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“Short-Faced” dogs more prone to death in flight, according to DOT data


“Short-faced” dog breeds such as pugs and bulldogs represent about half of the dogs that die while being transported by their owners as cargo, a significantly higher rate of mortality than for other dog breeds, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Since May 2005, U.S. airlines have been required by law to file monthly reports to DOT on incidents involving the death, injury or loss of pets during air transport. Data submitted to the Department disclose dog breeds.

During the last five years there have been 122 dog deaths, a number far exceeding the deaths of other pets, 22, and exceeding the number of pets reported lost or injured, 88. The Department believes the number of dogs and other pets that die during flight is an extremely small percentage of the total number of pets carried each year by the airlines.

Eliminating data on the deaths of “unknown” and “mixed breeds,” approximately half of the pet dogs that died in flight over the last five years belonged to short-faced breeds, such as the English bulldog, pug, French bulldog and American Staffordshire terrier.

The Department advises owners of short-faced breeds to review the data before shipping them as cargo aboard aircraft. Owners also should consult their pets’ veterinarians about any genetic features in dogs of this type and the medical condition of their pets before deciding to transport them by aircraft.

The data are published on the Aviation Enforcement Office’s website,, under the “What’s New” link.

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