary vaccinations or treatments to be administered and for any potential health issues to be addressed.
  • Alternative Travel Considerations: Not all dogs are suitable for air travel, particularly those with certain medical conditions or brachycephalic breeds like French bulldogs who are prone to respiratory issues. Your veterinarian’s expertise is crucial in determining whether flying is safe for your individual dog. If there are concerns about your French bulldog’s respiratory health, it may be wise to explore alternative methods of transportation or discuss potential risks with your veterinarian.

Is Cargo Travel an Option?

Well, the answer is not a straightforward yes or no. Let’s dive into the world of cargo travel and explore the precautions that need to be taken for our brachycephalic buddies.

Understanding Cargo Travel

Cargo travel, as the name suggests, involves transporting pets in the cargo hold of an aircraft instead of having them in the cabin with the passengers. This option is often chosen when pets exceed the size and weight restrictions set by airlines. However, when it comes to French bulldogs, there are some unique considerations to keep in mind.

Brachycephalic Breeds and Respiratory Issues

French bulldogs are part of the brachycephalic breed, which means they have a short snout and a flat face. Unfortunately, these adorable features come with potential respiratory challenges. Brachycephalic breeds are more prone to breathing difficulties, especially in stressful situations like air travel. This is due to their narrow airways and compromised cooling mechanisms.

Airline Rules and Regulations

Before considering cargo travel for your French bulldog, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of the airline you plan to fly with.

Some airlines have size restrictions that may not accommodate the stocky build and broad chests of French bulldogs.

Additionally, certain airlines may have breed-specific limitations on flying with brachycephalic breeds due to their health concerns.

Precautions for Cargo Travel

If your airline allows cargo travel for French bulldogs, there are several precautions you need to take to ensure their safety and well-being during the journey:

Are French bulldogs too big to fly with-2

  • Airline-Approved Crate: Invest in an airline-approved crate that provides enough space for your French bulldog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
  • Proper Ventilation and Temperature Control: Ensure that the crate has proper ventilation to allow for adequate airflow. Additionally, consider using cooling pads or ice packs to regulate the temperature inside the crate during warmer months.
  • Access to Water: It’s essential to provide your furry friend with access to water during the journey. Freeze a small dish of water before the flight, as it will thaw gradually and reduce the risk of spills.
  • Fly During Cooler Times: Book flights during cooler times of the day or year to minimize the risk of overheating for brachycephalic breeds.

Consult with a Veterinarian

Before making any travel arrangements, consult with your veterinarian to assess your French bulldog’s individual health condition. They can provide valuable insights and ensure that your furry friend is fit for cargo travel. Your vet may also recommend additional precautions or medications to alleviate any potential respiratory issues.

Considerations for Pet Comfort During Flight

Flying with your beloved French bulldog can be a wonderful adventure, but it’s important to prioritize their comfort and safety. As an expert on pet travel, I understand the specific considerations required for French bulldogs during flights. In this blog post, we’ll explore some crucial factors that will help make your furry friend’s journey a stress-free and enjoyable one.

Temperature Control:

French bulldogs are brachycephalic, which means they have shorter snouts and can have difficulty regulating their body temperature. To ensure their comfort, choose airlines that offer climate-controlled cabins. Avoid flying during extreme weather conditions, as both hot and cold temperatures can be dangerous for these adorable pups.

Adequate Space:

Despite their small to medium size, French bulldogs still need sufficient space to move around comfortably during the flight. Check the airline’s regulations regarding pet carriers and make sure your dog has enough room to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Avoid airlines that restrict your dog to carriers that are too small.

Noise Levels:

Airports and airplanes can be noisy environments, which can cause stress for French bulldogs. Consider using noise-canceling headphones or earplugs specifically designed for dogs to reduce noise levels. Providing a familiar blanket or toy with their scent can also help them feel more secure.

Calming Measures:

Some French bulldogs may experience anxiety or stress during a flight. Consult with your veterinarian about natural calming remedies or prescription medications if necessary. Anxiety wraps or vests designed to provide gentle pressure and comfort, similar to swaddling a baby, can also help alleviate their discomfort.

Hydration and Bathroom Breaks:

Keeping your French bulldog hydrated is essential throughout the flight. Ensure they have access to fresh water in a spill-proof container attached to their carrier. Limiting their food intake before the flight can also help prevent an upset stomach. Check with the airline about their policies regarding bathroom breaks for pets.

Pre-flight Preparations:

Prior to the flight, groom your French bulldog and trim their nails to avoid any discomfort during the journey. Engage them in physical activity to tire them out, increasing the chances of them resting during the flight. Bring along familiar items like their favorite blanket or toy to provide comfort and familiarity.


In conclusion, it is important to consider the size and weight of French bulldogs before deciding to fly with them. These adorable pups may be too big for certain airlines that have strict size restrictions. It is crucial to check with the airline beforehand and understand their specific guidelines.

Flying with a French bulldog that exceeds the allowed dimensions can lead to unnecessary stress and potential complications during travel. It is essential to prioritize the well-being and comfort of your furry friend.

However, if your French bulldog falls within the airline’s size requirements, there are still some factors to consider. The cabin environment can be overwhelming for these sensitive dogs due to noise, temperature fluctuations, and limited space. It is crucial to prepare them adequately by acclimating them to travel carriers and ensuring they are calm and comfortable throughout the journey.

Additionally, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian before flying with your French bulldog. They can provide valuable advice on how to make the experience as smooth as possible for your pet.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It is crucial to assess your French bulldog’s individual needs and temperament when deciding whether they are suitable for air travel.

Ultimately, while French bulldogs can fly under certain circumstances, it is essential to prioritize their safety and well-being above all else.