Reducing Pug Shedding
By Eva Hart
Have you heard the one about the pug who never sheds? No? That’s because there is no such thing! As all pug owners know, pugs shed a lot. What they may not know, though, is that there are ways to manage a pug’s shedding so it doesn’t drive you batty.
(Picture from Barnes Pugs)
In our experience, there really are differences in shedding between black and fawn pugs. Black pugs typically only have one layer of hair so they do not shed as much as fawn pugs, who have double coats. One way, then, to reduce a pug’s shedding is to get a black pug. But if you already own a fawn pug, then the best way to keep your pug’s shedding to a minimum is to brush him every day.
(Photo of Thor and Brandy, March 2012)
It might seem time consuming, but think of brushing as a wonderful way to bond with your pug. The trick is to set aside time every day for pug brushing. Start by brushing your pug’s head and end with the tip of the tail. Brush the hair on both sides and also on their belly. Using a brushing mitt, a Zoom Groom or Rush Brush, or a Furminator might make this chore a little easier.
(Sammy after a brief brushing with a Rush Brush)
(A reason to brush a pug outside)
If you’re worried about all the hair that will seem to fall all over your house while you’re brushing your pug, a helpful hint would be to brush your pug outside. That eliminates worrying about vacuuming and cleaning up the mess every time.
When you bathe your pug (usually every two to three weeks, though it depends on the pug), you may be able to reduce shedding by using an anti-shedding shampoo which will also optimize the effects of the bath. Some pug owners swear by a no-shed shampoo made by Nature’s Miracle. Check with some of our local pet supply stores (Toby & Omar’s, H3, Zamzow’s, Northwest Pets, D&B Supply and others); Petco carries the shampoo, too.
After bathing your pug, you may either dry her with a towel or use a COOL blow dryer (never hot; this will injure your pug). We personally don’t use a blow dryer on our pugs at home, but the groomers at Extreme Pet Grooming in Boise do a “blowout” on pugs in order to significantly reduce the extra hair pugs carry around. You might check with a groomer to get some tips on how a blowout, which is a low-impact alternative to shaving, would work for your pug.
There are also methods of reducing shedding that involve your pug’s food.
Christina Burks, a pug owner in Nampa, adds flax seed oil and linoleic acid to her pug’s food to help reduce shedding.
“My pug Daisy used to shed like crazy and I had a newborn baby so it wasn’t good. I needed to find something to help calm it at least a little,” Burks said. “I spoke with my vet and she made the suggestion of adding flax seed oil and linoleic acid right to Daisy’s food, so I tried it. She still sheds but definitely not to the extent that she did before I put these additives in her food. I would suggest at least trying it.”
The reason this might work is because the fatty acids in these ingredients help your dog develop healthy underlying skin which helps produce a healthier coat of hair. There are other benefits of flax seed oil and linoleic acid which may encourage you to look into these options further.
(Flax seed and flax seed oil)
On top of adding these to your pug’s food, monitor what you are feeding your pug. Some pet nutritionists say that increased shedding can be caused by poor nutrition. In addition to following the cardinal rule of never buying dog food in a grocery or department store (like WalMart), make sure your pug’s food always contains omega fatty acids because these are essential for healthy skin and fur.
If you’re interested in better managing your pug’s shedding, these suggestions may help you. While some of these ideas may seem time consuming, the benefits to you and your pug are great. Pugs are so sociable that they will love all the attention they will receive with their daily brushing sessions and bi-weekly baths. We’re sure you will enjoy the extra time you get to spend with them as well!