A stocky, compact body. Large, round eyes and a squashed, square-shaped muzzle. Deep wrinkles on the face, and a comical personality to match.
The pug is one of the most beloved dog breeds out there, and it’s easy to understand why. They’re absolutely adorable and their fun-loving, active, and playful dispositions make them wonderful pets for many families.
One drawback of the pug? This breed is considered a heavy shedder. If you plan on bringing one home, expect to live with a fair amount of dog hair. When dogs release hair, they also release dander, which means the pug is not hypoallergenic.
But why do pugs shed so much, and why might yours be shedding more than usual? Let’s take a closer look at the pug’s coat to learn how you can maintain your dog’s healthy coat of fur and keep all that hair under control.
Why Do Pugs Shed So Much?
Why exactly do pugs shed so much of their hair, especially compared to low-shedding small dogs like the poodle or Maltese?
The answer lies in the coat type. Keep in mind there are multiple types of pugs with multiple types of coats.
The fawn pug, the most common type of pug, has what’s known as a double coat. This is exactly what it sounds like: two layers of fur, a topcoat and a denser undercoat. Two layers means twice the shedding. Plus, double-coated breeds “blow the coat” twice per year as a part of the natural hair growth cycle, so you’ll probably witness extra-heavy shedding during the spring and fall.
The much rarer apricot and silver-colored pugs also have double coats. The black pug is the one with a single coat, but even the black pug sheds a moderate amount — although less than its double-coated counterparts.
What Could Make a Pug Shed More Than Usual?
Shedding is simply part of life for the pug. But there are a few things that might make a pug shed more than usual.
Do pugs shed more when they’re suffering from an allergic reaction? Absolutely. Your pug could be allergic to a variety of things: pollen, dust, certain cleaning products, or an ingredient in their food, just to name a few. If you’re noticing more pug hair around your home coupled with increased scratching at the face and body, sneezing, or licking of the limbs and paws, it’s time to call the vet and discuss allergy testing and treatment options.
If your dog is suffering from allergies, give Native Pet’s Allergy Chicken Chews a try. Our air-dried chews help your dog build a natural defense against allergies, targeting itchy skin and hot spots, and can even aid in long-term immune support.
Did you know that your dog’s hair can literally fall out from stress? That’s right — when your pooch is feeling stressed out, they’re likely to shed an increased amount of hair. Pugs might be stressed by a new person or pet in the home, loud noises, or changes in lifestyle or routine.
Do your best to keep stressors to a minimum at home, and try giving your pug Native Pet’s Calm Chicken Chews. These clean chews can reduce general anxiety and promote normal brain activity, helping your pet to feel better.
Fleas, ticks, lice, mites ... There are plenty of parasites out there that can cause excessive shedding in pugs. You’ll need your veterinarian’s help to rid your dog of the infestation. However, the best course of action is to keep your pug up to date on a high-quality pest preventative so you can avoid the problem altogether.
Certain medical concerns could cause excess hair loss in pugs, too. Hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, as well as bacterial or fungal infections like ringworm, are a few possibilities. Let your vet know if you’re concerned about your pug’s excessive shedding, because they may have a medical condition.
A final note: Female pugs shed more frequently when they’re going through their heat cycles. If you’re seeing more loose hair around the home and you have an unspayed female pug, this might be the reason.
How Can I Maintain My Pug’s Healthy Coat and Minimize Shedding?
Even without allergies, stress, parasites, or medical concerns, most pugs shed a lot simply because it’s natural for the breed.
So, what can pug owners do? Here’s how to keep shedding to a minimum and maintain your pug’s healthy coat:
Regular brushing is key not only for maintaining your pug’s healthy skin and making sure the coat looks great, but removing loose and dead hairs so they don’t fall out across the house. Plus, it spreads natural skin oils through the coat, which moisturizes it and reduces shedding.
Most pugs benefit from dedicated grooming sessions once or twice a week. Use a good brush for short hair, like a bristle brush, to make sure you get as much hair as you can. You can also use de-shedding tools like a grooming glove or mitt, which are especially helpful on double coats. Some pug owners even use lint rollers to pick up extra hair from the coat — just make sure it doesn’t scare Fido!
Regularly washing your pug with a pet-safe shampoo is another good way to make sure your dog sheds less hair. While this is a best practice for all dog owners, pugs have facial folds that can collect dirt and bacteria. This is another reason why implementing a regular bath time schedule (around once per month) is a good idea.
Feeding your pug a healthy diet full of important nutrients is another great way to keep the skin and fur healthy. Check with your vet to find out whether your dog’s food is up to par. Adding supplements to the diet is also beneficial — omega-3 fish oils, linoleic acid, and flaxseed oil can be especially helpful for a smooth, shiny coat of fur.
Native Pet’s Omega Oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids to help support a healthy, well-moisturized coat. It can help alleviate joint pain, too. Give it a try and see the benefits for your pug’s coat.
Do Pugs Shed? Yes — Here’s What Pug Owners Should Do
Yes, pugs do shed — quite a bit, in fact. If you’re planning on adopting a pug, put the vacuum cleaner on standby. Most pugs have double coats, which shed significantly, but even single-coated black pugs shed their fur. It’s simply natural.
A few health concerns, like allergies, stress, parasitic infestations, and medical issues like hormonal imbalances, could contribute to even more shedding. Let your vet know if you think your pug is dealing with any of these problems.
What can pug owners do to decrease the amount of shedding their dog experiences and spend less time cleaning up dog hair? Groom your pug regularly using good grooming tools like a bristle brush, remember to bathe your pug about once a month, and feed them a good diet. It’s the best formula for keeping your dog’s coat healthy and keeping shedding to a minimum at the same time.
For further advice on your dog’s health and well-being, visit the Native Pet blog to browse more articles.