Can You Be Allergic To Pugs? How To Tell and What To Do

If you are an allergy sufferer I completely understand why you want to know if you can be allergic to pugs. After all, more than 10% of the American population is allergic to dogs. 

That’s a pretty large number if the figures by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology study is worth going by.

Pugs Are Not Hypoallergenic

According to the American Kennel Club list, pugs are not hypoallergenic dogs. So yes, you can be allergic to pugs because they shed a lot. Besides that, they are indoor dogs so there’s bound to be dander build up all over the house.

can you be allergic to pugs

That however does not mean that you can’t keep a pug unless your allergy is so severe. There are plenty of ways you can mitigate the allergy as I have shared in this article. Like you, your Pug can also suffer from allergies that will require attention to help get relief. It’s important to know what Pugs can be allergic to help you find the proper treatment.

What Makes Pugs Highly Allergenic?

Pug allergies are triggered by allergens that you either come into contact with or you inhale. They are very small particles that you may not see with your naked eye but are floating in your home or are resting on surfaces. 

These allergens trigger the body’s immune system to react as a way to expel the allergens out of the body. This reaction is what comes out as the symptoms that you then experience.

The most common allergen in pugs and dogs, in general, is dander. Dander is the dry flaky skin that is attached to a dog’s hair. It’s basically similar to what dandruff is on human hair, only for dogs, it falls off when they shed the fur.

Dog breeds like pugs shed a lot, therefore trigger more allergies, and this is precisely why a pug is among the highly allergenic breeds.

They have so much skin around their face that harbor too much dander. And with the folds on the face, there is more to deal with- bacteria, saliva, and dirt that all get trapped in the folds.

Pug saliva contains an allergen called Canis familiaris allergen 1, often referred to as Can f 1. The pug spreads this allergen when they lick their paw and fur which is then transferred to surfaces that you are likely to come into contact with.

Also when you rub or snuggle your pooch, you get exposed to this allergen.

Another allergen is the pug urine and just like saliva, it contains an allergen that if you are exposed to, you can get an allergic reaction.

The fur may not be so much of an allergen but it helps in holding and spreading the allergens such as saliva, dander, dust, pollen, among others.

Aside from the allergens found on the pug, your pooch may bring in other allergens when they go outdoors to play.

Polen, dust, and other environmental allergens may fall on his paws or coat and he brings them with him to the house. This is why it’s important to wipe off your dog every time he comes back from his walk.

Signs and symptoms You’re Allergic To Pugs

allergic to dogs but want one
You can be allergic to some dogs and not others

If you’ve never owned a pug before and don’t know what to expect, here are the signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Sneezing
  • Skin hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes and throat
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Eczema
  • Swollen eyelids

If you already have allergies and conditions like asthma and sinusitis, your condition may worsen with the presence of a pug in your home. So it’s important that you first consult your ENT specialist before getting a pug or any other dog.

How You Can Manage the Allergies

If you are very determined to keep your pug, you have to find a way to manage your allergy as well. 

Since you’ve decided the two have to co-exist, you will have to keep up with regular cleaning to minimize the allergens. You can’t possibly get rid of it all since your dog is constantly releasing them. 

Here are a few ways to minimize the allergens:

Keep Your Pug Brushed

Brush your pug often to release the loose hair. Do it outdoors so that you don’t leave any traces in the house. Brushing twice a week is good enough.

Pugs have a lot of folds that trap in a lot of dirt, bacteria, saliva, and dander, all of which can worsen your allergy. Use a ball of moist cotton wool to get all of these out and follow up with a dry one to keep the folds dry. Do this as regularly as possible.

Clean Your Pug’s Paws

Every time your pug comes from the outdoors, wipe his paw and fur with a damp cloth. This will help get rid of any allergens he may have collected while playing or walking.

Clean Their Bedding

Also remember to clean your pug’s beddings, crate,  utensils, and toys. These also carry a lot of dander.

Try as much as possible to keep your pug off your bed, you can train him to stay away from your bed. This will save you so much misery.

Bathe Them

It’s true that you shouldn’t bathe a Pug daily, you set up a regular bathing schedule. Here’s how to give a Pug a bath as well as how often you can do it.

Ensure you’re using the best Pug shampoo that helps remove dander and all the loose hair from their double coat.

Get One Pug

Pugs are so lovable, you’ll be tempted to get more than one. However, to cut down on allergies, you should only have one of them.

Two or more dogs will make the allergens worse.

Do Your Research

There are literally hundreds of dog breeds, some won’t shed as much as the Pug. You don’t want to make the mistake of getting a Pug if you know that you have allergies.

That being said, some people know they have allergies and may still want to get a Pug. If so, here’s some tips to help you keep your home allergen free.

Controlling The Allergies In Your Home

Clean Your Home

Vacuum your home, furniture, and every other surface that your pug comes into contact with. This is an effective way to really minimize the dander. As well, clean your beddings and rugs in hot water once every week. 

Don’t just use any ole vacuum for dog hair. We recommend using a HEPA vacuum, they are designed with a high-efficiency (HEPA) air filter.

These pet vacuums trap higher amounts of airborne allergens, so the air in your home stays as healthy as can be.

Invest In Air Filters

If you can afford it, get an allergen filter that specifically filters dander installed in your heating or cooling system. This will significantly reduce the amount of dander floating around your home.

Change your filters at least once a month to ensure it stays clean and you’re breathing fresh air.

Get Rid of Your Carpet

Carpet is the worst thing you can have if you have pets. It’s hard to clean and collects dog hair and makes it impossible to keep clean.

If possible install hardwood floors throughout your home, or at least the main room where your Pug hangs out.

You can then block off the rest of the rooms with carpet, especially, the bedroom you sleep in.

Get Pet Friendly Carpet

Consider replacing your current carpet with a pet-friendly carpet. SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet is made with nylon fibers, which makes it extremely durable and stain-resistant.

It is perfect for pet parents as it is easy to clean up hair and other accidents. In fact, they claim they make it 3x easier to clean hair, dirt, and dander.

Is There a Treatment for Pug Allergies?

Well, there isn’t any specific treatment for pug allergies. Some over the counter medications that can suppress the symptoms such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, and decongestants.

If the symptoms don’t seem to improve, you could opt for an anti-allergy shot to make your body tolerant to the dander and other allergens.

Is There a Diagnosis for Pug Allergies?

Yes, there is. Your allergist can confirm to you whether or not you are allergic to pugs. He will use a small amount of pug dander to test on your skin. From the results, he will also be able to tell how much allergic you are. 

While at it, it’s best to check whether you are also allergic to other elements like pollen, dust, and mold. These elements go hand in hand with pug allergy. You may not be allergic to pug’s dander but the other allergens that your pug may be carrying with him whenever he goes outdoors.


Sadly, pugs are not hypoallergenic. If you suffer from extreme allergy it may be best to consider another hairless breed. You can find them listed here.

If you’re determined to have a pug, there are strategies that you can put in place to ensure that you and your pug enjoy each other’s company.

You can start by visiting an allergist to determine how much allergic you are.

Also, try and keep your home as clean and ventilated as possible. The same goes for your pug, keep him clean and free of dander as much as you can. All these will require a lot of effort from your part, but hey, your pug is all worth it.

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