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dog parent basics

How to control pug shedding

Learn how to combat excess shedding (and save your furniture)

Updated January 25, 2021

Created By

Lauren Cocking,
Person combs pug dog with a metal grooming comb. seasonal molting of pets and removal of excess undercoat by the owner

The essentials

  • Pugs tend to shed more than other dogs This is because they have a double coat.
  • Excess pug shedding can be controlled through diet, grooming, and supplements However, it’s not preventable.
  • If excess shedding is a deal breaker, consider a black pug They tend to have single coats and shed less than double coated apricot or fawn pugs.

Why do pugs shed so much?

Anyone who shares their home with a furry friend will tell you that shedding is one of the few downsides of adopting a cat or dog. One day your house is clean and tidy and the next, your furniture seems furrier than your pooch!

But there’s often no reason to be concerned. Shedding is totally natural, and all cats and dogs shed some of their fur either year-round, seasonally, or both. However, if you’re a pug owner you may be wondering why your dog is shedding quite so much.

The first reason is that they shed their fur year-round. The second is that pugs tend to have double coats. This means there are two layers to their fur: a dense, short undercoat and a longer outer layer of ‘guard hairs’. It also means they have more fur to shed at any one time than breeds with just a single layer of fur. Other double coated dog breeds are also known to be heavy shedders, including Shiba Inus and huskies.

🚨 While pugs shed year-round, the shedding can increase in spring and summer as they shed their slightly thicker winter coats. 

Top reasons why pugs shed so much

There are many other non-double coat related reasons that pugs shed so much. Here are some of the most common:

  • Allergies. Pugs are prone to allergies and can suffer from irritation caused by cleaning products, pollen, pest bites, and more. If you suspect your dog is allergic to something — alongside shedding, excessive licking is a key indicator — speak to a vet and try and eliminate possible irritants from your home.
  • Hormonal cycles. If your female pug hasn’t been spayed, her heat cycles can affect the amount of fur she sheds at any one time. You might notice her losing more hair towards the end of those cycles.
  • Age. Pug puppies tend to shed a lot more as they start to transition out of their puppy coat at around three months. They will then continue to shed heavily through adulthood.

👉 Black pugs typically don’t have the same double coat as their lighter-colored counterparts, so they tend to shed less. 

How can I tell if my pug is shedding too much?

Given that pugs are such naturally heavy shedders, it can be tricky to decide what’s ‘normal’ and what’s ‘excessive’ when it comes to the amount of shedding, especially for first-time pug owners.

However, there are some tell-tale hair loss signs you can look out for if you’re worried about the amount of hair your pug is losing. These include bald spots, increased itchiness — which could indicate irritation or allergies — and generally thinned fur. All of the above may indicate excessive shedding.

How to control your pug’s shedding

Excess shedding can be overwhelming, especially if you weren’t anticipating it. However, while pug shedding can’t be prevented entirely, it can absolutely be controlled through regular grooming, an altered diet, and more. Here are some of the steps you can take to help control your pug’s excess shedding:

💡 If you’re thinking of getting a pug, invest in some heavy-duty lint rollers and a good vacuum cleaner that’s specifically designed for pet hair. 🧹

Grooming. Regular brushing is one of the best ways to dislodge any loose fur in your dog’s coat and prevent your pug from shedding all over the house. Try to use deshedding tools (like furminators) and other grooming tools like grooming gloves or mitts that are designed for double coated pups, before finishing with a bristle brush.

A dedicated once-a-week grooming session should generally do the trick, but some pugs may require daily brushing to keep their shedding under control. And rewarding them with treats throughout isn’t a bad idea.

👉 Groom outdoors and remember that there will always be dead hairs coming off your pooch. Cap the brushing session at fifteen minutes for your own sanity. 

Bathing. Pugs also benefit from regular baths and the use of dog shampoo designed for deshedding. Try to bathe your pup once a month to really deep clean their double coat. And don’t panic if you seem to be dislodging lots of loose hair — pugs tend to shed a lot during bath time, but it’s nothing to worry about. Just be sure to thoroughly dry them (with a towel or blow dryer) before letting them back into the house, otherwise you might find your clean bedding ends up covered in wet dog hair! And be especially careful around their tight facial folds.

Diet. Feeding your pug a high-quality, nutrient-rich diet can help maintain healthy skin and fur and prevent heavy shedding. Some great human snacks to add into their diet include carrots, cooked salmon, and mango (in moderation). Remember to keep their water bowl refreshed and topped up, as hydration is also important.

Supplements. As well as ensuring your pug has nutritious dog food and snacks, you can also add supplements to their diet to ensure a healthy coat. Look out for supplements that contain linoleic acid, flaxseed oil, and omega 3 fish oils (sometimes called omega fatty acids). Omega 3 fish oils are especially good for keeping your pug’s coat and skin healthy and preventing fur breakage which can make it seem like they’re shedding more than normal.

👉 Speak to your vet before giving your dog any supplements. They can recommend the right ones for you.

Flea, tick, and allergy prevention. Shedding in pugs can sometimes be caused by external irritants, including fleas, ticks, and allergies. Keeping your pug protected against these irritants as much as possible can help reduce unnecessary, excessive shedding. Flea and tick collars are effective and convenient, while allergies can be assessed and treated or managed under veterinary supervision.