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Traveling with your Pug

Summer is vacation season, and many of us will be heading off for some much needed rest and recreation. If you have a Pug (or other short-nosed breed) and are planning to travel with your pet, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Here we’ll review some of the travel risks specific to Pugs and short-nosed breeds, and offer some tips on ways to make your pet’s travel time as safe and stress-free as possible.

Traveling by Air with your Pug

Air travel is stressful on any pet. Long periods spent in a carrier, riding in the cargo hold of the aircraft, and changes in air quality, temperature, and pressure can all stress an animal that is unfamiliar with air travel. In Pugs and other short-nosed breeds, these factors are compounded by potential respiratory problems. Since Pugs have short snouts and small nostrils, they can experience breathing trouble during air travel. If the animal is stressed, anxious, or overweight, any respiratory problem can become dangerous quickly.

Here are several things you can do to make your Pug’s trip by air safe and stress-free:

  • Check with your airline about their rules and regulations for traveling with pets. Since rules differ from airline to airline, inform your carrier that you will be traveling with a pet and determine what they need you to provide in advance. For example, many airlines require you to provide written proof of a veterinary checkup for your pet within 10 days of your travel date.
  • If possible, book a direct flight to your destination. Long layovers on the tarmac can be stressful on pets, and an aircraft’s ventilation system is often not operating at full capacity when the plane is on the ground. Pick your flight times to avoid layovers.
  • Check if your airline will let you travel with your pet in the passenger area rather than in the cargo hold. If you don’t know how your pet will react to prolonged travel, try a “practice run” with your pet crated in the car.
  • Keep your pet’s medical records accessible via your phone or tablet in case you need to produce them at any point during check-in. The Figo Pet Cloud app is a great way to keep your pet’s medical information organized on your mobile device.
  • Be sure your carrier is marked with your contact information. Include a familiar blanket ort plush toy in your pet’s carrier to help provide comfort and reduce stress during travel.

Traveling by Train with your Pug

Since 2016, Amtrak has begun to allow small pets (20 lbs. or less) in carriers to travel certain routes. Check Amtrak’s website for rules and regulations, crate size requirements, etc. in advance of your trip. As with air travel, keep your pet’s medical records and vaccination history accessible from your phone or tablet in case you are asked to provide this information. 

Traveling by Car with your Pug

Car travel is still the recommended way to travel with a pet. When traveling by car, you are able to check on your pet regularly, provide food or water if needed, and stop for bathroom breaks as needed. Also, your pet is less likely to be stressed if it can see you and hear your voice.

There are some basic rules to keep in mind when traveling with your pet by car:

  • Pets should be crated in a protective carrier while inside the vehicle. This not only helps keep them safe in the event if an accident, but it helps you concentrate on the road without the risk of your pet getting underfoot.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a locked car. Small pets, especially those predisposed to respiratory problems, are vulnerable to overheating and heat stroke. If you must leave the vehicle, take your pet with you, either in the carrier or on a leash.
  • Be sure to travel with pet food and a water bowl. You may want to also place some “comfort items” such as a familiar toy or blanket in the carrier to help keep your pet relaxed.

We hope these tips will help you and your pet have a safe and fun summer travel season!


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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