The best brush for Pug grooming is: wait a second! Do Pugs even need grooming? I mean…their fur stays short (probably because it clings to absolutely everything it touches), so…don’t this breed basically groom themselves?!
Spoiler Alert: Pugs do need grooming because they have unique needs due to their Pugs-only physical traits (i.e., bulging eyes, wrinkles, curly tail, etc.).
This Pug-tastic grooming guide tells you what’s important, what’s not, and explain step-by-step how to do it.
Here are our best Pug grooming tips (and the best grooming tools for the task).
Best Pug Grooming Tools
Best FURminator for Pugs
Real-world FURminator reviews from other Pug owners:
- “Necessary for Pug owners”
- “Highly recommend it for Pugs..”
- “Makes dealing with my pugs fur 10x easier“
Best Pin Brush for Pugs
This double-sided brush is great for multi-pet households because it ensures you have the right comb regardless if you have a pet with short, medium or long hair.
Best Slicker Brush for Pugs
Real-world reviews from other Pug owners:
- “I love it and so does my double coat pug.”
- “…I already know that I can’t live without it. I just got a ton of hair from my Pug.”
- “Works great on our cocker, our pugs, and our cats.”
Best Shampoo for Pugs
This shampoo is Vet-Recommended (click-thru to read their Vet reviews) and specially formulated for everyday use & pets with allergies to food, grass and flea bites.
You either love them or hate them…
“Aww, just look at that face!”
“Ewww, just look at that face!”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but beauty also comes with good grooming.
It’s hard to win over hearts if you look like a rag left out in the wind and rain! So here’s some info on how to get your darling looking like a pug and not a pig…ahem!
Pug Shedding: Do Pugs Shed a Lot?
Yes, Pugs do shed and they are generally reported (by Pug owners) as heavy shedders.
Pugs shed all year long, but it also depends on:
- The dog’s age
- The season of the year
- The coat color (and type)
- Baths (oh yeah!)
Pug Shedding by Age
Pug puppies shed less than adults.
Adult shedding will start around age one to one and a half years.
Pug Shedding Season
Pugs have a double coat – an outer coat with coarse stiff hairs called guard hairs and an inner coat consisting of softer insulating hair.
It is mainly the inner coat that is shed as the hairs follow their natural cycle of growth, rest, death, and regrowth.
But the outer hairs are also lost and replaced.
This cycle is influenced by changing day length and temperatures associated with the change of seasons. As a result, shedding is higher in spring and autumn when the winter coat is lost and again regrown. The Pug coat also completes the hair growth cycle quicker than many other breeds.
Pugs complete the hair growth cycle quicker than many other breeds.– Pug Lovers Guide
Pug Shedding by Coat Color and Type
There is some difference in coat characteristics with color in the Pug.
Usually, all of them have double coats, but some of the black ones may have only the outer hair, therefore a single coat.
This single outer coat sheds less heavily.
Pugs thoroughly enjoy being massaged and stroked while they are bathed.
While this is good for its skin and certainly makes bath time less of a trauma, it also frees loose hairs.
In addition, the cleansing ingredients in the shampoo break up natural body oil that helps dead hairs stick in the coat, so more loose hair.
Be prepared for lots of hair in the bath, on the towels, and also for some time after the bath.
Female Pugs Shed More than Males (When in Heat)
It is a fairly common phenomenon among dogs that female dogs in heat or after whelping tend to shed more due to hormonal changes.
Your Pug is no different. 🙂
Is Shaving a Pug OK? And do Pugs Need Haircuts?
No, don’t shave your Pug. Speaking literally, you can – but you should not shave your Pug unless it is covered in paint or something else that can not be removed any other way. Shaving a Pug will make it suffer worse in the heat rather than helping it cool down (backfire!). Pugs do not “need” haircuts but there are times when it is necessary and then it should be done by a vet.
Let’s explain how humans cool down:
Our skin (assuming you’re a human) is covered in sweat glands that produce sweat (water and salts) when the body temperature reaches 37 degrees Celsius (= 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The sweat evaporates – that means the water is changed from liquid to gas, dissipates in the air and leaves the salts behind on your skin. In order for the water in the sweat to make the change from liquid to gas, it uses energy, which is the heat of your body.
The net result is that sweating removes heat from your body, thereby cooling you down. (Look up the physics of heat of vaporization for those that want to know more).
A dog’s cooling system does not work like a human’s cooling system:
They do NOT have sweat glands all over their body, but only on the paws and nose.
They do NOT feel a cooling breeze when you shave them! So shaving them to increase sweating and cooling off is like removing a human’s toenails and thinking it will help them to cool off.
So why are some dogs, especially Pugs, prone to heat exhaustion?
Because they are brachycephalic. In other words, they have short muzzles and flat faces.
Dogs pant to lose heat.
The moisture that evaporates from their tongues, insides of their mouths, and their nasal passages take the place of the sweating system that humans have.
With short nasal passages, Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese and other short-nosed breeds can not circulate air fast enough to cool them down effectively.
Heat stress, heat exhaustion, even death.
Sometimes your Pug may need its hair cut. This is not shaving, it’s removing hair with a pair of clippers, for a specific purpose.
Vets do that when they have to operate, when they clean a wound, test for an allergy or have to insert an IV catheter. Obviously, you should not try to do this yourself.
Think about the fact that they do NOT shave for these procedures, but clip. Another argument against shaving your pug.
Pug Maintenance: 4 Pug Grooming Tips
How Often Should You Brush Your Pug?
The Pug’s short, smooth, glossy coat needs minimal, but regular maintenance.
Weekly brushing will help to remove the loose hair and help keep him looking his best.
It will also seriously diminish the work needed to remove the extra load of hair during the change of seasons.
Trimming Pug Nails
The Pug’s nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can grow into the footbed, which is painful and will hamper his walking.
When you can hear his nails click on the floor while his walking it’s time for a trim.
Since Pugs are lapdogs, they often miss out on the natural abrasion of the nails from lots of walking (thus, needing nails trimmed more often).
Beware, they usually do not like nail trimming, but get help and persevere!
Pug Wrinkles: How to Clean Pugs Face
The Pug’s facial wrinkles, especially the deep nose roll, must be inspected regularly and cleaned.
Each Pug is an individual, some you may have to clean daily, others will need only weekly. Wipe thoroughly with a dampened cosmetic sponge or baby wipe.
Pro Tip: Don’t skip drying the wrinkles or they may grow mildew and even become infected. If this happens your Pug will need veterinary treatment – do not let the playful “swamp face” name given to this condition fool you. Do not apply powder to the creases to keep it dry, it just cakes and forms gunk.
Pug Fun Fact: A Pug can uncurl its tail at will when it’s nervous, tired, or just relaxed.
Injury and ill health may also result in a limp tail. However, if it scoots its butt on the floor or licks around the anal area, and especially if there is a strong unpleasant smell, its anal glands may be obstructed and need to be cleaned.
You should not try to do this yourself because you can damage the glands. Best to take it to the vet who will express the fluids.
And no, bathing it more regularly will not prevent the glands from becoming obstructed.
Best Brush for Pugs
The pin brush is a great all-around tool for regular Pug brushing. The wires are flexible but take care to choose the right length, do not buy one if the pins are very long.
Brushing with a pin brush massages your Pug’s skin, which distributes the natural oils, loosens debris, and gets rid of loose hair.
If you want to, get one with bristles on the other side – this can be used to give a final finishing off, but it is not really crucial. Many owners find that the softer the bristles you use for everyday brushing, the more comfortable for your Pug.
The Pug’s double coat may develop mats in the undercoat and to get rid of those you need to use a slicker brush.
A pin brush won’t do the job of teasing the mat loose and combing out the matted hairs.
Again, be careful that you do not hurt your pug’s skin. Abrasions from incorrect brushing can lead to painful infections.
Best FURminator for Pugs
This is a deluxe undercoat rake that most Pug owners swear by.
- Stainless steel deShedding edge reaches through topcoat to safely and easily remove loose hair and undercoat
- FURejector button releases hair with ease
The FURminator is basically a de-shedding tool that removes the undercoat so that less hair ends up on the floor.
Or your furniture.
The best plan is to test it on your Pug – let the dog decide whether it likes it before you purchase one.
No point in buying a tool that the dog will not sit still for, n’est-ce pas?
How Often to Bathe a Pug: Can I Bathe My Pug Daily?
Once every 3 weeks is a good average. Daily Pug washing is overdoing it.
Pugs don’t need to be bathed unless they happen to get into something particularly messy or start to get doggy odors. That said, it all depends on your pug’s lifestyle. There should not be any need to bathe it every day (if there is it may be time to find out what he is up to…).
Bathing it daily, in fact, may lead to skin problems
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Best Shampoo for Pugs
Unless you need a medicated shampoo for a specific reason (as recommended by your vet, of course) the best Pug shampoo is a “cleansing shampoo”.
This will get down deep into the coat, helped by your lovingly massaging fingers, so you get all the dirt out.
Rinse it out very thoroughly and your pug should not need another bath for several weeks.
Take care to use a dog shampoo of pH 6.5 -7.5.
Human shampoo, even baby shampoo, is too acidic for your Pug. Believe it, buy a dog shampoo or watch you Pug scratch itself endlessly after the bath.
Shampoo that also has a conditioner is excellent for that glossy coat look, just make sure that it does not contain chemicals like parabens, phosphates, synthetic perfumes or dyes.