The perky and precocious little Pug is a dog that originated in the Orient centuries ago, but, over time, made its way to the Western world where it has become one of the most popular dog breeds.
The Pug is known for its curly tail, wrinkled body and flat face. However, it is these very features that make the Pug a bit of a challenge when it comes to care and grooming.
Why is Pug Grooming Important for this Short-Haired Breed?
Even though Pugs have a short, glossy coat that is easy to care for on a daily basis, they are prone to a few skin conditions that might require a little extra TLC.
One skin condition many Pugs are prone too is Cheyletiella Dermatitis or Walking Dandruff. This condition is due to the presence of a mite that can cause heavy dandruff along the spinal area of the dog. Special products are necessary to treat this condition, and, if other dogs are present, be sure to treat them as well.
If you’re not sure whether or not your pup has a skin condition, see your vet.
Pug Eyes Require Special Care Too
Pugs are also prone to disorders of the eye. They may suffer from corneal ulcers, or be susceptible to two conditions which result in “Dry Eye.”
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca and pigmentary keratitis both tend to cause dry eye, when the eye doesn’t produce enough moisture.
Corneal ulcers must be treated with medication. Failure to get the condition under control can result in blindness.
While the dry eye that is caused by keratoconjunctivitis sicca is often more uncomfortable for your dog than anything else, pigmentary keratitis does have the potential to cause blindness without medication.
You’ve probably heard that a Pug’s eyes can “pop out” of their heads. This is actually true, so special care must be taken to ensure that the Pug does not accidentally suffer from proptosis.
When it comes to the grooming of the Pug and these conditions, the tearing that most Pugs experience needs to be attended to on a daily basis. Adding to the importance of this part of Pug care is the fact that the face of the Pug is quite wrinkled. Preventing tears from seeping into these wrinkles is of the utmost importance.
Although you will want to keep chemicals away from the eyes of your Pug, you can use a thin bath cloth (dampened) to wipe tears from the eye sockets. Do this as often as necessary, but at least once in the morning and before bedtime.
Clean Those Wrinkles Properly
You will want to invest in sensitive-skin baby wipes to keep the wrinkles of your Pug clean. Of course, you could use a cotton ball (sometimes dampened with water, other times just a dry piece) to wipe the wrinkles, too.
Yes, you’ll need to really “get in there” as far as wiping your Pug’s wrinkles. Be sure to remove any dirt or moisture that is trapped in the wrinkles.
These folds of skin can be a fertile breeding ground for infection! Wipe the folds daily, at least once. Do so more often if your pup has been playing outdoors.
The Tropiclean Medicated Anti Itch Wipes offer gentle cleansing for irritated or inflamed skin and are a good solution for cleaning your Pug’s wrinkles.
Bathing a Pug
When it comes to bathing, Pugs need a bath only once a week (unless, of course, they have been outdoors at play). Just as you must keep the wrinkles dry on a daily basis, it is mandatory that you wipe down all wrinkles when drying your Pug after a bath.
Pay attention to the type of soap you use when bathing your Pug, too. Do not use human shampoo or conditioner. Choose an all-natural dog shampoo that is free of dyes, artificial perfumes, and other harmful chemicals.
In fact, a truly organic/all-natural shampoo will be a light yellow (possibly even a dull yellow) color, will have only lightly scented fragrance, and will be thin – not thick and viscous like human shampoo or conditioner.
Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo is a good option if your Pug has sensitive skin and you want to bathe them regularly.
Teeth and Other Concerns
You could brush your Pug’s teeth using specially-formulated dog toothpaste and a small toothbrush. Or, as an alternative, you may like to give your pup regular dental chews so they can maintain their teeth health while getting a treat.
Oravet’s dental hygiene chews are one of my favorites. Not only do dogs love to munch on them, but they offer an anti-bacterial guard and fresh mouth.
All-in-all, Pugs need quite a bit of daily care and grooming to ensure they don’t get too many health issues. Be sure to monitor their skin for allergic reactions, keep their wrinkles dry and clean, and be aware of their eyes getting exposed to irritants.
Most importantly, see your vet if you notice anything worrying!