Why Do Pugs Smell and How to Control The Bad Dog Odor

If you’ve been wondering “do Pugs smell,” you’re in the right place. Black Pugs are amazing pets and make great companions, but they do come with their own problems like excessive shedding, smelling bad, and snorting sounds.

Now, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things that you as an owner can’t control. In fact, if you’re dealing with a smelly Pug, just know that you can take the necessary steps to clear the air and live better together.

Why Does My Pug Smell So Bad?

Pugs are known to be one of the stinkiest dog breeds. Now let’s take a look at some of the reasons that your Pug smells bad, then we’ll take a look at what you can do to make him/her smell better.

do pugs smell


The skin folds on Fido is what makes them so cute and adorable. However, this can also be one of the main reasons that you’re smelling the foul odor.

The black Pug has wrinkles around the neck and facial areas, which can be hard to keep clean, find out how to clean Pug wrinkles.

It’s easy for dirt, food, and grime to get stuck inside the skin folds. It could be as easy as something is caught in the wrinkles that are causing the bad smell.

The wrinkles are also a great source for bacteria, most commonly yeast which loves warm dark environments. The growing bacteria can be the reason that your furbaby is smelly and probably scratching uncontrollably at their skin folds.

Bad Breath

Just like you and I, when we don’t brush our teeth, our breath can smell. Well, if you don’t brush your black Pug’s breath, their breath will start to smell. This smell can be taken care of by brushing their teeth on a regular basis.

If they are suffering from halitosis, it could be a bigger health issue like a decayed tooth, or a disease resulting from a bacteria in the mouth or kidney disease. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact a trusted vet to find out what underlying health issues are causing the halitosis.

Small brachycephalic breeds are known to periodontal and other mouth diseases because their teeth are really close together.

Anal Glands

Your dog’s anal sacs could be the cause of the foul fishy odor that is coming from your dog. All dogs have anal glands that act as a scent marker, which lets other dogs know important chemical information about your dog.

Most of the time, that fishy odor will go away after they have pushed out a stool. Read this article to find out why your Pug smells fishy.

If your dog has really smelly anal glands and the smell doesn’t subside or disappear after going number two, you may need to take them to the vet to see if they are dealing with anal sac disease.


Ear infections are known to cause a stinky odor. If you notice that Fido is scratching his/her ears uncontrollably, they could be dealing with an ear infection.

We never had to deal with an ear infection with Mindy, but a friend of mine had to. They said it was a “yeasty” or “moldy” smell that is noticeable.

If your dog does have an ear infection, you’ll have to take them to the vet to make sure that the infection hasn’t compromised the eardrum. Read this article to find out what causes Pug ear odor.

Entire Body

If it’s been a while since you’ve given your pet a bath, you’ll notice that their entire body can smell bad. You’ll notice that they will smell worse after being outside in the heat or rain.

When Mindy came in from the rain, she had that wet dog smell. This is the reason that we always towel dried her after being out in the rain or water.

If you haven’t bathed in a while, their body oils will start to accumulate and give off a foul smell. This can usually be fixed by giving them a bath, I highly recommend these shampoos for controlling Pug odors.

Smelly Paws

One of the things that we noticed on Mindy was that sometimes her feet would smell like “corn chips” or “old stale popcorn.” After doing some research, I realized that it was normal for dogs’ paws to smell.

Which makes sense since dogs all over the ground and in stuff full of bacteria. Not to mention that dogs sweat through their footpads, just like people’s feet sweat.

If you notice that your dog is giving off a corn chip smell, you might want to consider washing their feet if they have been outside for a long period.

Foul Odors In the Heat

Mindy was not a fan of the heat, especially, as she got older. One thing we noticed was that she seemed to give off a bad odor when we were outside in the heat.

One thing we learned after doing our due diligence is that female Pugs smell worse in the heat due to the mixture of endometrial tissue, body fluids, and blood.

The best thing to do is to give her a bath to eliminate the odor, not to mention to help them cool down from being out in the heat.

How to Make Your Pug Smell Better?

how to keep a Pug from stinking
Even though Pugs are smelly dogs, you can control the bad dog odor.

No one wants a stinky pet on their furniture or in their house. Luckily there are some things that you can do to help your pet smell better, but first, you need to find the source of the bad stench.

If you can’t find out where it’s coming from, you may need to seek help from your vet.

Here are some tips that you can do maintain proper hygiene for your Pug and reduce those bad smells so you can both enjoy each other’s companionship without the smelly odors.

Maintain Your Pug’s Oral Health

We used a dog toothbrush and toothpaste to help us clean Mindy’s teeth at least once a month. In between cleanings and regular checkups we gave her dental chews to help prevent tartar buildup and bad breath.

You brush and floss your teeth every day, you should be brushing your Pug’s teeth 2-3 times per week to help combat bad breath.

Related: Best Toothbrushes for Pugs

Give Them Baths

The best thing you can do to control those odors is to give them a bath on a regular basis. A proper bath will help control shedding and odors that are making it hard to live with.

When you bathe them frequently, that alone will help control some of the Pug odor.

Clean The Wrinkles

Your Pug’s wrinkles should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent debris or bacteria from accumulating. You can purchase antimicrobial wipes on Amazon to help you keep them clean.

If you’ve never cleaned your dog’s skin folds before, this video will help you through the process.

Clean the Ears

Your Pug is prone to infection, so you want to make sure that you keep them clean. We used a cotton ball and peroxide when we cleaned Mindy’s ears

Wash Their Paws

Your dog’s paws pick up all kinds of bacteria. To help control the smells that they bring into your home, make sure that you wash their paws on a regular basis.

You’ll also want to trim their nails so dirt and debris don’t get stuck in them. I highly recommend these Guillotine trimmers because they work extremely well.

Their Anal Glands

Some dogs have bigger issues with their anal glands than others. We took Mindy to the vet the first couple of times, then we started doing it at home by ourselves.

Thankfully she never had a huge issue with hers, otherwise, it would’ve cost a lot to continue taking her to the vet.

Daily Brushing

Spending 5-10 minutes per day can help remove the dirt, debris, and allergens your Pugs fur collects. When these build up in your dog’s fur, it can lead to bad odor.

Related: Best Brushes For Pugs

Regular Grooming

Pugs should be bathed and groomed at least once every 3-4 weeks. This will take longer than the daily brushing but will make a huge difference in those bad Pug smells.

Wash Your Pugs Bedding

You may have noticed that your dog smells bad even after bath time. This is probably due to them laying on their dirty bedding after you’ve washed them.

Make sure that you wash their bed, blankets, stuffed toys, or anything else they sleep on, to remove body oils that attract bacteria and dirt that can cause that bad odor.

Use A No-Rinse Shampoo

One of the best ways to keep your Pug smelling good, especially, in-between bath time is to use a no-rinse, bathless foam shampoo.

These dry dog shampoos do not require any water or rinsing and can be used whenever your Pug is starting to smell bad.

Waterless dog shampoos do not just mask the bad odor, but actually clean your Pug’s fur and skin to help maintain a healthy coat.

Related: Best Shampoos For Pugs

Feed Your Pug High-Quality Dog Food

A low-quality dog food diet can lead to bad odor and flatulence. Opt for a good high-quality dog food that will keep your Pug healthy.

Related: Best Fresh Cooked Dog Food For Pugs

What If My Pug Still Smells

Does your black Pug dog still smell after you’ve given them a bath? It could be that the shampoo that you used is odorless or doesn’t smell good. Maybe you didn’t leave the shampoo and conditioner on long enough?

When you’re giving them a bath, make sure that you’re scrubbing deep enough and getting every inch of their body, including the wrinkles. Try using the SleekEZ Deshedding brush which is amazing for Pugs.

Plus it will give them a good massage that will help them with their blood circulation. Be sure to towel dry their thick fur so they don’t smell like a wet dog.

Don’t let them go outside until they are completely dry as they are known to roll on the ground after they have been bathed.

If your black Pug still smells after implementing these tips and bathing properly, they may be dealing with an infection. Maybe it’s time to contact your local vet to find out what the underlying issue is.

Home Remedies for Fishy Dog Smell

Small dogs are known for those bad fishy smells and most people can’t afford to take them to the vet every time. The cool thing is that you can find some home remedies to help you get your dog to smell better.

As a Pug owner, unfortunately, you’ll have to learn how to properly take care of their hygiene. All dogs smell, but as I mentioned above, the breed you chose is one of the stinkiest.

Hopefully, these tips helped you tackle the bad odor and here are some more articles that will help you take care of your lovable pet.

Related Questions

Are Pugs Smelly Dogs? If properly cared for and bathed on a regular basis, they probably wouldn’t stink. However, Pugs do have unique health issues that can lead to bad odor if not properly cared for.

Do Pugs Smell Like Corn Chips? Some people say that their dog’s paws smell like corn chips once in a while This smell is usually caused by bacteria that has accumulated in the coat between the foot pads of your dog. Read this article to find out more about why your Pug smells like Fritos.

Why do dogs smell bad after being outside? When dogs go outside, their hair absorbs outdoor smells. If you’ve ever hugged anyone after they’ve been outside, you’ll an outdoor scent that lingers on their clothing. Dogs have a higher surface area to absorb more odors.

Are there any dog breeds that don’t smell? All dogs are going to have some odor, whether it’s puppy breath, wet dog, Frito paws, and etc. However, there are some dogs like Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Shih Tzu and etc that don’t shed or smell as bad as other breeds.

Final Take Away On How To Keep A Pug From Stinking

There’s no way around it, the Pug dog smells bad. However, if you follow the tips above, you will be able to control the bad odor.

References And Further Reading

Barking Royalty – 15 Dog Breeds That Don’t Smell

Black Pug Site