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Is flying of pets dangerous?

Updated: Jan 20

Flying is not a cup of tea for everyone. We usually see that people are taking their pets especially dogs and cats along with them while moving and endangering their lives unknowingly. All this is because of a lack of awareness among the owners.They should be aware of everything before airfare.  


Why do many breeders avoid air transport of their pups?

Traveling, overall, can be stressful for humans or dogs. Especially puppies, who are naive and don't know what is happening around them, can get scared very easily even on a small ride to a town. 

Although some suggest that sedation can help reduce stress in puppies during traveling, there is research that says otherwise. A study was conducted on the traveling of the dogs that included both the sedated and non-sedated dogs. At the end of the research, it was concluded that in both tranquilized and non-tranquilized dogs, the stress hormone was increased above the baseline along with other factors that indicate stress in animals. 

Sometimes, a permanent fear can take place in a puppy that went through a stressful air flight. Other factors can also be affected such as mental health. In addition, early age stress can cause anxiety and permanent health damage. 

An unfamiliar environment, loud noises, and separation from the owner can worsen the conditions for the puppy. Most of the time, the puppies are traveling with other animals in a separate chamber. Different scents and aggression of other animals towards the puppies can make the situation less positive.

Why is it dangerous for pets to travel on airlines? 

As we all know, a plane ride is a rollercoaster of temperature and pressure fluctuations. Both of these conditions can cause damage to the pets. And the conditions will get worse if the breed has a specific sensitivity. Take an example of brachycephalic breeds (pug etc) They have small heads and have less air space for breathing. Sudden pressure changes, temperature variation, or suffocation can cause breathing problems and it can even be fatal.

In addition, mishandling, improper cage placement, or staff negligence can cause injuries. These injuries can catch fatal viruses or bacteria that will make the pets sick after a few days. Even Though, airlines make sure the safe travel of pets, stress, and anxiety can make a dog escape its cage and get lost in the crowd to find its owner. 

Inadequate ventilation due to a wiring cage choice can cost you your pet's life. It is always better and recommended that you consult your veterinarian to get all the instructions to ensure your pet's safety.

What are the health conditions of the pups during their air traveling?



The brachycephalic – dog breed (French bulldog etc.) are more likely to have breathing problems because they have short noses, small nostrils, longer soft palate, and a strait trachea. Because of these non-conformities, they do not have efficient respiration and snouts which makes it difficult for them to behave or breathe normally when they are in a confined space or low air pressure aircraft compartment.

When they become stressed \ their wind-pipe narrows down and it’s just like air following through a very small pipe thus reducing the air inhalation causing suffocation and collapse of your furry friend. 

These breeds have anatomical malformations and are more vulnerable to the quality of air. When pets are traveling in the cargo they receive the same air as the other passengers and animals. The air in the cargo compartment is not appropriate and if he becomes suffocated then there will be no one to help them until unloading. So, if you have snubbed dog species and you want him to travel along with you on your trip then you should make sure that your furry friend is with you in the aircraft to tackle any emergency. 


The earache is more likely in dogs specifically when they are traveling in planes. It causes infection of the ear of the pets called Otitis externa. If it is left untreated it will have the following consequences

● It can lead to otitis interna resulting in the rupturing of the tympanic membrane thus affecting its balance.

● Animal me fall operator vestibular disease does cause your pet to move in circles or tail their heads on a single side.

● If it left if it is untreated or not treated it may result in the hearing loss of your pet which may be partial or complete.

● It can also affect other organs and organ systems for instance liver, heart, and nervous system, and may result in the death of your furry friend.



Following are the symptoms of earache:

● Continuously moving their head

● Frequently rubbing their ears 

● Decrease in the appetite

● Foul-smell near the infected area


Barotrauma is a disease that occurs in animals while traveling in a plane. This is caused by the abnormality between the pressures inside the aircraft and the ear's middle cavity. When the aircraft goes to height the pressure is decreased in the cabin resulting in the expansion of gases inside the middle ear. This elevated pressure is released in the environment via Eustachian tubes which have an opening in the pharynx when the plane is landing, the the gases in the middle of the ear are compressed does pushing does pushing thusing pushing the use Eustachian tube to open causing earache.


● If you want to curtail this problem of your pet during your light then you should follow over or carry out the following:

● Bath your pet and dry it completely to keep up the natural defense.

● You have to eradicate wax from the ear of your pet before your trip even when you are frequently removing it and it can still be present. Use ear wax solutions suggested by your holistic veterinarian, we use 50:50 distilled water and vinegar, to remove the wax because they can help in balancing the pH and breaking of cerumen.

● If your pet is not too hairy then refrain from removing the hairs around the ear as it aids in the protection of the ear canal.


Electro pollution is another health issue for the pets which are travelling via aircrafts because they are exposed to electromagnetic radiations and electromagnetic fields which can be fatal for their health. According to World Health Organization, radio frequencies are classified into the radio frequency as group 2B which means that they are carcinogenic.

The exposure to electromagnetic fields can cause malfunctioning in digestion, disturbance in sleep cycle, reproductive system, biological tissues problem, negatively effects to central nervous system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, immune system and levels of minerals. Researchers believe that it's more adverse for the pets especially snubbed nose dogs traveling in the planes.

If you want to reduce its effect to your furry friend then you should make sure his raw diet is fresh and balanced, so the body is able to absorb beneficial antioxidants that can aid in reducing stress and protect from the effects of electromagnetic fields and radiations. Shungite collars are also a great to have to protect your pet from harmful EMF’s.

Motion Sickness

It is one of the widespread problems among the young breeds during air travel and the underlying reason is the underdeveloped inner ear associated with sound balance. Most of the adult puppies even feel nausea or anxiousness during their motion. It is especially for those who travel occasionally. If the first air trip of your furry friend is traumatic then it means that the upcoming will be stressful if they are left untreated. All these are due to vestibular disease which initiates vomiting or causes diarrhea too.


To curtail this one, you have to take the following steps:

● Begin with just sitting with him inside the car and turning it On for 5 to 10 minutes and gradually increase it to 20 minutes.

● Then just go for a round to make him habitual of the motion and sound. Make sure you appreciate your dog for the nice behavior.

● Plan short trips with your furry friend to make him habitual of traveling and then go for a long journey.

Once your dog has overcome the stress and anxiety it means you have achieved your goal, but you have to do the following before boarding on an air trip:

• Don’t give any food item to your dog at least 8-10 hours before the travel. Attention:  not recommended for puppy stage life or toy breeds. A vacant stomach reduces the nausea or vomiting and pop during air travel.

• Use a safety harness to avoid any injury or accident.

• I highly recommend to explore the benefits of applied Zoopharmaconosy to help your pet self- medicate using his nose and inherited senses.

• Offer special toys to your dog to make him busy during the voyage.

What considerations should be kept in mind while traveling with dogs?

The things that one should not forget when traveling on airplane:

Consultation with your Holistic Veterinarian

You should book an appointment with your pet's holistic vet before your air travel to acquire any remedies/ supplements, if needed, before traveling. So, your pet will receive an airplane health certificate after a full body physical inspection is performed before your voyage to avoid any problems.

Health Certificate 

Keep the health certificate and titer records of your pet with you and the health certificate should be made around 10-21 days prior to your travel because this helps authorities in making sure that your dog is healthy especially when you're traveling abroad.


According to the American Kennel Club and the United States Department of Agriculture, a dog should be in a cage or something that is compatible with its size and weight, so the pet can stand and turn around in it. The weight of your dog should be less then 20 pounds or 9 kg.


The air traveling guidelines regarding pets' age vary from airline to airline but it mostly lies between 8 and 12 weeks and is dependent on the destination.

This precautionary measure is taken because the young animals have under-developed lungs which paves the way to labored breathing during flight. 

One thing to have in mind is that a puppy’s body is not fully developed until 12-18 months old!

Research Facts

According to the research carried out by the University of Illinois, the dogs that take part in everyday search and rescue operations as well as doing air travel have stressful behavior, and gut disorders and their blood-work depicts significant effects on their body. 

This draws attention that those dogs who are habitual of a travel air travel have disorders then how dangerous it might be for those who sleep on a couch in a quiet environment. 

Restricted Dog Breeds

Due to a plethora of fatal incidents during the flights, the following breeds are banned by airlines:

• Rottweiler

• Bandog

• Pit Bull

• Shih Tzu

• Pug Breeds

• Cane Corso 

• Boxer

• Boston

• Terrier

• French Bulldog

• Bulldog breeds


Death Facts

In the last two decades, many dogs were found dead during their air travel. For instance, 189 fights which are accompanying brachycephalic breed dogs between 2005 and 2011 have reported that ninety-eight percent of their pets traveling died during the voyage. In 2012, while traveling in the US airlines about 30 pets were found dead, and around 20 were injured. During a flight from Canada to Ukraine 40 bulldogs were found dead and many were found ill and dehydrated. According to the US Department of Transportation, about two million pets travel on flights. The above incidents were highlighted but there are a lot more that were never reported.

All these incidents light up the fact that one should take precautions, especially with pets with snubbed noses and young age to avoid any harm to them.

Animal-Friendly Airlines

Choosing an airline is very critical when you are traveling with your dog because it may be traumatic for you and your dog. So, if you're looking for any airline that loss you to keep your dog in the cabin then falling are the recommended airlines 

• Qatar 

• Alaska 

• Air France Air Canada 

• American Airlines 

• Delta 

• Emirates

• Iberia

• Lufthansa

Always try to make sure that your dog is with you in the cabin this will aid in calming them, keep them hydrated, and reduce the probability of earache as well as stress.


Why one should choose an airline that allows pets in the cabin?

One should always opt for an airline that allows animals in the cabin because in this way your pet would become stressed, stay hydrated, and calm, and will not become ill due to earache as well as reduced appetite.

What are the common health problems that can occur to your dog after air travel?

Following health issues may occur to the dogs after air travel:

• Vomiting 

• Diarrhea

• Dehydration

• Earache

• Respiratory problems

• EMF exposure

What should be done before boarding your pet ?

The following should be done before boarding

· Health certificate,

· Buying a dog ticket,

· Taking your dog to a release station,

· Fetching a water bowl.

Final Words

To recapitulate, the traveling of dogs in aircraft is dangerous, especially when they are transported via cargo because of uncontrolled temperature, pressure variations, noise, motion sickness, and stress. Try to make sure all the precautionary measures are taken like giving a bath, removing ear wax, not cutting the hair near the ear, and so forth, learn what your dog likes to smell (ig chamomile, valerian, lavender, hops, lemongrass etc) make your puppy calm and secure.  


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