We are commonly requested brachycephalic breeds during UAE hotter months, often in late spring or summer or early autumn. In simple terms, brachycephalic breeds are those snub-nosed breeds like Bulldogs, Pug, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and many others (you can obtain complete list with google search).
What many of you may not know is that following IATA section governing international live animal air transport safety regulations (LAR), most international airlines will not accept any brachycephalic breeds onboard during hotter months, subject to departure, destination or transit airports declared air ground temperatures. Each airline usually has its own further variations to these rules, but most will only accept to carry snub-nosed breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs during winter months.
IATA, abbreviation for The International Air Transport Association, is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 280 airlines, primarily major carriers, or 83% of total air traffic. All international airlines strictly abide and follow IATA guidelines and code of ethics. While we ship most of our animals with Emirates, IATA member airline, we respect and appreciate the motives behind IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR). Most brachycephalic breeds do not fare well during hot and humid temperatures, especially onboard an aircraft where air supply is additionally controlled and regulated, such breeds may develop troubles breathing and respiratory discomfort leading to fatality in extreme cases. In the past years worldwide, many snub-nosed breeds died during flights of various international airlines or in the airports holding facilities due to respiratory distress, often aggravated by hotter or humid temperatures. The IATA rules and regulations have been implemented to prevent the needless loss of pet animal lives. Among long list of numerous guidelines specifying all possible aspects of animal air travel, including the travel box requirements and parameters for all shapes and sizes of animals being transported, the travel box requirement for brachycephalic breed must be at least one size larger compared to same size non-brachycephalic breed. IATA and the airline prioritise safety and wellbeing for all its passengers, humans or animals, and will avoid any chance of hazard or risk associated with welfare of all its passengers onboard. Therefore, for the security and comfort of our animals while obeying IATA and airline’s policies, we do not import any brachycephalic breeds roughly from April until November.
Additionally, Emirates airline does not accept neither English nor French Bulldogs onboard its aircrafts as a further precaution to avoid any chance of respiratory distress associated with these more extreme brachycephalic breeds. Thus, when it comes to bulldogs, we must seek alternative EU based airline who will accept to fly our bulldogs during our cooler UAE winter months (we have successfully worked with Lufthansa in the past for our bulldog puppies). To answer the immediately raised question as to why we bring brachycephalic breeds into UAE in the first place:
1) we have very very few brachycephalic breeds yearly and only based on your demand;
2) UAE lifestyle typically revolves around indoor living in airconditioned environments, so we only import small breeds who fare well indoors and do not require much of outdoor exercise.
So if you are looking to have one of snub-nosed breeds like bulldogs or Pug or even Shih Tzu, please plan in advance for winter season and calculate in additional expenses of larger travel box and airline restrictions. We again encourage all our customers to stay better informed about your chosen breed, real life costs and welfare of all animals.
2021 update: From December 2020, Emirates airline changed terms, resulting in drastic air transport costs increase along with IATA agent charges. Brachycephalic breeds are no longer accepted on Emirates flights!
Please note, that at Pets Habitat we never use budget or charter flights to risk our animals lives and sacrifice their wellbeing to save on our expenses. Our animals welfare is NEVER jeopardised, so all our puppies and kittens fly premium international airlines, with preference of direct Emirates airline flights whenever possible despite the costs!