11 Best (Highest Quality) Shampoos for Pugs in 2020

If you’re looking for a dog with an unforgettable personality, a pug may be the perfect match for you! The pug was specifically bred to be a companion and this quality has proven to last throughout the centuries; in fact, most pugs are highly loyal and will follow their owners around wherever they may go. Pugs are well known for their distinctive faces, which frequently display a wide range of emotions at any given time. They are one of the best dog breeds for learning new tricks and although they can be stubborn at times, it’s rare to meet a pug with an attitude problem.

Most Popular

Earthbath Shed Control

  • Paraben and phosphate-free
  • Soap-free shampoo

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Overall Best

Buddy Wash Original

  • Simple formula
  • Natural and safe ingredients

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Most Affordable

Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo

  • Affordable price
  • Organic Certified aloe vera

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Whether you are living on your own or have a family, a pug is a friendly dog that will gladly charm you and anyone else in the vicinity. Generally speaking, pugs can adapt to a variety of environments, although they are best suited for living in locations with moderate temperatures; weather that is too cold or too hot will be difficult for this breed to tolerate. Although they are typically small and may not seem to have a lot of fur, pugs are endowed with a double coat and are often known as heavy shedders throughout the year.

Since pugs have their particularities and unique needs, it can be said that they are high maintenance. They require the same amount of love and attention that you would provide to any other breed, but sometimes need a little extra to ensure that they stay healthy and happy. For example, hygiene is very important for any pug, and setting a defined bathing routine is crucial. If you’ve ever wondered what the best practices are for bathing your pug or what type of shampoo you should purchase for your fuzzy friend, keep reading!

 6 Different Types of Shampoos for Pugs


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  • Medicated – Since pugs can be susceptible to skin conditions and infections at times, medicated shampoos are sometimes needed. There are many different medicated shampoos available by prescription and over the counter. If you’re unsure whether your pug needs a medicated shampoo for a skin concern, it’s best to contact your veterinarian for an evaluation.
  • Hypoallergenic  – Some pugs have more defined sensitivities and allergies which can affect the traditional bathing routine. In these instances, your pug may need a hypoallergenic shampoo that doesn’t include some of the common ingredients that can trigger a reaction. Hypoallergenic shampoos may also be used if a pug needs to be bathed on a more frequent basis compared to another pug without sensitivities.
  • Deodorizing  – Scented shampoos have been developed to ensure your pug smells fresh for a longer period. These types of shampoos tend to be scented with ingredients such as spearmint or eucalyptus and help to keep odor down by reducing the number of bacteria on your pug’s skin and fur.
  • Tearless – Tearless shampoos are usually more commonly used with pug puppies because normal shampoos can have ingredients that may irritate their eyes. However, you can use tearless shampoo on a pug of any age if you prefer since the main feature of this type of shampoo is that it will not cause any discomfort to your pug if you accidentally get shampoo near its eyes or face during the bathing process. This can be helpful if your pug frolics and moves around a lot during baths.
  • Waterless – If you’ve ever used dry shampoo on yourself in the past, the concept of waterless shampoo for pugs is similar. This is a type of shampoo that does not need to be washed out of your pug’s fur. Waterless shampoos come in many different forms such as powder, gel, spray, or foam. It’s important to remember that if you use these types of shampoos, you need to ensure that the shampoo doesn’t get into your pug’s eyes or any areas where potential irritation can occur.
  • Shed Control – Since pugs are known for shedding quite a bit, shed control shampoos are a common purchase among their owners. Shed control shampoo usually has Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids included in the ingredients to encourage skin health and provide a shiny coat. The additional ingredients are included to keep your pug’s coat moisturized, which should in turn prevent unnecessary shedding. Some shed control shampoos are also formulated to ease the process of loosening old fur from the undercoat.

6 Common Special Health Feature Shampoos to Consider

  • Anti-Fungal/Anti-Bacterial – Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial shampoos are types of medicated shampoos for pugs that are struggling with fungal and bacterial infections on their skin. These shampoos typically have ingredients such as chlorhexidine or ketoconazole to treat the infection on your pug’s skin. Although these shampoos are often available over the counter, it is best to ask your veterinarian if an anti-fungal or anti-bacterial shampoo is needed to treat your pug’s skin reactions.
  • Dander Control – If your pug is licking and grooming himself more often than usual, it may be a sign that they need a dander control shampoo. This type of shampoo works by reducing the amount of dander on your pug during the cleansing process. Since the dander is already reduced after usage, your pug has less of a reason to lick and groom again which would otherwise lead to the creation of more dander.
  • Sensitive Skin – Pugs frequently have skin sensitivities that cannot be adequately addressed with a regular shampoo. A pug that has sensitive skin may experience rashes or itching due to a variety of factors and sometimes it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause. In these cases, it’s generally best to use a hypoallergenic shampoo or a shampoo that primarily uses natural ingredients.
  • Skin & Coat Health  – Although skin and coat health can often be impacted by your pug’s diet, it can also be affected by the type of shampoo used. A great way to ensure your pug maintains healthy skin and coat is to use a shampoo that has been enriched or fortified with antioxidants and fatty acids.
  • Itch & Redness Remedy – Pugs that often have difficulty with allergies each season or struggle with skin conditions that can cause itching may benefit from a shampoo designed to address these concerns. These shampoos typically include oatmeal or aloe vera to soothe the skin, although some may also include hydrocortisone. As a result, it’s important to note that Itch & Redness Remedy shampoos may be all-natural or may be medicated depending on the severity of your pug’s skin issues.
  • Calming  – If your pug has high energy or tends to be anxious at times, a calming shampoo can help it to relax. Calming shampoos typically include ingredients such as chamomile or lavender, which are known for their soothing properties. Since some pugs become very stressed out during the bathing experience, a calming shampoo can be one way to help ease the tension.

Overall Best Shampoo for Pugs

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Key Features

  • Includes natural conditioners and botanical extracts such as aloe vera, green tea, rosemary, and sage.
  • Soap-free formula, alcohol-free, and includes mint and lavender for a soothing bathing experience.
  • Wheat protein acts as a natural deodorizer and is safe for frequent use.
  • Made in the USA without any animal testing.

Overall Best Shampoo for Pugs – Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is a two-in-one formula with all-natural ingredients combined to provide your pug with a soothing, relaxing bath experience. The product is formulated in the USA and only uses cosmetic-grade ingredients that are safe for both you and your dog. The use of lavender in this formula also provides a therapeutic scent to relax you and your pug during bath time!

Pros 

  • Uses all-natural ingredients.
  • Great for puppies or adult pugs that require frequent baths.
  • Doubles as deodorizing and calming shampoo.
  • Two-in-one formula that includes shampoo and conditioner.

Cons 

  • Not suitable for dogs with wheat allergies.

Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs & Cats, Almond Scent

Key Features 

  • Formulated without parabens or dyes.
  • Designed to hydrate and protect skin with natural ingredients.
  • Light almond scent ensures your pug smells fresh after bath time.
  • Formula is pH balanced to prevent damage to your pug’s acid mantle.

Most Affordable Pug Shampoo – Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs & Cats is a great option if you are seeking an affordable shampoo without sacrificing quality. The formula is oatmeal-based to provide moisture and protection for the skin, while chamomile and organic aloe vera provide targeted soothing relief.

Pros

  • It can be used on both dogs and cats.
  • Formulated with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, and chamomile.
  • Conditions and soothes skin by contributing to a protective barrier while cleansing away dirt and bacteria.

Cons 

  • Almond scent is an added fragrance, so it may not be ideal for pets or owners needing a fragrance free or all-natural option.

Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner

Key Features 

  • Soap-free and tearless formula is ideal for your pug’s sensitive skin.
  • Includes a spring water scent to ensure your dog smells fresh after bathing.
  • Four-in-one formula cleanses skin and coat, conditions, deodorizes and neutralizes odors.

Best Pug Puppy Shampoo – Pug puppies often require an extra-gentle bathing experience, making Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner an ideal choice. Not only is this formula shampoo and conditioner combined, but it is also a four-in-one formula designed to address multiple concerns for puppies with sensitive skin. It can safely be used with tick and flea products without any worry and also provides reduced static electricity while enhancing your puppy’s naturally soft fur.

Pros 

  • Completely formulated and produced in the USA.
  • Designed specifically for puppies with allergies.
  • Safe to use with other topical products.
  • Made without perfumes or dyes.

Cons 

  • The scent will stay on your pug for 4 to 6 weeks, so it may not be best if you need to bathe your pug more frequently.

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

Key Features

  • Formulated to soothe itching due to allergies.
  • Includes a unique blend of essential oils and natural ingredients.
  • Soothes sensitive skin and washes away allergens with every bath.
  • Leaves your pug with a fresh scent after bathing.

Allergy and Itch Control Shampoo for Pugs – If you’ve noticed that your pug is prone to various allergies and is constantly scratching, it may be time to introduce Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs into the equation. This shampoo is specially formulated by veterinarians with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, tea tree oil, and d-limonene to reduce allergens and provide your pug with instant relief.

Pros

  • It can be used with tick and flea treatments.
  • Formulated and produced in the USA.
  • Suitable for use on dogs with sensitive skin even if they don’t have allergies.

Cons 

  • It should only be used on dogs that are at least 12 weeks old.
  • Tea tree oil can be dangerous if ingested by your dog.

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

Key Features

  • Formulated with ingredients to manage inflammation and seborrhea.
  • It provides a protective film on the skin to aid in the restoration of the skin barrier.
  • Reduces fungi and bacteria present on the skin.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections – Although treating and managing infections on your pug’s skin can be intimidating and challenging at times, Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo can take some of the guesswork out of the situation. This medicated shampoo is formulated with climbazole, chlorhexidine, phytosphingosine-salicyloyl and more to ensure that bacteria and fungi are reduced while your pug’s skin is provided with the support necessary for recovery. This shampoo also provides a protective film on the skin to aid in the healing process.

Pros

  • Can be used 2 to 3 times per week or more with veterinarian guidance.
  • Can also be used in combination with other Duoxo products to prevent infections from occurring again in the future.
  • Suitable for use in dogs with severe skin issues.
  • Can also be used on cats.

Cons 

  • Can be hazardous to humans and animals.
  • Can be harmful if swallowed, so it may not be a good option if your dog is licking or grooming itself frequently.
  • Not all-natural.

HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs & Cats

Key Features 

  • Soap-free formula won’t strip or cause dry skin.
  • Gentle on skin and hypoallergenic.
  • Aids in moisturization and hydration of the skin.
  • Controls scaling and flaking due to seborrhea.

Soap Free & Hypoallergenic – If your pug needs a shampoo that will be gentle and won’t trigger any skin sensitivities, HyLyt Shampoo for Dogs & Cats may be an option worth trying out. Available only through prescription from a licensed vet, this shampoo is specially formulated with essential fatty acids to help manage flaking and scaling from seborrhea.

Pros

  • Formulated and produced in the USA.
  • Can be used in conjunction with other HyLyt products to maintain a shiny and smooth coat.
  • Pairs well with tick and flea products.

Cons 

  • Not all-natural.
  • Can be hazardous to humans and animals.
  • Can only be used on dogs and cats over 1 year of age.

5 Other Top Rated Pug Shampoos

Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea & Awapuhi Dog & Cat Conditioner

This is a great product to use if you’re interested in trying to minimize some of the sheddings that your pug has been experiencing lately. It is completely vegetable-based and will aid in detangling and softening your pug’s coat while also enriching it with key antioxidants and moisturizers. The conditioner is formulated with green tea extract, omega-6 fatty acids, organic shea butter, and more to ensure that your pug’s skin is supported and nourished.

TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner

This two-in-one formula is an ideal option for a convenient bath time experience that fully tackles any dirt or matting that may be present in your pug’s fur. It is a soap-free formula that can be safely used with tick and flea treatments without any issue and works up to a remarkable lather that’s certain to facilitate the removal of any dirt and build up. Ingredients such as coconut, mango, kiwi, and papaya all work together to detangle and soften fur while providing natural moisturization.

Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless Dog & Cat Shampoo

If you don’t have a lot of time to bathe your pug or it tends to get dirty more frequently than not, you may want to consider trying out a waterless shampoo such as this option from Ark Naturals. The shampoo can be pumped directly onto your pug’s fur or into your hands and then worked into the fur gently. It’s ideal for those times when you want to freshen up your pug but don’t want to dedicate a substantial amount of time to a bath. The formula is comprised of cedarwood, orange oil, balsam, and rosemary for a subtle and natural scent.

Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey for Dogs

Pugs that have difficulty with skin conditions such as eczema can greatly benefit from trying an oatmeal-based shampoo such as this option from Burt’s Bees. Although not completely all-natural, this shampoo formula is 97% natural and does not include any chemicals, artificial fragrances, parabens, or other damaging ingredients. The shampoo is designed to have a pH-balanced formula that will reduce and prevent dry skin, in addition to also fortifying fur using honey.

Allerpet Dog Dander Remover

In households where dander is a significant concern and limits your ability to enjoy your time with your pug, investing in a good dander control shampoo can be key. This dander remover shampoo created by Allerpet has been documented to reduce dander by up to 50% when applied to your pug every week. It doesn’t require any bathing and can be used by wiping your pug’s fur with a damp towel, making it a very convenient option for managing dander issues in your household. It has a completely non-toxic formula and is recommended by both allergists and vets alike!

Our 2020 Guide to Bathing Your Pug

In consideration of the number of wrinkles and creases present on the average pug, regular baths are necessary for the sake of proper care and the prevention of odor or infection. It is important to become familiarized with the steps required to correctly bathe your pug, otherwise, you may run the risk of creating uncomfortable skin reactions or serious skin issues. Your pug will need to be bathed every 2 to 4 weeks, although sometimes you may need to adjust the frequency based on the amount of oils excreted into the fur.

  1. Before you bathe your pug, you should invest in a few items to facilitate an ideal bathing experience. First, you should have two brushes; one brush will be used for general grooming and gently loosening the fur prior to the bath and the other brush will be used during bathing if you don’t want to use your hands to massage the shampoo and conditioner into your pug’s fur. Next, you will need a high-quality shampoo and conditioner. We recommend looking for options that are all-natural and have any additional ingredients that address your pug’s specific needs, such as hypoallergenic or medicated options.
  2. You should also have a few towels available, including smaller sized towels for cleansing and larger towels for drying your pug after the bath. Smaller towels can be used for cleaning sensitive areas that mustn’t be ignored, such as the wrinkles and around the eyes; you should also take note to clean your pug’s ears and avoid getting them wet during the bath. It is important to keep wrinkles, ears, and any areas that are not typically exposed to air as dry as possible to avoid any potential yeast infections or other skin reactions. Depending on your preferences and the preferences of your pug, you may also want to consider whether you will use a large towel for drying or gently blow-dry the fur instead. Once you have each of these items, you’re ready to bathe your pug!
  3. Spend some time brushing your pug’s coat and focusing on removing any loose fur. Pugs are heavy shedders, so if you brush your pug daily or multiple times throughout the week, it’s possible that there won’t be much loose fur during this initial preparation step. However, if you don’t tend to brush your pug’s fur frequently, you may be able to remove a small mound of fur prior to the bath. If you do not want to use a brush, another alternative would be a grooming glove. Since pugs have double coats, whichever option you use should be able to target both layers.
  4. When you’re done brushing your pug, you can begin preparing the bathwater. Depending on the size of your pug, you may be able to bathe it in the sink, but it’s generally easier to bathe your pug in the tub if you have one available. This is also particularly helpful if you have multiple pugs that like to share in their bath experience together. The tub or sink should only be filled with a few inches of warm water; take care to ensure that the water is not too hot. You can test the temperature of the water with the inside portion of your wrist, which is usually more sensitive to temperature differences when compared with your hands.
  5. Place your pug in the tub or sink and then begin to wet its fur. This will be easier if you have a sprayer available to direct the water where you specifically want it, but you can also use a small bucket or bowl as an alternative. You may have to pour the water over your pug’s body several times before the fur will truly become wet. If you notice that the water is rolling off of your pug’s fur as you’re applying it, this is likely due to the amount of natural oils that are present on its body. As long as you continue applying water, the fur will eventually become wet enough to continue with the bathing process.
  6. Once the fur is soaked enough, you can finally begin applying the shampoo. Make sure you use enough shampoo during this process, otherwise you will not be able to remove the old body oils and dirt that has been causing your pug’s body odor or similar concerns. When the shampoo has been applied, you can begin scrubbing lightly with your hands or use the special bath brush that was mentioned earlier. If you have an older pug, it is generally recommended to lightly scrub with a brush instead because you will be able to target the double coat more effectively. Some pugs do not like being groomed with brushes, so try to be mindful of whether your pug is receptive to this type of grooming or not; sometimes cleansing with your hands may be the only option.
  7. You can use a small towel for gently washing areas of exposed skin on your pug. Some owners will also prefer to cleanse the wrinkles and eyes at this point, although others will prefer to do this after the bath when the primary focus is drying the pug instead. At any rate, after you are done washing the necessary areas, you should thoroughly rinse your pug’s fur and then proceed to apply conditioner. Remember to use a liberal amount of conditioner to help replace the moisture that may have been lost during the shampoo process. Conditioner can be massaged into the fur for 5 to 7 minutes and then removed by rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
  8. At this point, you can remove your pug from the tub or sink and allow it to shake itself to aid in drying off. You can then wrap the pug in a towel to start drying it by hand or you can use a hand dryer on a low setting. If you choose to dry your pug with a towel, always pat the fur dry and rub the fur in the direction of its natural growth. Once your pug is dry, you can focus on cleaning the facial wrinkles and drying the ears, as well as any small creases such as the space between the toes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the best shampoo for pugs? While there are many reputable and recommended shampoos available for pugs, it’s important to be mindful that there is not a specific shampoo that will be an ideal match for every pug. Many of the recommendations that we have provided in this article regarding the highest quality shampoos for your pug are great choices in terms of ingredients, effectiveness, and results. However, the best shampoo for your pug is ultimately a matter of your preference as well as your dog’s. Pay attention to how different shampoos affect your pug’s skin and coat; all dog shampoos are not created equal and sometimes you may have to try different shampoos before you can find an ideal match.
  2. How often should you bathe your pug? You should bathe your pug every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how often it becomes dirty and any underlying skin conditions. Some owners bathe their pugs once a month if bathing twice a month causes dry skin or seems less agreeable for the dog’s skin health. Other owners may choose to bathe their pugs twice a month if the pug is frequently playing outside, developing an unusual odor, or has a skin condition that requires extra cleansing and attention.
  3. Why does my pug stink? In most cases, it is not normal for a pug to stink consistently if good hygiene practices are in order. Most scents from your pug are the result of an area of the body that requires proper cleaning. For example, your pug may smell bad if its wrinkles or ears are not cleaned regularly. Sometimes odor may occur if the pug has dental issues such as tooth decay or bad breath. Other times, your pug may develop an odor if it has met smelly objects in the surrounding environment or if yeast has developed from an excessive amount of sweat in an area that does not have consistent exposure to open air. Finally, keep in mind that if you have a female pug, sometimes they will develop an odor when the dog is in heat.
  4. Can I use human shampoos on pugs? Using human shampoo is typically not recommended for any dog breed due to the difference in pH balances and the risk of ingredients that may not be safe for animal contact. Your pug has highly sensitive skin in comparison to your own due to the difference in pH balance, and as a result, shampoo chemicals that may be easily tolerated on human skin can cause discomfort and irritation on dog skin. The use of human shampoo can also wash away the protective barrier on your pug’s skin, known as the acid mantle; without this mantle, your pug can become at risk for rashes or even serious skin infections.
  5. Why does my pug still stink after a bath? Although most people will wash their pug due to perceived uncleanliness or to try to combat odor, bathing can contribute further to your pug’s body odor. The presence of bacteria, oils, or even yeast on the dog’s skin and fur can cause an odor when combined with the moisture of water following your pug’s bath. Sometimes odor may linger after a bath because the shampoo residue has not been fully rinsed off and removed during the bathing process. Alternatively, if you are certain that you are bathing your pug correctly, it may be possible that the odor is caused by an underlying condition unrelated to the bath; examples can include mouth odor due to dental issues, a skin infection, or anal glands that need to be expressed.

Conclusion

As you’ve likely realized, bathing your pug and providing it with quality care doesn’t have to be a challenging experience. After reading multiple reviews and learning the best practices for your pug’s next bath time, you’re now prepared with an arsenal of different options to relax, nurture, and sooth your tiny friend. Always remember that what matters the most is your pug’s reaction to your new routine; although sometimes pugs can be picky, we’re certain that you’ll find a shampoo and bathing process that he or she will absolutely love!

 

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