Do Pugs Shed?
(And how to minimize heavy shedding)

Published on February 13th, 2020

If you are looking to adopt a pug, the thing to know first is that their whole purpose in life is to be your companion. They like to be on your lap when you relax, in bed when you sleep and when you are out and about, they enjoy being in the car with you. They epitomize the saying dog is man's best friend.

But you may also be asking the question do pugs shed?

Breeds that shed heavily require a lot more grooming, and they make it challenging for you to keep your home free of pet hair. This single characteristic may weigh heavily when deciding on the perfect breed for you and your family.

So let's find out whether pugs shed heaps or not.

hairy pug sitting
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    How Much Do Pugs Shed?

    A lot of prospective pug owners think because pugs are short-haired dogs, they are not big shedders. But actually, pugs shed heavily. And they shed all year round.

    Aside from pretty much daily shedding, you will also have to deal with seasonal shedding since many pugs have double coats.

    When I think about dogs that shed the most, I think German Shepherds, pugs, and long-haired retrievers. Keep that in mind with your new pup.

    Why Do Pugs Shed So Much?

    Now that you know how much your pug sheds, here are some reasons why.

    Like the hair on most dog breeds, pug hair goes through three steps of growth: growing, resting, and falling out. Pugs just go through this process much faster than many other breeds. The shedding process starts around three months old and gets worse between one and five years of age.

    pug playing in the park

    Putting it into perspective, pugs have 600 hairs for every square inch on their body. In comparison, for example, Yorkies only have about 100-200 hairs per square inch. This feature makes pugs shed more since there is a lot more hair to be shed in the first place.

    Also, believe it or not, the color of your pug can be a factor. Many owners say that black pugs seem to shed less than lighter colored pugs. The lighter the pug, the more they shed.

    The reason behind this is that most non-black pugs (and also some black pugs) have double coats, while most black pugs have single coats. Since dogs with a double coat have a thick and soft undercoat under that dense top coat, they have more fur to shed.

    Factors That Affect A Pug's Shedding

    Seasons

    Pugs are known to shed all year round, but you can expect that the season will play a part in how much your pug sheds. Spring is a heavy shedding time because they are shedding two coats from the winter.

    Fall is also going to be an excessive shedding period due to losing the summer coat and thickening up for the cold. Just remember, two coats are a lot of hair to shed.

    Type of Coat

    Depending on whether or not your pug has a single or double coat will be a factor on how much your pug sheds. The reason the black pug sheds less is that they are usually single coated, which will decrease the shedding some, but not much.

    If you have a light-colored pug, they are often double-coated, and the shedding will be considered more than what one would be used to when it comes to a small dog.

    Age

    Believe it or not, as your pug gets old, their shedding gets worse.

    Until they are about a year old, they lose an average amount of hair. Once they reach a year old, they mature, and their double coats are in, and the shedding will get much worse.

    douple coated pug

    Baths

    Bathing your dog will trigger them to shed more because massaging the coat will loosen up all the fur that is starting to fall out.

    However, bathing can also be a good way of controlling shedding if you combine grooming with bathing sessions.

    Allergies

    Allergies are a common cause of excessive shedding in all dogs. Pugs are very prone to allergies, and their first line of defense is to shed.

    Environmental allergens, such as fleas, ticks, and other parasites, can cause your pug to shed more than usual. Fleas are especially troublesome for pugs due to there being so much hair.

    Having so much hair is also a problem with specific allergies, as well. Since there is so much hair packed on their small bodies, when they have a reaction to anything, be it environmental or internal, they will start dropping hair and probably scratching the area that is affected. They may even get a bald patch where they are experiencing their reaction.

    Stress

    As with any dog breed, even humans, for that matter, stress can cause hair loss. With a pug being a dog breed that is there to be your companion and with you all the time, your pug can get stressed quicker than other dog breeds when left alone.

    If you start a job and end up leaving them for hours a day when they are not used to that, their shedding can get bad, and patches of hair can fall out. Even something as simple as changing where they sleep or introducing a new animal can cause a lot of stress for your pug.

    Mange

    Pugs are one of the breeds that are more susceptible to demodectic mange, also known as "demodex." This skin disease is caused by parasitic mites called demodectic mites. These mites live at the base of the hair follicles and are normally present without causing symptoms. However, especially your pugs may suffer from a weakened immune system causing them symptoms like bald patches or loss of appetite.

    Hormonal cycles

    Another cause of excessive shedding is hormonal. Non-spayed female pugs will have an influx of hormones that can cause hair loss and excessive shedding at certain points during the hormonal cycle.

    Tips to Get Your Pug's Shedding Under Control

    light haired pug in the field

    Brushing

    Routinely brushing your pug will help get the dead hair loose and removed, and help with the everyday shedding issues. We recommend quickly brushing through your pug's coat every day to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.

    A bristle brush or deshedding glove is great for pugs with a single coat. The bristles won't have to reach deep into the coat, and they can help spread natural oils and control dander.

    However, if you have a pug with a double coat, you may need more powerful tools for grooming. For a brush, we recommend a slicker brush with short and flexible wire bristles. This type of brush is gentle enough for the short fur of your pug, while still removing loose hair from the undercoat.

    Deshedding tool

    In addition to daily upkeep brushing, you should use a deshedding tool once a week to remove loose hair from the undercoat as well.  This type of grooming tool is designed to penetrate the top coat to deshed the undercoat. It will make sure you get rid of all the dead hair that is there waiting to fall out.

    Doing this regularly once a week along with daily brushing, will help you keep the shedding at bay and your home cleaner.

    Bathing

    Bathing your pug on a regular basis will help keep shedding under control as well. It is because when you bathe them regularly, you are massaging the skin as well, which will loosen up the dead hair.

    While bathing will trigger shedding, keeping a regular bathing schedule with a mild shampoo will help with controlling it.

    Bathing your pug once a month should be enough.

    However, be mindful that during and after bathing, the pug is going to be shedding like crazy, so be prepared for a good cleaning session afterward.

    pug in a bath

    Always wait until the fur is completely dry, but after a bath is an ideal time to get out the deshedding tool. After bathing, there will be heaps of loose fur, which is better collected than shed around your home.

    Dietary Supplements

    Omega fatty acid supplements for your pug will actually help with the shedding. The key to keeping a coat in good shape is keeping the skin in good shape as well.

    Using fish oil is the best for your pugs. Wild fish as well, not farmed fish. These supplements will keep your pug's coat in good shape and help keep it shining. And when the coat is healthy, you won't see any excess shedding.

    Hydration

    Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Pugs not only need clean water to help with shedding, but they need it because they can actually die in the heat.

    Water is essential for humans when it comes to healthy skin, so it is not a far-fetched idea that your pug will benefit from being hydrated and having clean water to drink. Dehydration may cause excess shedding, so keeping your pug hydrated is again a good way to make sure the shedding is kept down to the minimum.

    Skin Disease Prevention

    They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to a pug shedding, preventing skin issues before they start is half the battle when it comes to helping a pug reduce their shedding.

    It is really simple; just regular vet visits and keeping a regular schedule with bathing and grooming will help keep you informed when it comes to their skin conditions.

    Shedding Causes and What to Do

    Parasites, Fleas, Mites

    As with any dog, these little pests can cause your pug's world to turn upside down. You will more than likely notice before it gets too bad because your pug will be digging and having some hair loss that will be excessive even for your pug.

    The best way to prevent these issues is to inspect your dog regularly when you groom and bathe them. If you see anything out of the ordinary, take your pug to the vet.

    The vet will do an exam and then prescribe the correct medicine according to their weight. Just a word of caution, do not try to treat them yourself because it is weight-based and some over the counter treatments can cause more harm than good.

    pug shedding hair

    Fungal or Bacterial Infections

    As with any kind of infection in your dog, you will notice some symptoms. If they have a fungus, you will notice that it spreads, and depending on what it is, it can spread quickly. Most fungal infections will have a scaly appearance.

    It will cause shedding if not patches of hair loss, and you will be able to pick up on that quickly. If it is a bacterial infection, there will probably be other symptoms that you will pick up on as well. The best way to deal with these infections is to take your pug to the vet.

    Most of the time, it is an exam and possibly some blood work or stool tests. They will give you either oral or topical meds or shampoo to help it heal.

    Thyroid Issues

    If your pug has thyroid problems, this can cause excessive hair loss as well. There will be more shedding because hair growth is directly related to hormone function. That is why females who are in heat can have hair loss. With the thyroid, this will be a lifelong issue you will have.

    There will be blood work, and then you will have to give them meds to regulate their hormones. You will also notice a lack of appetite and energy with this as well. Usually, though, excessive shedding will be a sign of thyroid for your pug.

    Kidney and Liver Disease

    If your pug has a kidney or liver problem, you can usually tell by their appetite, bathroom habits, and their hair loss as well. Any time your pug has organ issues that deal with absorption issues in the GI tract, hair loss will be a definite sign because a healthy diet is needed for a healthy coat.

    When your dog cannot absorb the required nutrients, their hair can start falling out in clumps. The vet will do bloodwork and let you know what the diagnosis is, and sometimes just a round of meds can improve the situation.

    Pregnancy or Lactation

    If you have a female pug that is either pregnant or feeding a litter, she is going to be depleted of her nutrients, along with the influx of hormones that she is having.

    It is going to affect her shedding directly. She may lose her hair in patches, but once she is done lactating or has her litter, the problem should resolve itself.

    FAQ

    Yes, all pugs shed. Pugs without an undercoat shed less, but pugs with a double coat shed throughout the year plus seasonally. Pugs are considered to be s breed that sheds quite heavily since their fur is very dense, and the growth cycle of the hair is quicker than on other breeds.

    There is no way to prevent your pug from shedding. The best you can do is keep it under control through regular grooming, bathing, inspection for fleas and other pests, and maintain a healthy diet with fish oil supplements to promote a healthy coat and skin.

    No, they do not. Their shedding season is in the spring and fall. They shed all year round; the spring shedding is heavier though due to the thick winter fur falling off.

    All the time. It is less when they are pups, but after they reach one year of age, they will shed throughout the year and especially in the spring and fall if they have an undercoat.

    Yes. Many owners who have black pugs swear they do not shed nearly as much as lighter-colored pugs. It is in part because most black pugs have a single coat of hair, not the double coat. But still, also black pugs shed.

    Conclusion

    By now, you have probably thought twice if you do not already own a pug as to whether or not you want to. This is understandable. The key to owning a pug is to remember they were literally made to be your friend and companion.

    No one wants dog hair all over them all the time. That being said, all dogs shed. It just so happens; pugs have a lot more hair per square inch on their bodies than most other dogs. They grow hair quicker, and they lose it quicker.

    It is easy for you to maintain your pug, though. So, you and your pug can be happy and healthy. Common sense applies when it comes to being a pug parent.  Just like your kids, you bathe them regularly, brush their hair, feed them well, and clean up after them.

    While they do shed a lot, so do many other dogs. In the end, it is hair, and you will find a routine that keeps you and your pug happy and healthy.

    Matt Clayton

    Matt Clayton

    Chief Editor & Founder of PetHairPatrol

    Matt is the founder of PetHairPatrol.com and has years of experience helping pet owners keep their homes clean. He's been featured in publications like Reader's Digest, Money, and BestLifeOnline. When this neat freak is not searching for better ways to get rid of pet hair, dander, and other messes pets leave behind, he's usually enjoying outdoors with his two (hairy) Goldens: Ben and Jerry. Read more.

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