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How Much Do Pugs Smell? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Codee Chessher

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

pug dog lying on the floor

How Much Do Pugs Smell? Facts & FAQ

With their goofy, Instagram-worthy smile and silly shenanigans, Pugs get away with a lot of mischief. However, as avid cuddlers, you may have noticed that your snuggly Pug, well, stinks a lot. You don’t have to feel bad—it’s normal. Pugs are known to be smelly pets, but there are actually a few reasons why. If you’re interested in finding out more and how you can control bad Pug odors, read down below.


Why Do Pugs Smell Bad?

Pugs can smell bad for a whole laundry list of reasons, and some are more common than others. Check out each and diagnose accordingly with your Pug to stop bad smells in their tracks.

adult apricot pug dog looking at camera
Image Credit: Tamara Hastings, Shutterstock

Skin Folds

The myriad skin folds on a Pug’s face and even body can harbor bacteria that feast on trapped skin cells and hair. These bacteria can turn into a yeast infection or other malodorous discharge. Regularly clean your Pug’s skin folds, especially if they go outside often. Messy eating can get food trapped in there too, so watch for rogue bits in your Pug’s fur.

Skin Oils

Simply put, skin oils build up after a Pug hasn’t had a nice thorough bath in a while, causing doggy body odor. This is thankfully fixed very easily with a nice bath with your favorite dog shampoo.

fawn pug dog waiting to go out to playground
Image Credit: Ezzolo, Shutterstock

Yeast Infections

These typically happen around the face, skin folds, and ears, but they can occur anywhere. Yeast infections present as a discharge and rash-like marks on your Pug’s skin. These are commonly treated with antibiotics or topical medications.

Stinky Paws

Pugs love playing outside like any breed, and they pick up the weirdest stuff on their paws sometimes. It’s a good idea to briefly rinse off your Pug when they go outside, which helps keep them smelling fresh for longer. Fungal infections may require a special antifungal spray, which a trusted vet can help you with.

Puggle relaxing on the couch
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Females in Heat Emit Odors

Female Pugs in heat can produce an unpleasant odor, which is due to tissue and blood coming from their genitals. There really isn’t much to do about this one except to spay your Pug and give her more regular baths, but a vet can give you more specific information about caring for your dog during this time.

Dental Hygiene

Pugs’ mouths are uniquely shaped and suited to breed bacteria that generate bad odors like foul doggy breath. Dental chews and treats like carrots are great self-cleaning supplies to have, but there’s no substitute for just brushing your dog’s teeth every so often. It’ll definitely do wonders for their bad breath and keep their overall dental health in great shape.

teeth of a pug dog getting checked by a vet
Image By: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock


The dreaded dog farts are almost always because of a diet issue, though rarely a condition like IBS. Regulating mealtimes and not feeding your dog table scraps will go a long way to stopping offensive dog farts at night.


How to Control Bad Pug Odors

Pugs might be stinkier than in their photos, but that doesn’t mean you should quit on them. You have lots of options to keep your Pug clean, happy, and healthy. Let’s review some of those so you can get an idea of how to best mitigate your smelly Pug.

  • Use high-quality shampoos that won’t harm your Pug’s natural skin oils since they could suffer even worse skin issues as a result.
  • Trim your dog’s nails when you bathe them. Dog nails can harbor bacteria that contribute to odors.
  • Clean your Pug’s face folds and ears every day. It seems excessive, but they can accumulate dust and other stuff quite fast!
  • Dry your Pug completely after bath time. Nobody likes the wet dog smell.

Final Thoughts

Pugs are one of the cuddliest dogs on the block, but they take some work to stay clean and fresh. Regular baths and a good wipe down on their skin folds will help keep them clean, at a bare minimum.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: fongleon356, Shutterstock

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