Can you travel with a French bulldog?

Traveling with your French Bulldog: What do you have to pay attention for?

Holiday, a time that many people look forward to. It is, of course, great if you and your four-legged friend can enjoy your free time together, but there are also disadvantages. What should you look out for if you want to take your French Bulldog on vacation?

Are dogs allowed?

Before you go to your destination, make sure that dogs are allowed in the area you want to go to. Dogs are not welcome on many beaches, even if you keep them on a leash. But even if you opt for forests or mountains you can end up with unpleasant surprises if you do not pay attention. For example, in Yellowstone National Park and also in other large national parks that have mountains and forests, dogs are not welcome (only if they stay in the car).

The climate

For some people, the warmer the better, but most dogs are really not made for hot climates. Many dogs have much more trouble with heat because of their, sometimes dark-colored, fur than their owners, so your Frenchie will probably not be happy if you take him to a destination where 70+ degrees is normal (Frenchies have difficulty breathing during hot weather. French bulldogs can easily “overheat” and die from heat exhaustion due to their thick undercoat). Colder climates are not a problem for many dogs, most dogs will be very happy if you take them to the snow, but even then good preparations will not hurt (also see French Bulldog in winter).

The trip’s destination can be very beautiful and suitable for dogs, but you still need to get there. If it’s not that far away the easiest way is if you can go by car (even if it’s a long trip, some people love to go in an RV). Expect that you have to stop more often if you take your Frenchie with you, especially if he is still a puppy. But if you stop regularly to pee, much like you would with young children, a car trip can be very doable with a French Bulldog.

It is more difficult if you have to make a boat crossing. Spending an hour or two on the boat is often no problem, but for longer crossings you have to figure out what the rules are. Sometimes you are obliged to book a certain type of accommodation on the boat if you have a dog. If you are curious about how your dog will react to the noise and movement of a boat, you can first take him on a train. Although it is, of course, a completely different situation, the reaction of your Frenchie will most likely be the same.

Is it dangerous for French bulldogs to fly?

The most difficult situation is that your destination can only be reached in a normal way by plane. Because of some recent incidents with French Bulldogs on airplanes (This is a very sad one about Roger that recently (September 2019) died on a transatlantic flight), there is a big debate going on about French Bulldogs and all brachycephalic breeds for that matter to ban them from flying on a plane. due to the recent number of tragedies involving the deaths of brachycephalic breeds we could see an actual ban from flying with our beloved French Bulldogs 😢. A lot of airlines have already banned brachycephalic breeds.

It is therefore wise to check with your airline if French Bulldogs are allowed. If they are you will typically pay somewhere around $100 to $200 to take him with you on the plane. When booking your flight, make sure you contact the airline and tell them that you are traveling with a French Bulldog in the cabin. Please don’t ever let the airline put him in the cargo compartment because he will never survive such a trip…

Vacation checklist

Keep in mind that some toys may not be allowed through some security checkpoints! A KONG toy (CLICK HERE FOR DELICIOUS KONG RECIPES) can be filled up with something delicious and keep your Frenchie busy as your travel. 

The accommodation

When considering whether your dog can go on holiday, it is also useful to include the place where you intend to sleep.

If you are planning to book a vacation home it is better to check in advance if dogs are allowed and if the house is suitable for your dog. For example, if your dog is used to being allowed on the couch, then he will probably do the same in the house. If that is not allowed, it can be a source of annoyance. For example, if you have a young dog that is still demolishing, then taking a travel bench with you may be a good option.

If you go with your own trailer or camper you will probably be able to find a campsite without any problems. It never hurts to inform in advance, as some campsites do not allow dogs. Are you planning to rent one, then clearly state in advance that you want to take your dog with you so that there is no unpleasant situation as soon as you arrive.

A dog can also sleep well in a tent. Make sure if it becomes colder at night that he can lie on an insulating surface. In almost every camping shop, for example, you can buy insulating sleeping mats for adults that you can shorten yourself if necessary. In very cold weather you can bring a warm blanket for your Frenchie, as he has become used to sleeping at normal living room temperatures. Remember that if you only have a tent with you, you cannot just go do something without your dog. Apart from the fact that your French Bulldog is probably not used to being left alone in a tent, you need to remember that when the sun shines in the tent, the temperature can rise too quickly.

Local pathogens

If you are going abroad, it is good to consult with your veterinarian about possible vaccinations or medicines that offer your French Bulldog the necessary protection. In certain countries, for example, annoying diseases are transmitted by ticks or flies, so it’s best to do some research about this so that you can prevent your dog from getting sick or even worse…

Other things to consider/remember 

For most countries, it applies that your dog must have a valid vaccination against rabies, which he received at least 21 days before the trip. Since you cannot vaccinate a puppy under the age of 12 weeks against rabies, you cannot take your French Bulldog puppy to most countries before it is 15 weeks old.

Stricter rules apply to some countries. Please note that not only the rules of your final destination apply, but all countries you travel through to reach them.

In some countries, for example, certain breeds of dogs and dogs that do not officially belong to the breed, but resemble them, are not allowed. Therefore, check in advance whether your desired holiday destination has any of these restrictions.

In some countries (certain types of) dogs are allowed, but a muzzle is mandatory.

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