Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Often Should I Bathe My Pug? 6 Vet-Approved Bathing Tips

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

dog owner bathing his pet pug

Vet approved

Dr. Maja Platisa Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maja Platisa

In-House Veterinarian, DVM MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Pet owners are always trying to find the perfect schedule to keep their pets happy and healthy. Staying on a routine when it comes to feeding, walking, and hygiene are all part of this. When it comes to bathtime, however, things can be a little hit or miss. Some dogs love bath time. Others hate it. Often, a pet’s reaction to bathtime can play a major role when it comes to their bathing schedule. This isn’t always a great thing, especially where a Pug is concerned. Pugs are known for having sensitive skin and facial skin folds that need special attention. But how often should a Pug be bathed?

While you may want to pop your Pug into the tub every week to help with their skin, too much bathing isn’t a great idea. Some dogs may need a bath more often if they roll in something unpleasant, while others can do with just a few baths per year

So, sticking to a particular schedule of bathing your Pug will be difficult, as it will greatly vary in individual dogs, depending on their lifestyle and their skin health. Daily cleaning and checking of their facial skin folds is another matter altogether. Read on below to learn how this schedule works, tips for bathing your Pug, and when to detour from your schedule.

Divider 2

Do Pugs with Healthy Skin Need Baths?

Your Pug’s coat can be deceptive. Yes, their fur is short and smooth, but there is some debate about whether it’s classed as a double coat or not. The AKC does not consider their coat double.1 Double coat means there are two layers of fur. These layers grow independently of one another and require different care. Thanks to Pugs having a glossy smooth coat, grooming them isn’t too complicated, and they do not actually need frequent baths. Occasional bathing and regular weekly brushing are required to keep your Pug looking and smelling their best.

You may want to toss your Pug into the bath constantly to deal with loose hairs, but that’s not a good idea, and there’s more to it than that. Your Pug’s body produces natural oils. These oils are excreted through their hair follicles and are necessary to keep your dog’s skin moisturized. Frequent and unnecessary bathing will disrupt this fine skin balance and cause the skin to become irritated and dry. Brushing gently and regularly is an efficient way to remove loose hairs during shedding. 

However, if your Pug gets dirty, rolls in the mud, or finds their way into something stinky, tossing them into the bath may be the only solution. A Pug with skin issues may need a different approach, and we will go through this in more detail, so continue reading.

pug dog after bath
Image Credit: Todorean-Gabriel, Shutterstock

What About Your Pug’s Wrinkles?

The wrinkles on a Pug’s face and around their nose may seem adorable and make you want to give them all the kisses. Those wrinkles, alongside the ones around their tail base, require special care, however. Naturally, these warm hiding places can be the breeding ground for unwanted infections. Wanting to be a great Pug owner, regular daily inspection and cleaning of these areas when required, or a minimum of several times each week, if not daily, is crucial in picking up any signs of an infection early on and preventing skin fold dermatitis or even deep skin infection called pyoderma.  

Ideally, you should wipe your Pug’s wrinkles several times a week and check them daily. You can find mild vet-approved antiseptic doggy wipes, medicated (antimicrobial) and non-medicated, depending on your vet’s recommendations and your dog’s skin health, that are perfect for this. Having a routine for wrinkle care can keep you on track with their skin health.

When cleaning time rolls around, your pooch’s wrinkles and tail base should be focused on. Make sure you clean them thoroughly and gently, without causing any skin irritation. They should also be thoroughly rinsed so the shampoo or wipe product doesn’t linger and cause issues. One of the most important things to remember about Pug wrinkle care is drying. After a bath, wrinkles need to be focused on when it comes to drying. Leaving them wet is one of the primary causes of the fungal infections you want to avoid. Dabbing them gently with a clean towel is the best way to do this.

The 6 Tips for Bathing Your Pug

A pug with skin issues is another story and may need more frequent general skin bathing depending on the cause and your vet’s or veterinary dermatologist’s advice, along with regular wrinkle care. In cases of skin issues, bathing may be important for your Pug’s health, but so is doing things the right way. Let’s take a look at a few tips for bathing your Pug so you can make sure their skin reaps the benefits and they enjoy themselves while getting squeaky clean.

pug dog taking a bath on basin by owner
Image Credit: fongleon356, Shutterstock

1. Choose a Bathing Area

The first thing you should do when bathing your Pug is choosing the right area. If your Pug isn’t a fan of the bathroom or acts fearful of water, the bathtub may not be the best option. When this is the case, since your Pug is a small dog, you can always use the kitchen sink. Either way, make sure your pup is comfortable before bath time starts.

2. Gather Your Necessities

Before you pop your Pug into the water, you should have everything you need on hand. The medicated vet-approved shampoo and conditioner you use are crucial for your Pug’s skincare. Harsh shampoos cause dry skin and irritation. Instead, you should opt for using shampoos and conditioners designed for sensitive skin and recommended or prescribed by your vet. These avoid dangerous additives and soaping agents your Pug doesn’t need. Another good option is to use plant-based products which are often less damaging, but make sure they have been checked by your vet first.

You’ll also need washcloths, towels, and cotton balls for bath time. The washcloths are used to clean your Pug’s face and wrinkles. You’ll also need a dry washcloth to dry your pup’s face and in between their toes once the bath is finished. Do not get any water in their ears, as this may irritate them and lead to an ear infection. There are appropriate ear cleaners your vet can prescribe for regular ear hygiene. Cotton balls are a great way to keep water out of your Pug’s ears while you’re cleaning them, but make sure to remove them when finished.

pug dog with wet fur is sitting in the grooming bathroom next to a shampoo bowl and a washcloth
Image Credit: Ihar Halavach, Shutterstock

3. Do a Pre-Bath Grooming

A lot of pet owners don’t think about it, but using a brush to thoroughly groom your Pug before bath time can make things much easier. By removing loose hairs, you can focus more on washing away dirt.

4. Water Temperature

When it’s time to start the bath, water temperature is crucial. The last thing you want to do is burn your Pug. It’s also best not to use cold water. Instead, run the bath or sink with 2 to 3 inches of lukewarm water that will be comfortable for your dog.

wet pug dog sitting after shower
Image Credit: Natali Kuzina, Shutterstock

5. Bath Time

Once the water is run, you can pop the cotton balls in your Pug’s ears for protection or just avoid getting their head wet. Then you can place them in the water and thoroughly wet the skin. If you have a spray nozzle this process is much easier. If not, you can easily use a cup or bowl to help out.

When your Pug is wet, apply the shampoo and massage their skin gently but thoroughly. You’ll want to use one of your washcloths to clean and wipe the face, then after you have washed the top and sides of their body, move to the genital and underbelly areas. Medicated shampoos usually need to stay on for 10-15 minutes to take effect, as they are antibacterial and antifungal, but it will depend on the individual product. Your vet may recommend washing the whole dog or just certain areas of the body where the issue is, and they will instruct you on how frequently to do so.

After a good cleaning, it’s time to rinse your Pug. Make sure all the shampoo is rinsed away before you apply the conditioner. The conditioner needs to stay on for at least 2 minutes before being thoroughly rinsed away. Then bathtime is finished.

Keeping your pet's skin and coat clean and healthy is very important, but finding a great shampoo can be harder than the actual grooming! We love our Hepper Pet Shampoos because they makes grooming so much easier. These pH-balanced formulas are made with natural ingredients like oatmeal, cucumber, and aloe. They are free of phthalates, sulfates, and soaps and very gentle on your pet's skin. Now you just need to decide which formula is best for your fur baby! Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right option for your pet’s next bath!

Hepper Oatmeal pet shampoo
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
Natural cucumber & aloe scent
Natural cucumber & aloe scent:
Natural cucumber & aloe scent:
Safe for cats & dogs
Safe for cats & dogs:
Safe for cats & dogs:
Rinsing required
Rinsing required:
Rinsing required:
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients:
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients:
Lathers easily
Lathers easily:
Lathers easily:


6. Drying

When your Pug is finished with their bath, allowing them to shake the excess water helps with drying time. Once they’ve done their thing, wrap them up in an absorbent towel and begin drying them thoroughly. Make sure to pay special attention to drying between their wrinkles. You can also remove the cotton balls and use a dry washcloth to dry their ears and between their toes. This may be the perfect time to also clean their ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner.

happy pug dog sitting on examination table being dried by a professional vet using towel
Image Credit: Zoriana Zaitseva, Shutterstock

Divider 2

Final Thoughts

Whether your Pug is a fan of bathtime or not, it’s a necessity to keep them healthy, clean, and fresh. If your Pug has healthy skin, sticking to a schedule of bathing them every few months unless they get dirty is great for keeping their skin and fur healthy. If your Pug is suffering from skin issues, your vet will recommend a bathing regime that is most suitable to their skin needs. Medicated baths will help remove unwanted bacteria, fungus, dander, and loose hair. Regular grooming and wrinkle care are just as important. Then you and your Pug can cuddle away without the worries of doggy odors or too much shedding.

Featured Image Credit: 220 Selfmade studio, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database