There are several issues that may cause there to be a bad smell coming from a Pug's head region. It is almost always one of the following issues:
We will go over this one first, since this is a common source of an odd or stinky smell that emanates from the facial area. The folds on the face are like tiny pockets that gather small pieces of debris such as food and other fine particles. This alone can be the source. However, in addition to this, if moisture becomes trapped in these skin folds without any ability to dry out, problems can arise.
The damp, warm and dark environment is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Most common is the growth of yeast. This will produce what most often refer to as a strong musty smell. If you have both an issue of food particles and yeast, a Pug can then have an even stronger bad odor. It should be noted that with yeast, there is often also an intense itching that may cause the Pug to paw at his face or rub his face into the carpet, soft furniture, etc.
If you carefully and gently open a wrinkle you will be able to visibly see any food debris. If the skin look healthy and the only issue is that the crevices need to be cleaned, this should be done with a quality canine facial wipe which should be part of the daily routine you do for your Pug regardless. You will want to wipe out each fold going in one direction and changing out wipes for new ones as needed.
If you inspect the wrinkles
and as you get closer you notice that the odor becomes even stronger, take care in regard to examining them. Crust and swollen skin can cause discomfort when this sensitive skin is moved. If you feel that you will be causing your Pug too much pain by even making the inspection, defer to the veterinarian.
If you are able to access the deep areas of the folds signs of a yeast infection will be an increased foul smell, possible areas of crust and/or red swollen skin. The skin may also be oily, greasy or even have some oozing.
To remove both the smell and the bacteria, you may wish to wipe out the areas thoroughly with over-the-counter medicated antiseptic canine wipes that treat fungal yeast and bacterial infection. This is done 2 to 3 times per day. If there is no improvement after 3 days, if symptoms become worse or if the Pug is very uncomfortable, you will want to have him/her checked by the vet. In cases of severe infection, an antibiotic and/or prescription strength anti-fungal medication may be needed.
A super effective wipe for fungal or bacterial issues in the wrinkles or skin folds is: