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Pug Dog Shedding

And the Best Brushes and Tools to Use


The breed is notorious for shedding quite heavily, however there are several steps an owner can take to keep shedding under control. 

There is a reason why this breed sheds as he does. For all canines, the hairs on the coat go through a 3 step process: Growth, rest and fall out.

For the Pug, this 3 step cycle moves more rapidly than with many other dogs. In addition, single coat breeds have less fur and with a double coated Pug, there is twice the amount of fur than his single layered counterparts.

Some black Pugs can be found with just a single layer of fur, however the rapid hair follicle cycle still exists and leads to a heavy shed.  
The level of shedding for this breed is moderate to severe (at times). However proper grooming techniques can help keep things manageable.

Baths & Shedding

It is true that a Pug will often shed more during and after a bath. This is a good thing, since it means you can be prepared for it. It is easier to control the shedding when you know when it will be at its worst. The reason a Pug sheds a lot during and after a bath is because the cleansing agents in the shampoo break up natural body oil that was holding some of the dead hairs in the tightly packed coat. 

It is suggested to brush through the coat before a bath (to gather hairs, but also to loosen any that were almost ready to shed)....And then brush right after the bath, to pull out all remaining loose hairs. Baths should be given every 3 weeks, unless the Pug's coat become dirty from any outside activities.
Pug with thick coat shedding
Even if your Pug does not seem dirty, if you allow more than 4 weeks to pass without bathing, the issue of the hairs becoming trapped will increase. Each day there will be more of an excessive buildup of natural body oils that will cause dead hairs stuck in the coat to clump together. 

This can cause an issue of blocked air circulation and a more difficult time in trying to remove them. (It can also cause a Pug to become smelly, with an odd musty odor). Dry shedding hairs, not 'glued down' due to too much body oil are much easier to remove than those that are damp and slick with oil.

How Long to Brush

Some owners ask if they must brush until there are no more hairs on the brush. Quite honestly, if one tried to do this with a Pug, a person could be grooming for hours on end. The goal will be to perform a good solid brushing one time per day, spending perhaps 15 to 20 minutes going over the entire coat. Remember to go over all areas, including the neck, chest and legs.

The Best Tools and Brushes to Use on a Pug

A De-Shedding Tool
The best brush to use on Pugs to really pull out large amounts of dead hairs, is a de-shedding tool brush. These are designed to grab dead and loose hairs from deep down inside the coat. And with a thick-coated breed like the Pug, these can make a huge difference. 

One issue with shedding hairs is that not all fall to the floor. In fact, there will be a lot more that fall back into the coat than whatever amount you see on your furniture. Hairs become trapped under the coat and lie against the skin. If they are not removed, it blocks air flow and can create problems, most often skin issues and odor.

Therefore, every week or so, one should go over the entire coat with this tool. If the weather is nice, it can be helpful to set up a mat, towel or blanket in an outdoor area to do this needed grooming. 
A Grooming Glove
Grooming gloves (sometimes called mitts) are an awesome grooming tool and are often preferable to brushes. These are designed to fit over your hand, and this allows you to easily brush over your Pug's entire body. These are great for light shedding times for a nice, all-over brushing. 

This is also a good shedding type tool if you have children helping out with grooming your Pug; it's super easy to use.
A Bristle Brush
The best brush to use on a Pug dog for general brushing is a bristle brush.  For young pups, small works best. For adult Pugs, medium is the size of choice.

Your de-shedding tool (above) will handle the bulk pulling out dead hairs. And mitts do a great job for keeping the coat free of debris and fine matter. But, it is still important to do routine brushing with a bristle brush. This will stimulate the skin and distribute natural body oils, which helps keep the coat healthy and shiny. 

Brushing Technique

Some owners tend to just focus on the back, assuming that this is where most of the dead hairs are coming from. While this is certainly the largest area of fur, hairs will fall from every body area other than the mask, the under-belly and of course, where there is only leather (paw pads, nose).

To really stop shedding issues, be sure to brush the entire body - head, neck, legs and even under and top areas of the tail. Pulling out dead hairs from all of these areas will greatly cut down on the amount of hairs that fall to the ground and is an important part of controlling the heavy shed.

The coat of a Pug is not long , but it is very dense. The best way to brush a Pug is to use long strokes that gently reach down to the skin. You will want to brush in the direction of the fur growth. Be sure to not just skim over the coat; a good majority of the dead hairs become trapped in the thick coat. 

As you brush, go deep enough to gently brush to the skin, pulling out and away at the end of each long stroke. 

How Supplement May Help with Shedding

While there is nothing that will completely stop a Pug dog from shedding, there are things that can help for both puppy and adult. Aside from the very good brushing that should be done daily and giving baths every 3 weeks, the use of certain supplements have been shown to reduce hair loss.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 works to keep both skin and coat healthy and is often part of a treatment plan for helping with skin problems. While they are not proven to reduce the amount of normal shedding with a dog, keeping the skin and coat healthy will prevent the breakage which leads to added fall out.

Some owners have found the following to help control their Pug's shedding:

• Cold pressed Hemp seed oil (keep it refrigerated)
• Alaskan Salmon Oil (keep it refrigerated)
• Flax seed oil
• Linoleic acid (a liquid Omega 6 fatty acid)

Controlling the Fur in the House

While any vacuum will suction up a certain amount of hairs, one issue with canine hairs is that they can quickly become embedded into carpet fibers. When this happens, many vacuum cleaners are not strong enough to suction all of them out.

Vacuums specifically designed for pet hairs can work very well for this issue. Another tip is to use tape lint rollers. If you have a fawn Pug and light colored carpeting, you will likely be extremely surprised the first time you take a lint roller and swipe it across a section, even when doing so directly after vacuuming.

You can use these relatively inexpensive and disposable rollers not only across your flooring, but on beds and fabric sofas.

It helps to vacuum and de-lint often, because the longer hair remains they more they will work their way deeper into fibers. Cleaning often allows you to grab those shedded hairs while they still remain on the surface of carpets and furniture.

Times of Heavy Shedding & Seasonal Changes


There will be some times during your dog's life when hormonal changes in the body cause a heavier shed. This can happen:
  • When your puppy is growing into his or her adult coat - This happens over the course of several months between the ages of 4 and 9 months.
  • When a female has given birth to a litter
  • When a female is in heat or right after the cycle ends 
With females going through post-pregnancy changes or for those in heat, fur loss can be quite heavy (referred to as blowing the coat). These are temporary conditions and once your dog is through the particular phase, the coat will return.

There are certain health issues that can cause troubling Pug hair loss that leaves patches of bald skin and other complications.

Seasonal Sheds

Not all Pugs have specific seasonal shedding but many do and surprising, this really has nothing to do with the actual temperature changes.  The shedding is triggered by the decrease in daylight hours, regardless of the weather. 

Therefore, for most Pugs there will be a heavier shed in the late autumn (when days become noticeably shorter).  The coat will thicken up, regardless of temperature, as a dog's body prepares for 'winter'.

In the late spring, as days become longer, there will again be more noticeable shedding  as the coat thins out. 

For those that do live in areas that experience all four seasons (cold winter with dry air and/or icy or snowy precipitation, hot summer) shedding will be more pronounced. 

Medical Alert

There are some health issues that can cause abnormal fur loss. If your Pug is losing fur much faster and more severe than normal, it is strongly recommended to bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

There are medical conditions of the skin that cause hair loss as follicles become weaken due to skin changes.

Many of these conditions can moderate to severe discomfort. Among the serious causes:
You may notice a lot of scratching, without a sign of fleas. You may also notice sores or other marks on the stomach.                
There could be areas that appear partially or completely bald. Areas of red, inflamed skin are referred to as hot spots. These symptoms should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian. 

While testing is being performed to determine the cause, be careful in regard to bathing.
Keeping water temperature luke warm, using an quality shampoo with an oatmeal base, and patting the coat dry (as opposed to rubbing) can help. 
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