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Smushed Face Dogs and Travel and Difficulty Breathing

Smooshies More Likely to Die Under Planes Than Other Breeds

Well, it's nothing new in theory — and a main reason my pooch always rides in the cabin with me — but the proof is in the stats. According to data released Friday by the Department of Transportation, 122 dog deaths have been reported since the DOT required airlines to make that information public (beginning in May 2005). Of those numbers, the highest single number of the 108 purebred deaths belongs to English Bulldogs at 25 followed by Pugs at 11.

While many airlines refuse to transport any brachycephalic breeds (aka smooshies) below the plane during temperature extremes, it's the pups' short snouts that attribute to extra difficulty breathing and extra wheezing.

Dan Bandy, chairman of the Bulldog Club of America's health committee, explains this particular risk in being transported in the cargo holds of airliners:

The way all dogs cool themselves is basically through respiration, either just panting or the action of breathing in or out, is a method of heat exchange for them. A dog that has a long snout or a long muzzle has more surface area within its nasal cavity for that heat exchange to take place. So breeds like labradors or collies or those types of dogs with the long muzzles have a more efficient cooling system.

Adding in the Frenchies (six), American Staffordshire Terriers (four), Boxers (two), Pekingese (two), and other short snouts, that means that the smooshies make up nearly half of the total number — scary stuff!

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
katiekat95 katiekat95 6 years
This is why I will not fly anywhere with my pugs. If they're coming with me...I drive.
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
Have you talked to your vet? He/She may be able to give your cat a sedative (since he's going in the cabin) or offer another solution.
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 6 years
I'm gonna be travelling soon in a plane with my cat (he will be in the cabin of course) and it stresses me a bit. I'm really wondering how he'll be able to handle it since he gets scared easily at home. And it will be at least 10 hours for him without eating, drinking or going to the bathroom (time to get to the airport + the flight + time to go home after). Any of you ever experienced this and has tips for me?
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