Are Pugs Double Coated? Best Tips To Control Their Shedding


While pugs are typically docile and calm, there is quite a bit more energy involved when it comes to grooming and maintenance. More specifically, this breed sheds a lot. And the amount that’s shed is usually determined by the number of coats a dog has.

So, are pugs double coated? Yes, most non-black pugs are double coated, and that gives this toy breed their signature thick look. In addition, the double coat helps protect them against extreme temperatures. Black pugs, on the other hand, are single-coated and shed less.

While the amount they shed does require more effort, it is part of their overall care. Owners can control the shedding with proper grooming and by implementing better hygienic practices around the household. And by avoiding common mistakes, you will have a healthier and better smelling pug in no time!

What Is A Double Coat?

Many have wondered why certain dogs like the pug shed so much. Well, it’s because of the double coat that they generally carry. This means that they have two thick layers of dog hair, unlike single-coated dogs.

The pug’s top layer is made up of short guard hair. It’s thick but usually quite soft underneath, especially when running your hand and fingers through it. However, every pug is unique, and some may have stiffer coats of fur than others.

If you can see a layer of short hair that is comparatively lighter in color, then that’s the undercoat. It is essential for the pug’s wellbeing because the breed doesn’t handle extreme temperatures well. They are brachycephalic breeds after all, so their short noses make it harder to regulate temperature. Which is why their undercoat does wonders for them during harsh winters and warm summers.

Origins: Why Pugs Are Double Coated

Pugs were bred as lap dogs for Chinese royalty back in the days; however, many say that pugs can be traced back to the Tibetan mountains where they would accompany monks. Well, everyone knows about the harsh climate of these regions.

The weather can become extreme during the winters and remains slightly cool in the summers. Many breeds can’t survive the pressures of this environment, and it is a good enough reason for the Pug to stand out from the crowd.

The fur coat keeps the dog warm and cool, depending on the climate it needs to adapt to. If the temperature falls to a dangerous level, the pug won’t survive without a double coat! Hence, it is not a useless part of the Pug’s existence, rather a necessity.

There’s a reason why hairless breeds don’t normally come from regions with extreme climate conditions. You’ll be lucky to see a single-coated pug from Tibet. And while the pug’s coat may seem short compared to other breeds, it’s thick enough for it to be practical.

How To Tell If A Pug Has A Double Coat?

Get a brush and separate the layer of hairs to see if there is another coat present. Looking will be the first way to judge whether your dog has a double coat or not. The brush can help separate the fur down to the skin to help differentiate the layers if they exist.

If the dog has a double coat, you will find a layer of tiny furry hairs underneath the topcoat. However, it might be difficult to spot because the initial layer is dense and thick to move around to get a good look. And if you’re not a professional, then it’ll be quite difficult to spot a double-coated or single-coated dog and differentiate between the two.

The best people to help identify this would be a groomer or veterinarian. They are experts and have dealt with many types of dogs in their professional lives. So, while these questions are trivial to them, they will be able to tell you within seconds whether your pug is double coat or not.

Which Pugs Have A Double Coat?

Just like other breeds, the pug comes in a variety of colors. Not only do these colors give each dog their own individual flair, but they also play an essential role in determining whether a pug has one or two layers of fur.

People that own fawn-colored pugs will tell you that they shed heavily, and that’s because they have double coats. Meanwhile, black pugs only possess a single coat, so they shed a lot less. If you’re somebody that prefers to do less grooming, then you may want to opt for a black pug.

However, there are exceptions with how many coats a black-colored pug can have. This is especially the case if they are mixed breed. The American Kennel Club officially recognizes two colors, that is black and fawn, but other variants exist as well. Brindle, apricot, and Silver are some other colors that exist, and their coats can vary. White pugs, on the other hand, is usually a form of albinism. Unfortunately, this comes with another set of problems that may need to be dealt with.

Why Do Pugs Shed So Much?

Several factors can contribute to excessive shedding. It’s important to understand the reason behind their shedding habits, especially if you’re an allergy sufferer.

Hair Growth & Shedding Cycle

Pugs go through a shedding cycle in the following steps: their hair grows, it rests on the body, before finally falling out. They typically run through this cycle a lot faster than other breeds and will start shedding at three months old. This is a lot earlier than most other dogs, regardless of size.

If we look at the reason behind why, it’s because the pug has 600 more hairs every square inch than dogs like the Yorkshire terrier. Simply put, pugs will shed far more hair than other breeds because it has more hair.

Age

The age of a pug is an essential factor in shedding. An older pug will shed more often. Until the age of one, it will remain mild. However, once the Pug reaches full maturity and the coats develop entirely, get ready for some severe shedding.

Skin Problems

Mange is not only painful but also results in too much shedding. It is caused due to parasitic mites called demodectic mites. They’re housed in the hair follicles of the pug and usually don’t do any harm. However, if a pug suffers from a weaker immune system, then all hell can break loose with these bits of mites. As a result, you will notice bald patches on your pug, which indicates a problem.

Another health condition to be wary of is Alopecia. This will result in hair loss, similar to human male balding. A pug suffering from this will see the formation of balding patterns and patches of thinness across different parts of the body. Treatment will involve the use of hormonal supplements to slow this condition down.

Stress

It might be a surprise, but dogs can stress too. It may not stem from things that humans normally stress about like money, but their anxieties can affect their health in similar ways. Remember that pugs are companion breeds and don’t do very well being on their own.

Leaving a pug alone at home for an excessive amount of time can trigger separation anxiety disorder. It can cause them a great deal of stress and triggers hair shedding. There are ways to deal with it, and it’s mainly about keeping your pug stimulated enough while you are with them. By providing them love, attention, and exercise while you are with them can help satisfy their dependency while you’re away.

Lifestyle changes are another potential stress inducing factor that can cause excessive shedding. Things like changing the place where the dog sleeps or bringing a new pet at home, can have a massive impact on pugs. Some dogs handle it better than other, but it would help if changes are slow introduced if possible.

Seasonal Shedding

Pugs are known to shed all year-round, as opposed to other dog breeds shedding seasonally. But it doesn’t mean that the rate of their shedding doesn’t change when the temperature changes. Double coated pugs will shed a lot more in warmer regions, and shedding will take place more often. If you own a single-layered coated pug, the shedding won’t be too noticeable and will occur less frequently.

Allergies

Allergies can be a big reason that triggers excessive shedding. Fleas, ticks, and parasites can be a particular problem if the hair is too long. Since pugs are prone to such allergies, shedding is their natural defense. Too much hair becomes a problem as pugs need to scratch the affected area too alleviate irritations; as a result, they shed patches of hair to get rid of the allergies.

Female Pug Hormones

As female pugs grow, there is an essential hormonal influx that they will go through, and it can cause them to shed a lot of hair during specific points of their hormonal cycle.

Bathing

You might be thinking, what does bathing have to do with all this. The truth is that if you bathe and wash your pug’s hair, you will massage the shampoo on the pug’s hair and skin. It loosens the hair follicles and triggers more shedding. But if you combine bathing with proper grooming, then it can have a positive effect on controlling the shedding problems.

My process involves two rounds of brushing; once before and another after bathing. The initial brush helps remove any excess hair that’s loose. I will then wash and shampoo my dog to give their coat a proper clean. After patting him down and completely drying him off, I’ll then give him a second brush. This significantly reduces the amount of fur they will leave behind after a bath. Whenever I miss this step, the loose hairs are highly visible all around the house. It’s more effort to clean after him than to skip the second brush!

Tips To Control Excessive Shedding

Although you love your little companion, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you enjoy cleaning after them and picking up their loose fur. Thankfully, there are a few things that can help you control the shedding of your little buddy.

Dietary Supplements

Go for fatty acid supplements because they can help your pug limit their shedding. It keeps the skin firm and healthy, which prevents the follicles from loosening and keeps the hair in place. Fish oil keeps the coat fresh, shiny, and in good shape.

Deshedding Tools

While it is essential to brush your Pug’s coat daily, make sure you also use a de-shedding tool at least twice a week. It will remove loose hair from the undercoat and prevent hair from dispersing all over the place. It is a great way to get rid of the tiny hairs that are ready to fall out, before they make a mess of your house

Hydration

If you’re an extreme climate dweller, then so is your companion. Pugs shed to beat the heat, and if the dog is dehydrated, it will shed more. So, make sure you provide plenty of water for your pug on hot days. The heat can be fatal for them, and the shedding will leave you cleaning for hours.

Some pugs can be reluctant to drink water, which can lead to kidney and urinary issues down the line. If your pug has this issue, try and place multiple water stations around the house to promote them to drink more often. Having it conveniently available for them in different areas seems to do the trick!

Skin Disease Prevention

While shedding can be a nuisance, it’s imperative to take control over this for your pug to stay healthy. Proper grooming habits is essential to preventing skin disease. If left neglected, a sick pug will likely shed a whole lot more.

As mentioned, bathing regularly with a mild shampoo will help control their shedding. Massaging while bathing a pug will loosen the dead hair follicles. This causes the hair to fall out there and then. Make sure you are prepared for the heavy shedding that follows. Unless they are brushed again, expect to clean to do another round of cleaning.

Regularly brushing your pug will remove the dead hair before it can fall into other places. In addition, it prevents daily shedding issues, so keep a bristle brush nearby. The bristles will help disperse essential oils, thus keeping the coat healthy. Not only that, but removing the excess fur helps create proper air flow, keeping your pug cooler in warmer temperatures.

Make sure you take all precautionary measures to keep the skin healthy. Visit the vet regularly and make bathing and grooming a part of your care routine.

Four Grooming Mistakes To Avoid

Pug owners are no professionals. But grooming is something that pug owners learn over time. We have a few tips to help you avoid some common grooming mistakes.

1. Shaving Your Pug

Don’t ever consider shaving your double-coated pug entirely. There is a reason pugs have the coat. It keeps them cool during summers by acting as an insulator. So, the concept of less hair, less heat doesn’t work well with pugs.

2. Wrong Shampoo

Don’t use human shampoo for your pug. It is a mistake! These chemicals are too acidic for canines and can damage their delicate skin. In addition, skin related health problems lead to even more shedding, so avoid it.

3. Incorrect Grooming Tools

You can’t recycle grooming tools. If you own two different breeds and they are both hairy, it still doesn’t justify using the same tools on your Pug. A double-coated pug is different and requires slicker brushes for grooming. Tools that are designed for long thin hair won’t work very well on the pug’s shorter and coarser textured fur. Always read before you purchase a tool. The package states which breed it is to be used for.

4. Rushing

Don’t bathe or brush your Pug in a hurry. Take your time. Relax and do it properly; otherwise, the stress can trigger more shedding instead of keeping it under control. Don’t apply too much pressure and keep a soft hand while massaging the pug or brushing the hair.

Related Questions

Do all pugs have a double coat? No, not every pug has a double coat. Black pugs mostly come in a single coat. The coat can also vary based on the color of the pug. Fawns pugs are typically double coated.

Do pugs have an undercoat? Pugs that are double coated (mainly fawn colored) will have an undercoat. This means they will shed all year-round, rather than seasonally.

Can shedding be harmful to pugs? Too much shedding is not considered healthy for pugs as it indicates health problems. In addition, the double coat allows the breed to counter extreme temperatures as a natural defense mechanism.

How often should you wash a pug? Make it a part of your routine to bathe your pug at least once a month and brush the Pug every day to keep the shedding under control.

References

American Kennel Club, n.d. Pug.

Clayton, M., 2020. Do pugs shed?

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