Pugs are silly dogs with a fun-loving and affectionate personality. They make great companions, but even better lounge buddies. However if you’re planning on keeping a Pug, shedding can be a huge concern for owners that are allergic to dogs.
Most Pugs will be moderate to heavy shedding dogs. However, not all shed the same amount. Black Pugs tend to have single coats, and thus, shed less compared to their counterparts. Most non-black Pugs have double coats, which lead to heavier shedding during during the spring and fall seasons.
Though Pugs can shed a lot, don’t let this deter you from owning a Pug. Read on to learn what actually makes these dogs heavy shedders and simple ways you can minimize Pug shedding.
RECOMMENDED: The Guide to the Pug
3 Reasons Why Pugs Shed (A Lot)
Nearly all dogs shed, but Pugs shed quite a bit relative to other dog breeds. So why is it that most Pugs are considered heavy shedders while other dogs barely shed at all. We looked into all the reasons that make them heavy shedders.
1. Pugs need a heavy-shedding coat for the Tibetan mountains
Pugs were originally bred to be lapdogs for the Chinese elite back in ancient China. And according to the AKC, the earliest records of these dogs can be traced back to the Tibetan monasteries that sit atop the high-altitude mountains.
These dogs were companions for the Buddhist monks in these monasteries that sat in the mountainous regions of Tibet. The weather in this area is some of the harshest in the world.
Weather during summer is cool, but can become excruciating come winter time. For this reason, not all dog breeds are ideal for this region. The Pug, however, is an exception because they were bred to live in this extreme climate.
To be able to withstand the negative degree temperatures, a fur coat capable of keeping the dog warm is not only crucial, but a necessity. Don’t expect to find any hairless dog breeds in Tibet. The Pug’s coat may be relatively short, but it’s a thick coat with more hair than it looks.
It makes a lot of sense that a thicker coat would have more fur or hairs to shed. This is the case with the Pug. They shed because they were bred for it. In fact, most non-black Pugs (fawn, apricot, silver, etc.) have this double coat.
2. Most Pugs have a “double coat” that sheds heavily
A double coat helps keep your Pug warm during freezing cold temperatures. And to survive in the winter of the Tibetan mountains, a dog will need a double coat. But what exactly is a double coat and why does it lead to more shedding?
Double coats are exactly as they sound – two fur coats on the dog. There’s two parts: it’s made up of an inner layer of fur, called the undercoat. In addition, there’s a outer coat called the topcoat. Both coats are essential in protecting your Pug.
If you ever run your fingers through the coat of a Pug, you’ll notice a wool-like feel underneath the fur. That’s the undercoat, and it acts as an insulator to keep your dog warm in cold temperatures.
In contrast, the outside of the Pug’s coat feels more rough. That’s the top coat, where the “guard hairs” protect the dog from environmental elements, such as rough terrain, snow or debris.
Double coats are not unique to Pugs. In fact, many popular dog breeds such as the Corgi, Aussie and Husky all have double coats.
However, with two coats means double the amount of hair and potentially double the amount of shedding, especially during shedding season.
3. Pugs shed more during the spring and fall
If a dog sheds, the dog will usually shed year round. There’s very little you can do to stop it. But twice a year (spring and fall), dogs experience even heavier shedding.
It’s not as noticeable with single-coated dogs, but double-coated breeds like the Pug will shed the most during these times. We call this “blowing the coat.”
Every march I can expect my pug to shed enough fur to make another pug. Other than brushing and bathing, there’s little you can do…just have fun with it.– Jason J. (Pug owner)
Jason’s dog experiences heavy shedding during the spring season because his Pug is shedding her thick winter coat in preparation for a warmer summer. In this phase, she’ll simultaneously grow out her lighter summer coat that’s more fitting for warmer temperatures.
Similarly, when fall comes around, the Pug will shed the lighter summer coat in order to grow out the thicker winter coat. It’s a cyclical process that never stops. Unfortunately, this means your Pug will shed a lot more during these times.
How Much Do Pugs Shed?
Every individual dog will be different. So, it’s impossible to definitively answer the question: how much do Pugs shed? However, we can get a pretty good idea by asking real Pug owners this question.
We surveyed real owners on the popular online forum (Reddit) to see how much these dogs actually shed, at least according to these owners. Here’s what they had to say:
Real Owner Answers:
1. Winter83 says Moderate: “My boy pug sheds so much more than every pug I have ever had. Plus, brushing and bathing him didn’t help much. I’ve only had black and brindle pugs. Bubs is my first fawn and his hair is different. Thicker and he is shedding like the devil.”
2. lilgrumble says High: “I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one dealing with this!! I have 3 pugs; fawn, black and apricot. My fawn male Pug sheds the worst by far and I literally have pug hair tumbleweeds rolling across my floors at all times.”
3. Bucklikethedeer says High: “I’ve basically accepted my new life of being buried in pug hair. But seriously I vacuum at least once per week, wash my sheets once a week, have a sheet on my couch so I can easily wash that, and brush outside when I can.”
4. Corsenpug says Moderate: “Why does my fawn shed so much more than my black one? I’ve had labs of different colors and their coats act the same, but every fawn pug sheds like crazy and every black pug doesn’t. So strange.”
5. Pug_butts says Low: “We seriously lucked out with our pug, who only has a single coat! He barely sheds in comparison to our 19 year old Pug with a double coat.”
6. Killingit12 says High: “My pug, like many others i’m sure, is a shedding machine. If I don’t vacuum my house at least once every couple of days, my previously wooden floor is a carpet.”
7. Furgenhurgen says High: “They SHED. Not lowercase letter shed, but SHED. I have never seen anything like it before. I tried to keep control of it, but really have given up and sweep every other day and call it done.”
8. Ailefel says Moderate: “I wouldn’t say Pugs are “high maintenance,” but they most definitely shed. So regular brushings would help. Just be prepared to vacuum/sweep regularly.”
9. Chrisplode says High: “So, my little Pug Winston is only 10 months old, and he is shedding EVERYWHERE…We took him to the vet last week because we thought he had mange, but the vet ruled that out to just allergies. Since last week his shedding has only gotten worse.”
10. Hunnybee87 says High: “I own a 8 month old fawn pug. I’ve brushed and brushed, used a lint roller and it’s like I’ve done nothing. He sleeps with the bed with me and his hair is everywhere.”
How to Deal With a Pug’s Shedding
Many Pug owners will give you all kinds of suggestions to dealing with shedding in Pugs. However, we’ve asked the owners and found the most frequently suggested advice to potential new owners.
1. Daily grooming is essential
This one is really important. Unless you want your house to be furry all over, daily brushing is the only way to keep your Pug’s fur in check.
Many Pug owners will recommend one and only one product: the Furminator.
Why is the Furminator the best when it comes to brushing your Pug? This de-shedding tool was built for dog breeds that have double coats, such as most Pugs.
The brush is designed to reach and easily remove any loose hair in the undercoat through the topcoat.
It also has a “FURejector” feature that easily releases the accumulated fur from the brush. This little simple feature makes it super easy and convenient to make this a daily ritual.
It’s seriously a must have if you plan to keep a Pug. It’s a little pricey for a brush, but anyone that owns one will tell you that it’s worth the money, especially for dogs with an undercoat.
If you haven’t already, I’d check this price out at Amazon here. You’ll want to get a small or medium size brush for short hair.
2. Pick the “right color”
Yes, you read right. Pick the right color if you want to deal with less Pug shedding. Although all Pugs are different and shedding can depend a lot on genetics, black pugs typically shed the least.
This is because black Pugs usually do not have a double oat. However, this doesn’t guarantee they won’t have one – you just have better odds of a single coat.
We have two black pugs, Lilu & Sprocket. Lilu has a thick coat of longer soft fur that sheds quite a bit. Sprocket has a shorter more coarse coat that doesn’t shed at all.– Anonymous Reddit User
There are many different colors of Pugs. Some of the more popular colors, such as fawn Pugs, shed a lot more than a black one. Owners will even tell you that the black hair from black pugs are less noticeable than hair from their fawn counterparts.
Another Reddit user summed it up nicely, saying, “some Pugs just shed more than others and some pugs just have a thinner less fluffy coat.“
3. Don’t shave your Pug
Many owners have opted to shave their Pug to reduce the shedding. However, the community has mixed feelings about this. Obviously, this is not a permanent solution, but a temporary one that requires extra time upfront (or money spent at the groomers).
Before you decide on doing this, it’s worth noting that double coats don’t grow back completely normal after you’ve completely shaved it.
And according to Dogs Naturally, a shaved dog doesn’t really protect the dog from the heat, especially out in the sun. Still, many owners choose this route.
For example, Reddit user and Pug owner suggested:
The best way we have found to handle the shedding is by getting them shaved. They love it because it’s much cooler for them in the summer and we love it because it cuts down the shedding to almost nothing.– Pugsnotdrugs (Reddit User)
Pug coats, especially fawns, can be thick. So, shaving their coat may actually make it more comfortable for them if they’re not always in the sun.
Another Reddit user said, “the shedding is all year but we get our fawn pug shaved since his coat is much thicker and we live in the desert.”
If you do opt to shave your Pug, just take note that you may have to do this once every 6 weeks or so. It really depends on your dog and how fast their hair grows, but six weeks is a very typical time frame for shaving.
5. Regular bathing is necessary
If you think daily brushing is a pain, then you’re in for a treat. In addition to frequent brushing, you’ll need to frequently bathe your Pug to keep the shedding in check.
Giving your Pug a bath once a month should be enough to keep their coat healthy, clean and minimize shedding. However during shedding season, you may want to consider a bath once every two to three weeks or so.
The important thing to note is that you don’t want to go overboard with bathing. Every time you wash your Pug, you’re washing out important oils on their coat that protect their skin and coat.
It’s also important that you pick the right products when bathing your Pug. These dogs can be sensitive and require products without harsh chemicals that may irritate their skin.
My Top Picks for Pug Shampoo
- Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo – This is my favorite choice and I actually use this problem with my dogs. First of all, it’s all natural, which is always the best when it comes to your dog. But what’s really impressive is that it’s recommended by Vets. Always made in America, this Shampoo is definitely made with high quality ingredients.
- Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – This all-natural pet shampoo has been on the market for a long time, meaning it’s time-tested. It uses similar ingredients to the Pro Pet Works, but with different scents.
- Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – Though I haven’t personally tried this one, Paws and Pals is a very reputable brand and I’ve heard many good things about this shampoo. Ingredients are very similar to the first two, but its the superb reviews that really make me confident in recommending this one.
Is the Pug For Me?
There’s no doubt that Pugs require a decent amount of grooming care and attention. However, they make up for this with their laid-back attitude and relaxed personalities.
They’re definitely worth the effort, especially because they’re so irresistible and charming. Spend one day with a Pug and you’ll know exactly what we mean. They’re truly special dogs.
However, if you’re highly sensitive to dog dander (dandruff), then the Pug may not be right for you. Instead, there are plenty of amazing hypoallergenic dog breeds that rarely shed.
As long as you can provide the care and attention that these dogs need, they make some of the best companions for families of all types.
Do you own a Pug? If so, how do they shed? Let us know in the comments section below?
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