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The Pug is one of the sweetest dog breeds around. They are known for the strong bonding they make with their human family, not to mention they get along well with other dogs and children. While they may be strong-willed, they are typically not aggressive. With these and more amazing features, Pugs have won the hearts of people from all over the world.
What you may be shocked to learn about this cutie is the amount of fur they shed. Luckily, it’s nothing you can’t keep under control with a few grooming tips and a proper diet. Before we get deep into this breed’s shedding tendencies, let’s answer a simple question:
Do Pugs shed? Like all dogs, they do shed. Pugs are considered heavy shedders and shed year-round, unlike some breeds who shed seasonally. Expect to find fur on your furniture, floors, clothing, and even food (if you’re not careful). That being said, several factors will affect how much your Pug sheds, including type of coat, season, age, hormones, overall health, and nutrition, to name a few.
You might be surprised to learn how insanely this little pup sheds if you’ve recently adopted a Pug. But don’t let this deter you from owning this wonderful companion. With any breed ownership, there’s going to be some shedding, just that it will vary in quantity and frequency.
Pug’s shedding is manageable if you put in the time and use the right tools. In this article, we take a closer look at why do Pugs shed, how much is normal and what’s excessive, and tips to help you manage the situation. So, stay with me till the end!
How Much Do Pugs Shed?
Pugs shed a lot; they are one of the heaviest shedders in the dogdom. But these dogs are pretty small with relatively short fur. So, why do Pugs shed so excessively compared to dogs three or four times their size?
First off, most Pugs are double-coated, meaning they have two layers of fur. This means they have more hair to lose than single-coated dogs with just one layer. Secondly, whether single or double-coated, these dogs’ hairs are tightly packed. While the average dog has 100-200 hairs per inch, Pugs coats have 600 hairs per square inch.
All that extra fur is going to cause more shedding. Another reason Pugs shed much is their hair experiences a quick growth cycle. All dogs undergo a hair growth cycle that includes three stages: growth, rest, and shed. Some breeds like the Pug move through this cycle quicker than most dogs, hence the frequent shedding.
Although Pugs are known to be heavy shedders, certain factors might affect how much your particular Pug sheds. This includes their physical and mental health, genetics, the temperature outdoors, age, nutrition, and how well you provide their grooming needs.
Why Do Pugs Shed?
We looked into the reasons that make Pugs heavy shedders, but why do they shed in the first place? As mentioned earlier, all dogs go through a standard growth cycle for their coats. This natural process allows them to get rid of old, dead hairs and regrow new, healthier ones.
You may notice your Pug shed even more during certain times of the year. This is usually in fall and spring when they shed to grow better-suited coats for the upcoming season.
If you have a Pug puppy, they will shed a significant amount when they are around 6-7 months as they get rid of their fragile puppy hairs to grow a more robust adult coat.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do Pugs shed? These dogs are year-round shedders. You can expect to find fur around your home, on your sofas, floors, clothing, and anywhere else the pet visits. Being double-coated, Pugs have an undercoat that changes depending on the seasons to help regulate their body temperature more efficiently. The undercoat is thinner in summer to cool the animal down and thicker in winter to help it stay warm.
These dogs can’t simply reduce or grow more fur to their existing coats to stay cool or warm. Instead, they completely replace the entire undercoat with a thinner or thicker layer, hence the increased shedding in spring and fall. In spring, the coat blowout will see the highest shedding since there’s more hair to lose as the doggy gets rid of the thick winter coat.
While there are natural causes of shedding in dogs, sometimes your Pug may be shedding due to an underlying problem. Even though this breed is a heavy shedder, shedding should not be too much that the coat looks thin. Other signs of unhealthy shedding include:
- Bald spots
- Open sores
- Patches of hair rather than individual hairs on your floors
- Increased licking or itchiness
Given that Pugs are already heavy shedders, it can be tricky to decide whether or not their excessive shedding is healthy. But if you notice any of the above signs, please consult a vet. There are several causes of unhealthy shedding in Pugs, and the most common ones include:
- Stress: Dogs can get stressed for several reasons, including separation anxiety, introducing a new pet, the owner’s death, moving house, etc.
- Allergies: Like humans, dogs can be allergic to certain foods, medication, pest bites, shampoo, cleaning products, etc. This can often result in excessive licking and skin irritation, which both cause excessive shedding.
- Skin problems: Pugs are prone to skin conditions such as ringworm and skin fold dermatitis, which can lead to hair loss and baldness
- Hormonal imbalances in pregnant or bitches in heat
- Improper nutrition
What Type of Coat Does A Pug Have?
As mentioned earlier, most Pugs are double-coated, particularly the fawn-colored ones. This means there are two fur coats on the dog: the inner and the outer layer. If you run your fingers through this dog’s coat, you’ll feel wool-like fur underneath, and that’s the undercoat.
It acts as an insulator to help regulate the animal’s body temperature so it stays cool or warm when needed. In contrast, the topcoat feels rougher with guard hairs for protecting the Pug from environmental elements, such as rough terrain, snow, or debris. Black Pugs tend to be single-coated. And with one layer of fur, it means half the amount of fur and half the shedding compared to other Pugs.
Whether single or double-coated, Pugs’ hairs are tightly packed with up to 600 hairs per square inch compared to an average dog with 100-200 hairs per square inch. This makes their coats about 3-6 times thicker than the average dog. Needless to say, more hairs will cause more shedding problems.
How to Manage and Reduce Pugs Shedding?
As a Pug parent, you have to be prepared for a lot of cleaning. There’s no way to stop this canine from shedding; it’s just a normal part of their life. Some people shave their dogs, thinking that less fur will equal less shedding and less grooming needs. First off, this is a temporary solution because the hairs will grow back.
Secondly, double coats don’t grow back normal after completely shaving them. Dogs need that hair just the way it is to protect themselves against the cold, heat, and other elements. I don’t recommend shaving, and this dog’s excessive shedding can be overwhelming. So, what is the solution? You can do several things to keep shedding under control, starting with grooming and providing a proper diet.
When Pugs shed, some old, loose hairs get trapped in their coat. The more you can capture those hairs before they fall into your environment, the better. And brushing allows you to do that. It also helps to keep the fur clean and healthy, thus encouraging healthy shedding.
I recommend brushing the Pug at least three times a week and daily during the seasonal shedding to keep up with the increased shedding. If you have a single-coated Pug, brushing just once a week should be enough to keep fur off your furniture and out of your home.
The best brush to use is a bristle brush or rubber hand mitt. They remove loose hairs, and also help spread the natural oils over the skin to encourage healthy hair growth and prevent dry-irritated skin that can often lead to shedding.
The best way to manage and reduce shedding is to deal with it inside. Providing a high-quality, nutrient-rich diet to your Pug helps maintain healthy skin and fur, thus encouraging healthy shedding. It would be best to look for lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs, and fiber.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and flaxseed are also known to improve fur health and will transform dull and brittle hairs into sleek and shiny ones. Avoid cheap dog food as they often contain fillers, grains, and additives, which are not useful for your canine.
Keep in mind that dogs can also be allergic to certain foods. And that can lead to itching and scratching, which causes shedding. Watch what you’re feeding your Pug, and if it’s something new, offer it individually as you watch its reaction.
Last but not least, ensure your Pug has access to clean, fresh water. Dehydration causes dry skin that is prone to shedding.
Regular bathing is another effective way to reduce shedding. It helps to loosen all the dead hairs and remove them before shedding occurs. That way, you don’t have to deal with a hairy situation on your couch, bed, and clothes. That being said, you don’t want to go overboard with the bathing.
Once a month should be enough to keep the fur clean and healthy and minimize shedding. Frequent baths and using human shampoos or low-quality dog shampoos can dry out the skin, thus worsening the shedding.
We already saw that a proper diet is vital to solving shedding problems from the inside. If you think your Pug’s food isn’t providing enough nutrients, you can enrich their diet with supplements. Many nutritional supplements can encourage healthy fur, including omega-3 oils, flaxseed oils, and vitamins. But speak to your vet first so they can recommend the right ones for your pet.
Are Pugs Hypoallergenic?
Many people are allergic to dogs, hence the increasing need for hypoallergenic breeds. These dogs are believed to carry fewer allergens, making them less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Contrary to popular belief, people with allergies are not usually affected by fur; instead, it’s due to a protein found in the animal’s dander, saliva, and urine. But since these elements attach to the fur and are released to the environment during shedding, low shedders are often believed to carry fewer allergens, hence more allergy-friendly.
Now that you understand what a hypoallergenic dog is, Pugs are not considered hypoallergenic. That’s because they are heavy shedders. This means they produce a lot of dander that can easily cause one’s allergies to flare up.
I wouldn’t recommend this breed if you have severe allergies. Luckily, there are many hypoallergenic breeds, including the American Hairless Spaniel, Basenji, Maltese, Poodle, Affenpinscher, Bichon Frise, Giant Schnauzer, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, etc.
But if your heart is still set on the amazing Pug and you only have mild allergies, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize allergic reactions. First off, reduce fur and dander shedding by regularly grooming your pet and providing a proper diet. Secondly, reduce allergens in your environment through regular vacuuming, keeping the doggy out of your bedroom, and investing in a HEPA air filter to capture allergens in the air. Lastly, you can consult with your doctor about allergy medication to help manage your symptoms.