Is It Safe for My Flat-Faced Dog to Travel?

With the heat rising, it’s only natural to worry about the well-being of your four-legged friend. This is especially true for owners of flat-faced breeds as they are prone to struggle even more in the heat.

That’s why we’ve put together our helpful guide on everything you need to know about traveling with flat-faced breeds and how our pet transport services can help.

Is My Dog a Flat-Faced Breed?

Flat-faced dog breeds are all the rage right now. The scientific terminology for this type of dog breed is brachycephalic.

This term refers to any kind of dog with a flat face or short snout.

The most popular kind of flat-faced breeds include:

  • Pugs
  • French bulldogs
  • Boston terriers
  • English bulldogs
  • Shih tzus
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniels
  • Boxers
  • Pekingese
  • Bullmastiffs
  • Dogue de Bordeaux

There are many more dog breeds that fit into the brachycephalic category, as well as certain cat breeds and even rabbit breeds!

Why Are Flat-Faced Breeds High Risk?

Adorable though flat-faced breeds are, often this type of breed has significant health problems. This is due to excessive breeding to reach this particular aesthetic.

Many flat-faced dogs suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). This health problem is directly related to their shorter snout.

One of the main symptoms of BOAS is difficulty breathing. The most obvious sign of this symptom is noisy breathing and lots of panting, as well as snorting and sneezing.

Even the adorable snoring your dog does could be a sign of BOAS. In the summer months, this gets more problematic for these breeds as due to their breathing problems they struggle to cool down in the heat as they cannot get enough air. This means they can’t pant enough, which is how dogs cool down.

Dogs with BOAS also have a narrow windpipe. This means it’s more effort to get air into their lungs. This causes strain on the muscles around their windpipe.

The lack of oxygen also means there isn’t enough oxygen in their blood. This can lead to heart failure in severe cases.

All this sounds really scary and it certainly can be. There are many horror stories about owners who took their dog for a short walk on a hot day and their dog later died of heatstroke.

Can I Travel With My Flat-Faced Dog?

All dogs can struggle in extreme temperatures, but flat-faced breeds are at particular risk.

Every responsible owner knows the dangers of having a dog in a car on a hot day. If you know your dog already has breathing issues, this can make traveling with your dog a stressful experience.

With all this said, as long as you take precautions to protect your dog’s health, traveling is no higher risk than staying indoors with your dog. In fact, if you don’t have air conditioning, your dog may well prefer traveling.

There are many ways to travel with your dog, so let’s look at the two most popular options: by car and by plane.

Pet Travel by Plane

Depending on how severe your dog’s breathing issues are, pet transport by plane may not be suitable. In fact, many airlines won’t take flat-faced dog breeds at all due to the legal risks around them.

This said, there are some circumstances where you must fly with your dog such as relocation.

In these instances, you should use an airline where you can keep your dog in the cabin with you. This helps them stay calmer and you can make sure they have constant access to water and food.

One of the best options is to opt to use pet relocation services. This means you’ll have a trained pet handler with your dog at all times, who has the correct pet health certifications to ensure their safety.

Pet Travel by Car

For flat-faced breeds, traveling by car is a much safer option in most instances. Provided your dog isn’t scared of cars, chances are your dog will be much calmer in a vehicle than on a plane.

If your dog is traveling with you, make sure you have the air con if it’s warm. You should also make sure your pet is restrained in a carrier or kennel for everyone’s safety.

Make sure they always have access to water, as well as food for longer journeys. You should also make regular stops to let your dog go to the toilet and stretch its legs.

Like the above, for long-distance journeys like moving, it’s a great idea to use a professional pet transportation service.

It’s so important you do your research before booking any service to make sure you’re using a reputable business within the pet transport industry. Many pet travel services have little experience and won’t make the well-being of your pet a top priority.

Look through reviews on Google, Facebook and other third-party sites to see what previous customers say as a minimum. You should also look for businesses that are USDA registered.

There are lots of options for long-haul vehicle transport for pets, for example, private transport or shared transport. Only you will know which is the best idea for your pet.

If you have a friendly dog who is not easily stressed out by other animals, shared transport will be a fun experience for your dog. Whereas if your dog can be reactive to other animals, it’s often a better idea to opt for private transport to ensure your dog is happy and comfortable on its journey.

Book Pet Transport Services Today

Traveling with your flat-faced breed is very safe, provided you take the proper precautions to do so. For long-haul journeys, the best option is to use professional pet transport services to ensure the safety and well-being of your dog.

We treat your pet like family, with luxury care, lots of updates and experienced handlers. Enquire today for a free quote.

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