Are Pugs Smelly Dogs: Well, Not Always!

are pugs smelly dogs

The award for goofy but cute canine breed goes to pugs. They are small, wrinkly, and a delight to watch while they’re at work. An issue that most pug owners complain about is the smell.

Reasons for the foul smell could be anything from wrinkles to over-heating. Smells that go unattended or un-rectified get worse. Any off-smell which emanates from the pug is a source of concern. The only acceptable normal odor from the pug is the brief unpleasantness from flatulence.

So, if your question is, are pugs smelly: well, not always if they’re clean and healthy.

Where is the Smell?

The primary source of bad odor which envelopes the pug (and all dogs in general) originates from one of these regions:

  • Mouth: Unlike us, canines have limited oral hygiene. They are not too fond of flossing or brushing before bedtime, every night. Given their bashful disregard for oral hygiene, smelly breath every now and then is expected. If the smell persists after brushing its teeth, the culprit could be tooth decay or there is a high chance of a foreign object stuck between the teeth. Smell which emanates from these conditions resembles that of rot. On the other hand, if the breath smells fruity or like urine, it is indicative of a serious medical condition like diabetes or renal failure.

Treating the Smell

If bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene, use good quality toothpaste or dental chews. Tooth infection is treatable by the vet, and on healing, the smell vanishes.

Apart from smelling rotten, tooth decay can infect the bloodstream if left unattended. Rule out all possible health complications by taking your pug for a total body check-up.

  • Wrinkles: The trademark facial folds of a pug are also the favorite camping site for tic infection. Wrinkles is the most common source of bad smell and ranges from downright unpleasant to fairly passable, off-smelling odor. Over time, the small pockets underneath the folds accumulate debris of food. When the food is left there, it is sure to go stale. Mix that staleness with the natural odor of the pug; you have yourself a scent like no other. The added dampness and darkness of these pockets don’t make it any easier. Bacteria thrive in such regions and can lead to as skin infection. If you notice a strong must-like smell, it is probably a yeast infection. A yeast infection is also itchy. So if you notice your pug picking at the folds, have him checked for yeast infection, immediately.

Treating the Discomfort

How to clean pug wrinkles: gently open up the folds and spot the presence of the causative agent: either food or scabs. If you notice nothing amiss in the skin, wipe down the area gently with a moist paper towel. Expect some resistance from the little guy. He will surely not appreciate you digging into his face. Nevertheless, clean the area with a clean paper towel. You could also use an antibacterial facial wipe. Make this wiping-down routine a regular practice until he stops winning every time you touch his face.

On the other hand, if the smell gets stronger when you expose the skin, it may be an infection. It is undoubtedly painful for you to prod around with an inexperienced hand. Have a vet look at it instead and prescribe medications.

  • Stinky body: If your pug smells exceptionally foul after playtime, it could just be because he was himself. He could have rubbed against the grass, or the physical activity could have triggered excess sebum production. Nothing like a bath to fix such unpleasant odors. Recommended frequency of bath time is once in three weeks or more, depending on the pug’s physical activity and age. Expect the smell to get stronger a week before the scheduled bath time. Another possible reason for bad body odor could be feces. The pug could have rolled over its feces or other sticky substances. The best approach is to bathe them immediately. The bath will detangle the coat and also clean the skin. Use a scented shampoo for a lingering fresh smell.
  • A simple case of overheating: Yes, a dog’s body temperature is much higher than a human’s. A few breeds are more prone to overheating. Pugs cannot be left outside on a hot day. An extended walk on a moderately warm day is passable but a day out on a sunny day is a strict No-No. Why leave a breed meant to be a lap dog outside anyway? If your pug is panting heavily after coming inside, run him a bath or just enough water to splash around.
  • Heat time: Particularly, female pugs can smell awful during heat season. The nauseous concoction of blood discharge mixed with water and endometrial tissue is stinky. Deal with the bad smell with a partial or a full bath. Dried remnants of blood and endometrial tissue can have a characteristic musty smell. If you’re using a doggy diaper, change it frequently. If left to stay on the whole day, the soiled diaper can lead to a UTI. An active UTI infection emanates an awfully strong odor.
  • Paw patrol: If you detect a lingering bad smell, look at the paws. It could have stepped over something sticky. Ideally, the paws must be cleaned once a day or more. Clean the area between the toes and while you’re at it, wipe down the wrinkles as well.
  • Anal gland stench: A set of glands on either side of the bottom regulates bowel movement in dogs. Dogs that have regular soft stools express these glands. These glands don’t express themselves in a few cases, and the feces accumulate within, emanating a distinctive odor. A change in diet can rectify an under-expressed anal gland. 


If you cannot spot the reason and when the vet can’t find anything wrong with the pug, he is just stinky flatulence. These last only for a night, now and then.

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