Flying snub nosed pets to Aus – June 2020 update

This update is relevant as of today’s date in June 2020 and relates only to snub nosed pets travelling to Australia, not other countries around the world.

Snub nosed or brachycephalic pets are becoming more and more common. But there is a perception that they may have more risk of death during a flight. Older work suggested that snub nosed pets were more likely to suffer on a flight, but more recent work by the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow suggests that whatever increased risk is minimal. But this leaves us with the problem that many airlines don’t accept snub nosed cats and dogs, especially to Australia.


QANTAS Airlines

QANTAS are currently not flying from UK to Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic, but in the past they have offered an indirect route from UK to Singapore and then Singapore to Melbourne, Australia. We hope that when they resume flying this will be a option again. Rather than do what many airlines do which is to just say “NO, we don’t fly snub nosed pets”. QANTAS have brought in a very sensible plan. They want the pets examined by a vet before the flight, the vet has to fill out a very specific questionnaire and if the pets pass then QANTAS will allow them on a plane.

The QANTAS questionnaire consists of a comprehensive veterinary examination, which can be done by your own vet or by one of our vets. The price for the examination may be around £150 plus any extras for the time taken for the vet to travel as needs be. The test notes previous history such as: if the pet is on medication for heart failure or has more than 1 seizure every three months. The vet has to mark the pets based on weight/body condition score, how open the nostrils are, how well the pets cope with exercise and how much noise the pets make while breathing. The idea behind it is that if a pet fails the test a long time before the flight date, then  there is time to get the pet to lose some weight and/or have surgery to correct the anatomical aspects. QANTAS are saying they are happy to fly snub nosed pets as long as they are as fit and healthy as possible so that the chance of anything bad happening is as small as possible.

We recommend getting this examination done as early in your preparations as possible and certainly before we apply for any permits or we book any flights.


Emirates Airlines

Emirates airlines will accept snub nosed pets to travel to Australia, but they will only give permission around 14 days before a flight (which is far too late bearing in mind all the preparation needed). Each case is assessed on an individual basis. Emirates airlines often do not grant permission, so this is not a great option.

Here is the list of breeds which QANTAS class as snub nosed. A cross of a snub nosed pet with a non snub nosed pet is classed as a non snub nosed pet. So a puggle (Pug cross Beagle is ok), but a Pug cross French Bulldog is part of these rules.

Dogs Dogs Cats
Affenpinscher French Bulldog Exotic Shorthair
American Bully Japanes Chin/Japanese Spaniel Persian/Himalayan
American Bulldog Lhasa Apso
Australian Bulldog Neapolitian Mastiff
Boston Terrier Pekingese
Boxer Pug
Brussels Griffon/Griffon Bruxellois Chinese Pug
British/English Bulldog Dutch Pug
Chow Chow Japanese Pug
Dogue De Bordeaux Shih-Zhu (Tsu) (Tzu)
English Toy Spaniel/King Charles Spaniel Tibetan Spaniel
French Mastiff Valley Bulldog


If you want to read more about flying your pets to Australia then please click here .


Wed Jun 10 2020