With their intelligence, fun personalities and loving nature, pugs make great pets. They get a lot of attention from passerby’s because of how cute they are.
Despite all of these qualities, it is always a serious consideration to add a pet to your family. There are a few things pet owners should know before getting a pug- such as shedding.
Pugs are considered to be a heavy shedding breed. They shed year-round, unlike most dogs who shed seasonally. Similar to most other dog breeds, hair goes through a three-step process of growth, rest, and fallout. Pugs go through this cycle much faster than other small breed dogs.
Why do Pugs Shed so Much?
There are a few reasons why pugs tend to shed a lot more than other small dog breeds. Most pugs have something called a double coat. This consists of a soft inner layer of hair and a short, thicker outer layer. Because of this double coat, the chances of shedding is essentially twice as likely compared to dogs with a single coat.
Whether or not the pug has a single or double-layer coat, their hairs are very tightly packed. There are about 600 hairs held within one square inch of a pug.
This is a high number compared to the 100 to 200 hairs per square inch that are found on other breeds. Essentially, the more hairs on the dog, the more shedding takes place.
Lastly, there is a three-step process that all mammals go through when it comes to hair shedding: Growth, rest and shed. This cycle moves very quickly with pugs and moves at a slower rate for other breeds.
Elements That Can Affect Your Pug’s Shedding
There are a few different factors that can affect the levels of shedding your pug will go through. Some of these things you can control, while others you cannot.
First is the type of coat. Depending on the
The second factor is the age of the pug. When pugs are puppies and even going into their early stages of life they tend to not shed very heavily. When pugs reach to the year or year and a half mark, shedding will increase to a heavier moderation.
Another factor that can determine the amount of shedding in pugs is the season. Even though pugs do shed year round, there can be a significant increase in shedding during the autumn and spring seasons.
This seasonal type of shedding is caused by temperature changes but can also change by other things such as sunlight hours.
During autumn, the days become shorter and it sends a signal to the pug to shed fur and allow a new thicker coat to grow in. When the days start to become longer and the sun shines for more hours during the day, this sends a signal to the pug to shed the winter coat that was grown during autumn.
Baths can send signals to a pug that make them shed heavier than normal. This is due to the massaging motions created while scrubbing your dog down for a good washing.
This process loosens the hairs and the dog shampoo breaks up the natural oils on the skin that were holding some dead hairs in the coat. Baths are a good way to help your pug shed old, dead hairs while being prepared for it.
Lastly, the heat cycle of a female pug can trigger the shedding cycles. Un-spayed female pugs that enter into the heat cycle may experience extreme amounts of shedding, especially as the cycle starts to wind down. This type of shedding is correlated to the fluctuating hormone levels inside the female pug’s body.
Tips to Control Shedding
1. Control the amount of shedding in the house.
The more hair you see around your house, the more the shedding will start to bother you and the more it will seem that your Pug is shedding. Keeping these hairs under control will allow some peace of mind and keep things clean.
Sweeping and vacuuming are great ways to keep up on the shedding happening within your home. Running a vacuum over your floors once a day will eliminate a lot of the hair build up and make it easier to forget your pug sheds so much.
If running a vacuum over the floor surfaces daily is not realistic for your family, aim for at least once a week. The longer the hairs sit in your carpets, the deeper they work themselves into the fibers of your floor, and the harder it is to get them out.
A lint roller is going to be your best friend as a pug owner. These rollers are perfect for picking up loose hairs from clothing, blankets and padded surfaces like beds or couches.
A heavy-duty vacuum is a must when owning a pug. Try to find one with detachable tools that can fit into small spaces that are hard to clean the pet hair out of.
2. Brush the coat often, with a good tool.
Because a pugs coat is so thick, hairs that are shedding will often get stuck in the coat instead of falling off. Using a tool that can get deep enough into the thick coat will help remove those hairs stuck in the coat.
Doing this will eliminate the amount of hair you will find throughout your home. The hairs that tend to get stuck deep in the coat will be covered in oil from the skin, block new hair follicle growth, and start to get smelly if not removed.
Pulling these loose hairs out with a proper tool will help the shedding process and overall health of your pug.
While brushing and grooming your pug, it is a good idea to do this outside. The less hair you get inside your house, the better right? Grooming your pug outside will get a lot of the hair out with no mess to clean up afterward.
It is recommended that a pug’s coat brush once a day to three times per week, depending on your pug. For best results, brush through the coat right before a bath and then once again after the bath.
After a bath, make sure to dry your pug. Using a towel or a cool-blow dryer will work. If you choose to use a blow dryer, make sure it is on a cool mode. High temperatures that close to the skin can injure your pug.
Using a blow dryer will help with the “finished” look and help to blow off any excess hair that is ready to fall off.
3. Try omega fatty acid supplements.
Taking care of the coat of your pug is essential to prevent further shedding. Having poor coat quality can result in hair breakage, which means, you guessed it- more shedding.
When trying supplements for shedding, it is important to set the correct expectations. Taking a supplement will not magically stop the natural shedding process of your pug, but it may help lessen the severity.
Omegas and fatty acid supplements can come in handy when wanting to improve the health of your pug’s coat. They promote healthy skin and fur as well as helping reduce joint pain or inflammation.
There are many different types of omegas but the best type for good skin and hair is EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are both derived from fish.
Try to go with omegas that are from wild fish rather than over-farmed fish. Farmed fish are fed vegetable oil-based pellets which can negatively interfere with the EPA and DHA levels.
Some other supplements that pug owners suggest to control shedding levels include: Linoleic acid, Flaxseed oil, Alaskan Salmon oil, and Cold-pressed hemp seed oil.
Check with your vet before proceeding with any supplements. There may be other reasons contributing to the severity of shedding from your pug. Check for the signs of normal shedding (seasons, heat for females, age,
Information found here.
4. Pay attention to your pug’s food.
What your pug eats directly affects the coat and shedding. Feeding a pug a healthy, nutrient-dense diet will help with maintaining a shiny coat and help to minimize shedding.
Check the ingredients when buying dog food and look for fish oils or fishmeal content. This is something that will help your pug’s coat remain healthy and shiny!
Grooming Tools for Shedding Pugs
A de-shedding tool is something that works well to pull out hairs that are deep in the coat of your pug. You might be surprised at how much hair actually comes out. This tool is able to reach deep down through the double layer coat.
This tool is very durable (if you choose the stainless steel comb) and nice to hold. Since the purpose of the de-shedding tool is to reach deep into the coat and remove loose hair, this type of tool works best for pugs with double coats, not single coats.
A grooming glove is a great option for helping your pug with shedding. The 250 rubber tips attached to the glove work extremely well at reaching deep into the coat and pulling those though to reach hairs out.
There is very minimal work required with a grooming glove. You simply slip the glove over your hand and run your hand over your pug’s coat.
It will probably feel like a treat to your pug, and it helps with shedding. A win-win. If you are looking for something that is easy to use and efficient, this is the tool for you.
Once you have used either of the tools mentioned above, there is one final step. A bristle finishing brush will do exactly what you think it does- add a finished look to the coat.
This brush adds shine and is able to get rid of any dandruff, or debris caught in the coat. This is a great brush to use if you want to evenly distribute product throughout the coat.
There are products to protect the hair, help repel dirt, allergens, and irritants and help to keep the fur moisturized and healthy. Adding a product with the help of a bristle brush will evenly distribute the product for long-lasting effects.
How to Brush Effectively
If you are wondering how exactly a pug needs to be brushed, you’re not alone. Do you brush for 1 minute? 5 minutes? 20? Until hair stops coming out?
To be frank, if you kept brushing your pug until no more hair came out, you would be brushing for the rest of your pug’s life. The target brushing time goal is 10-15 minutes every 1-3 days.
During this time you are going to want to try to remove as much hair as you possibly can. Hair will keep coming out, but do not feel like you have to keep brushing for longer than 15 minutes.
The area that will get the most attention with the brush is usually the sides of the dog. It is the first place most people reach with the brush, and that is great, but don’t miss the other parts of your pug’s coat.
Reach the back, neck, legs, belly, chest,
Another helpful tip when it comes to brushing your pug’s coat is to brush in the direction of the fur growth and not against it. The hair should come out as naturally as it grows, so brushing it the way it grows will help that. Whether you are using a de-shedding tool, brush, or a bristle brush it is important to keep this in mind.
When should I worry about my pug shedding too much?
If you notice an excessive amount of shedding happening, first eliminate the possibility of seasonal changes, the age of pug, most recent bath, and the type of coat your pug has. These are all normal triggers for shedding.
Are pugs sensitive to heat?
Pugs are extremely sensitive to heat and can actually die from getting too hot. Due to their short mouth and inability to cool themselves off fast enough they overheat easily. Look for signs of overheating such as struggling to breathe and heavy panting.