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Pug Grooming

What IS Proper Pug Grooming? 

Grooming your dog involves a lot more than just brushing his or her coat. Grooming is vital for the health of your pet and you will find that a well groomed Pug makes for a clean home and a comfortable dog.

Proper grooming will involve:
  • Baths  
  • Brushing the fur  
  • Cleaning the wrinkles
  • Cleaning the eyes 
  • Cleaning the folds of the mouth  
  • Cleaning the ears
  • Trimming nails


Your Pug will need a nice sudsy bath every 3 weeks. It is vitally important to never use human shampoo or other human baths products. Dogs can get very irritated skin rashes from these products.

You should place your Pug in the bath after you have filled it with 3 inches or so of water. There's no need to fill the tub any more than this, since having the body fully emerged will not allow for a good scrubbing. 

Running the water while a dog in the tub can cause him to become skittish, so it is recommended to have the bath ready ahead of time. 

Having a non-slip mat will help your dog keep his footing on an otherwise slippery surface, avoiding an accidental dunking or injury.

Check the temperature using the inside of your wrist, to make sure that it is not too hot which can irritate the skin.

Wash the head and face very thoroughly and carefully. Using a soft washcloth, clean inside all folds of the skin. 

Work your way down the body making sure to scrub all areas including the genitals, legs, tail and under belly. Use a conditioner as well, since shampoo alone can be drying, which leads to breakage.Conditioner also adds a layer of protection from the drying effects of the sun & wind and friction damage. 
This breed is prone to skin problems, and the #1 grooming mistake is not thoroughly rinsing. Shampoo and conditioner quickly works its way down through the coat (which is good since you want to clean more than just the surface) and then it stays close to the skin as the dense inner and outer layers of the coat hold it in. 

Rinsing with a nozzle can be quite helpful... In any case, when you feel that you have rinsed out all of the suds, rinse one more time. 

Drying the coat is a very important part of grooming. After your Pug shakes (a normal canine response), using a good sized moderate absorbent towel to dry the entire body. Rubbing can irritate skin and for this reason patting often works best. You may need to use a second towel since the coat of a Pug can hold quite a bit of water.  

The Mouth and Muzzle Area

It is important to keep the folds of the mouth area dry and clean on your Pug dog. Bacteria and germs can quickly grow in the deep folds of the Pug dog's face.
Pug dog mouth with large tongue sticking out
It is important to keep the folds of the mouth area dry and clean on your Pug dog. Bacteria and germs can quickly grow in the wrinkles of the Pug dog's face. 

This area must be kept clean and dry; a bit of a challenge since the Pug dog can be known to snort, sneeze, snore and drool...just a bit!
Beside cleaning this area at bath time, each day an owner should take just a minute or so to first clean the folds with baby wipes. Once all is clean, the owner should then go over the areas a second time with a dry, soft wash cloth (cotton tips work well also) to make sure that no moisture remains.

Part of keeping the mouth clean involved the teeth. Learn about important at- home dental care.


This is your number 1 weapon to fight against shedding issues. If you want to reduce shedding as much as possible, every day you should brush over the entire coat with a bristle brush. Doing so will capture the loose hairs; its amazing how much ends up on the brush when it could have been on your carpet or sofa. This will help keep your Pug dog clean and reduce shedding. 

Read more about controlling the amount of shedding hairs and heavy shedding.

Bath time is an opportunity to really go over the coat to loosen hairs and allow for a thorough cleaning that will not only remove debris but help keep bacteria and fungi away (a major cause of yeast infections in the folds of the skin).

It is true that a Pug will shed more after a bath, and that is because the scrubbing and rinsing removes loose hairs. Since those hairs are going to shed anyway, bath time offers an owner the chance to control where this happens and to remove as much dead hair as possible during this grooming session, which leaves less to fall out around your home.

For this reason, it can help to brush your Pug right before the bath using a rubber brush. Some owners take this time to also go over the coat with a flea comb.


The eyes of can get "gooey" very quickly. In addition, because of the way a Pug dog's face is shaped, its eyes are large and slightly bulging. Slivers of elements can get stuck in the eye and cause irritations and even infection.

If you clearly can see an outside element on your Pug's eyeball, you should attempt to lift the eyelid up and over the eye. If that does not "catch" the culprit, you should then gently cleanse the eye with sterilized water.

You can use a soft washcloth to gently wash away any "goo". You may also purchase special doggie eye wipes which are gentle on this area. Read more: Pug eye care


Pugs need to have their ears cleaned on a regular basis. Every 1 or 2 weeks, clean the ears with a moistened cotton ball.

Do not go too deep as you will not want to touch the ear drum.

The goal is to remove any dirt, debris and extra wax. If there is puss, excessive liquid wax, an area of red irritation within the inside of the ear it is time to head out to the vet; as these symptoms may point to an infections. Read more: Pug ear care


The frequency of needing a nail trim will vary from dog to dog. For most Pugs, this grooming task is needed every 3 to 6 months.

Walking on hard outdoor surfaces can keep nails somewhat filed down, however it cannot be a replacement. It is not an exaggeration to say that nails left to grow long can cause a dog to walk with an irregular gait that can lead to skeletal damage.
Pug with sharp nails
Some owners are squeamish when it comes to nail trimming and that is okay and one of the reason that dog groomers exist.

If a person does not have experience, there is risk of pain and injury by trimming too short and hitting the quik; therefore we always recommend you find a reputable, honest and experienced groomer to perform this task at least twice a year.

The nails should be trimmed at the point where they begin to hook over. Any lower will result in clipping the vein and this will product bleeding, pain and possible infection.


Prone to issues such as yeast infection and skin fold dermatitis, wrinkles need to be both inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. You can read more about this in the Pug dog wrinkle care section. 
You may also be interested in: Why does my Pug smell bad - If your Pug has an odor, learn why this happens and exactly how to resolve it. 
The best shampoos to use on Pug dogs - The type of coat products that are best for Pug puppies and dogs. 
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