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Airlines Ban Bulldogs, Snub-Nosed Breeds From Flying Because Of Health Risks To Dogs

Bulldogs Banned From Airlines

First Posted: 10/10/11 01:40 PM ET Updated: 12/10/11 05:12 AM ET

If Fido is of a snub-nosed breed, he might not be allowed to fly commercial.

Airlines have banned bulldogs, pugs and other brachycephalic breeds from their planes due to health risks to the dogs, according to The New York Times.

The pooches have trouble breathing due to their short noses, and their respiratory conditions worsen when flying at high altitudes in cargo holds where temperatures can be very hot or too cold, Time points out.

The Agriculture Department reports 189 animal deaths on commercial flights between June 2005 and June 2011, The New York Times reports. "Of those animals, 98 — more than half — were brachycephalic breeds."

The harsh reality has caused Delta to ban the breed from flying in cargo holds. Other airlines, such as American, Continental and United have enacted restrictions on when the dogs can travel.

On its website, United lists which dogs aren't allowed to travel in the cargo area during warm months:

New summer embargo - breed restriction For the safety of your animal, United Airlines does not accept the following short-nosed dog breeds as either checked baggage or cargo from June 1 - September 30. This restriction does not apply to animals traveling with you in the cabin.
  • American Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • English or French Bulldog
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pug
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu

American Airlines states it will not transport pets when temperatures are above 85 degrees or below 45 degrees. The airline also specifically lists which breeds will not be accepted as "checked luggage." Other airlines, such as Canadian airlines, don't list breed restrictions on their site, The Globe and Mail points out.

The ban isn't only applied to dogs; some cat breeds, including Himalayan and Persian, have also been placed on the no-fly list.

In 2010, at least two dogs and a cat were found frozen after traveling long distances in plane cargo holds. The Department of Transportation states 33 animal deaths were reported by airlines between November 2009 and October 2010.

Japan Airlines banned bulldogs from flying in 2007, stating it has dealt with a concerning number of deaths among the breed because of their breathing difficulty, MSNBC reports.

Passengers who are looking to fly their beloved pooches to a location have one of two options: Bring them along as carry on (if the dog is less than 20 pounds), or buy them a ticket on a private jet.

The ban has inspired companies, such as Pet Airways, to charter bulldogs and other animals to several locations, The New York Times reports. Short-nosed breeds make up about a quarter of the airline's "passengers," who are monitored by pet attendants.

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Filed by Ileana Llorens  |