Why Your Pug Stinks & How To Get Rid Of The Odors

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Once when browsing a pug-related hashtag on social media, I saw a comment that said something like “Pugs are so cute, and I love their personalities – I’d get one if they didn’t smell so bad!”

Another time I had a friend who lives out of state, and hadn’t met my pugs, ask me if my pugs stink all the time. She had heard that pugs are just stinky dogs, no matter what you do.

Why pugs stink and how to get rid of the odor

Why Do Pugs Stink?

Pugs shouldn’t stink, beyond having a typical dog smell if you intentionally sniff them. If a pug is stinky, it’s a sign that something is wrong. They may be a hygiene issue and they are just in need of a bath, or they may have a medical problem that needs attending to.

Why Your Pug’s Face Stinks

If your pug has a stinky face, it’s most likely coming from their face wrinkles. Anything from shed hairs, to sweat, to water, food or dirt can get trapped in their wrinkle folds. If their face wrinkles aren’t cleaned and dried regularly, this can build up and cause an odor, irritation or even infection.

Related post: What to do if your pug gets sore above their nose.

Stinky pugs

Why Pugs Stink In Creases or Wrinkles

Your pug’s creases or wrinkles are more prone to getting irritated or infected than the rest of their skin. Creases can accumulate food particles, dust, sweat, water, food, any number of things! If allowed to stay in there and fester, they can irritate the skin and cause bacterial growth or other types of infection.

Why Your Pug’s Feet Stink Like Fritos

Frito feet is a term people use to describe a smell that pugs feet sometimes gets. If you find that your pug’s feet smell like corn chips, they likely have a yeast or bacterial infection causing the odor.

Keeping your pug’s feet clean between the paw pads and around their nails is important for helping to avoid this. If your dog’s feet get furry between the pads, trimming the fur can make them easier to keep clean. If you suspect an infection, be sure to see your vet for treatment.

Are pugs stinky?

Why Your Pug’s Ears Stink

Stinky pug ears is usually a sign of infection. It’s important to dry your pug’s ears out after a bath or anytime they get wet. If they stay wet, they can get irritated or infected. If the ear looks red or has a lot of wax, a vet trip is in order. Excessive ear wax can be another sign of infection. 

Pugs also develop ear wax over time that needs to be periodically cleaned out, or that can cause problems.

My pug Frank was prone to ear infections. If his ears got stinky, we went to the vet. We’d usually be given a special wash that would help stabilize the PH level in his ears, and some drops to get deep into his ear canal.

Why Your Pug’s Breath Stinks

Slightly stinky pug breath can simply be from a lack of brushing their teeth, or from the smell of their food. If your pug’s breath smells really strong, they may have an infected tooth.

Pug’s have odd shaped skulls and small mouths. This often means their teeth are crowded. They often have crooked teeth, or misaligned teeth. Dogs teeth are “cleaned” somewhat when they eat kibble, typically. Crowded or crooked teeth can be more prone to decay, if they have sections in their mouth that aren’t reached through typical chewing of hard food. Those areas can get plaque and decay. Pugs experience this more often and may need to have teeth extracted.

Stinky pug creases

Why Your Pug’s Backside Stinks

If your pug’s bottom stinks, and it’s not from stool or gas – it’s probably anal gland trouble. When anal glands get irritated, it can produce a strong odor that many describe as ‘fishy’. When their anal glands are inflamed, it’s usually itchy so you may notice your dog scooting their backside against the carpet or ground.

Dog’s typically have their anal glands expressed naturally while defectating. Sometimes if a dog has small, loose stools for too long, they won’t naturally express themselves. You can have their glands expressed at the vet, or if you aren’t too squeamish, you can learn to do it yourself. There are tutorials on YouTube.

If your dog regularly has this issue, you may find that a change in their diet will change their stools and help their glands express themselves.

Why Your Pug Has Body Odor

Dogs produce oils rather than sweat. If these oils accumulate for a long time, it can cause a bad odor. Regular bathing is all that is needed to take care of this. We liked Burt’s Bee’s oatmeal dog shampoo for bathing our pugs.

Alternatively, if your pug has a lot of excess skin and body wrinkles, those wrinkles may get infected, similar to the face wrinkles.

Other Reasons Why Your Pug May Have A Bad Odor

Heat cycles. When female pugs are in heat, you may notice an unpleasant odor. Bathing frequently during cycles may help. You may also find it helps to have your pug wear diapers.

They got rained on (or wet in some other way). Anyone who has ever bathed a dog or let one in after they were out in the rain, knows that “wet dog smell” is a thing. Dogs don’t sweat like we do, they do release oils though. Those odors are particularly noticeable after they get wet whether it’s from the rain, a bath or swimming.

Why Does My Pug Still Stink After A Bath?

Dogs release oils that have a noticeable smell when they get wet. If your dog has a smell after their bath, but before they are fully dry, this is just their “wet dog” smell. If they still have an odor after they are dry, it’s time for a trip to the vet to see what may be going on. It could be a skin issue that needs treated, among other potential causes.

Why Does My Pug Stink All The Time?

If your pug stinks all the time, try to pinpoint the source of the odor. If keeping the area clean and dry doesn’t make the odor go away, it’s likely a medical cause that should be addressed with a veterinarian. 

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