The wide, rounded, and shortened faces of Pugs feature heavily wrinkled foreheads and other facial folds that are a characteristic of the breed. Skin problems can develop in these folds if they are not kept meticulously clean. Moisture, loose hair, dirt, and debris caught in the creases can cause inflammation and discomfort, easily progressing to sores and infection. Clean your little dog's facial skin folds daily to help prevent such problems.
Wipe your Pug's facial creases daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria. Gently stretch the wrinkles and use a damp washcloth or baby wipe to clean inside the folds. You can use baby wipes if you Pug does not have skin sensitivity problems. Ensure no alcohol or added scent is included in the ingredients of the wipes. For Pugs with sensitive skin, use soft terry cloth moistened with warm water to clean the wrinkles. Pay close attention to the nasal fold, which has deep grooves and natural moisture accumulation, an invitation for bacterial growth.
Frequent bathing or swimming can be an invitation to skin problems on any dog, and the potential for such problems increases if the dog has skin folds and wrinkles on the face or body. When you do bathe your pug, rinse the shampoo out with fresh, clean water and make sure no residue is left, particularly in the skin folds. Dry the Pug completely with a towel, and pay special attention to drying inside the skin folds. Any moisture allowed to remain in folds sets up a great environment for bacteria and yeast growth. If your Pug is brave enough to go swimming, bring a towel with you to dry your Pug's face.
Check for Infection
Check the skin in your Pug's wrinkles for signs of irritation or infection. Pugs are susceptible to skin diseases such as demodectic mange, which is caused by compromised immunity to the mites that cause this form of mange. The problem is often temporary in young dogs with immune systems that are not yet fully developed. If you see skin problems developing, take your Pug to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment of the problem.
Other Facial Areas
Do not neglect other areas of your Pug's face when you are cleansing the skin folds. To clean the ears, squeeze a few drops of cleaning solution into the canals. Hold the ear flap up with one hand, then use the other hand to massage the base of the canal. Use a piece of tissue to clean the inside of the ear, but do not push farther into the ear than you can see. Check your Pug's teeth weekly for signs of tartar buildup. Rubber toys and regular brushing of the teeth can help prevent dental problems. The Pug's bulging eyes tend to attract dust and hair. Use a saline solution to flush out the irritants. Eye ulcers and scratches require medical attention.
References & Resources
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.