5 Common Pug Skin Problems You Need to Know About

Like every dog breed, Pugs are prone to several types of Pug health problems. You can read this article to find out the most common types of health problems they struggle with. This article is going to discuss some of the most common skin problems you’re likely to face as a pug owner and what to look for.

Do Pugs Have Skin Problems?

People are drawn to pugs because of their adorable wrinkles. However, these wrinkles are what cause problems later on down the road. Their skin folds help create an environment where bacteria can easily grow, this is why it’s so important to make sure you keep them properly cleaned. This article will show you how to clean pug wrinkles.

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Pug skin problems

5 Common Pug Skin Problems

Not every pug owner will have to deal with scabs or other skin conditions in pugs. The only issue we had with Mind, was pug skin allergies. Unfortunately, some people are also allergic to pugs, so make sure you know how to spot the signs and what to do to control the allergens.

We never had to deal with rashes, or other irritations, hopefully, you won’t either. But if you do, I’ll share some home remedies you may want to try and when to seek medical attention.

#1 Pug Skin Allergies – Dry, Itchy, Red Skin

Unfortunately, there are two main classifications of allergies that can plague or pets: food aversions and environmental allergies. You have some control over the food allergies.

Food allergies are usually attributed to the meat source or grain in their food. You can often help eliminate food allergies by switching their food to one that eliminates grains from the diet. I’ve listed some of the best types of food for pugs that can help you control their allergies.

Read this article for some tips on how to get your Pug to stop itching.

Environmental Allergies

If your pug suffers from environmental allergies, there really isn’t a lot you can do about it. Most allergies occur from insect bites, environment (pollen, grass and etc). Mindy was allergic to pollen.

When a human suffers from allergies, they will suffer from watery eyes, scratchy skin, and a runny nose. A dog with skin allergy will bite, and scratch excessively, which can create bald spots also known as hot spots.

What to Look for

You’ll notice that your dog is continually licking their paws, rubbing their ears, eyes, and face. Read this article if your dog’s nose is dry and crusty.

At this point, you may want to take your pet to your vet so they can run tests and determine what your dog is allergic to. This will help you understand which allergic treatment you should do or what you need to eliminate from their diet.

#2 Demodectic Mange

Pug Skin Disease

This is most common in puppies, although it’s not uncommon to see older dogs suffer from this condition. Demodectic Mange occurs is caused by a mite called the Demodex mite. It is a microscopic pest that causes pug skin irritations that can lead to fur loss.

This condition will be prone in dogs that have a weak immune system. Healthier pugs usually have a strong immune system that can fight off mites.

It’s not unusual for their fur to fall out in one particular are on their body or several patches across their body. As the hair falls out, you’ll notice the skin underneath is pink. There may even be an unpleasant odor from the bacteria. Try using special shampoos to help deal with the mite problems.

What to Look for

Their skin will continue to become itchy and dry. This will lead to more spots that will eventually turn red, some dogs even suffer from the darkening of their skin.

#3 Skin Fold Pyoderma and Atopic Dermatitis

skin problems in pugs

Pyoderma in Pugs is a bacterial skin infection, that is associated with moist dermatitis aka “hot spots.” Pyoderma is prone to develop in the skin folds on their lips, face, groin, and even their armpits. Pugs that suffer from obesity and females that have had multiple puppy litters are more prone to develop this condition.

Related: How Much Should A Pug Weigh?

Pugs and skin conditions can be passed on to their offspring during birth. Another condition that can affect pugs is atopic dermatitis. Some pugs are hypersensitive to certain allergens such as; chemicals, dust, pollen, household chemicals and certain types of food.

Your pug may even suffer from seasonal allergies. Mindy only had her allergies in the spring when the pollen was high.

What to Look for

Dog’s that suffer from pyoderma will usually be excessively overweight. You’ll notice that the skin folds have become infected, moist and red in color.

Dogs that suffer from seasonal Atopic Dermatitis will not show symptoms during the year. We never noticed Mindy’s allergies until the spring, when she started licking her paws, scratching and biting at her face, feet, and belly.

#4 Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by a fungus that affects the pug’s skin. It presents itself as scaly patches, gray, and dry skin. However, some dog breeds may NOT show any symptoms at all.

This condition occurs when a pug’s skin comes into contact with the spores of a fungus. The spores are commonly found on cats, or in soil. If your pug suffers from this condition, it is contagious and can be passed to humans.

Dogs that suffer from this condition should be treated with ointments, medicated dips, and shampoos. Depending on the severity of the case, your pug may need an oral medication that will be given by a vet.

What to Look for

If Fido does display some symptoms they can include; itchiness, lesions, hair loss (alopecia), dandruff, darkened skin, and crusting of the skin. However, as I mentioned above, some dogs may not show any symptoms.

If your pug does suffer from ringworm, it’s important to start seeking treatment right away.

#5 Ear Mites

Pug skin irritation

It’s important to clean your pug’s ears on a regular basis. The fold over ears make it an ideal spot for dirt, grime to hide and can easily lead to infections and ear mites. Ear mites tend to occur when dogs have been exposed to other dogs in dark parks, doggie daycares, or other areas where there are dogs. However, it can also occur if your dog’s ears are unclean.

Ear mites live in your best friends ear canals and will feed on the tissues, and tissue fluids. If not treated, it can eventually spread to the head and entire body.

Just like some of the demodectic range, this is more prone to affect puppies and dogs with weak immune systems.

What to Look for

You’ll notice a strong odor and discoloration in your pug’s ear canal. This condition will cause your dog to excessively scratching their ears. You may even notice some formation of crusty substance inside and discharge.

If your dog does suffer from this condition, your vet will prescribe some type of insecticidal medication to help treat it.

Other Pug Skin Disorders

These are other common pug skin irritations that can affect your pug. They are NOT dangerous and most of the time you won’t need to seek medical attention. However, it can cause your pug to become uncomfortable and may want to seek some type of home remedy treatment.


It’s not unusual for pugs to develop acne, which can be seen in the facial area. Mindy used to get them and the bumps kind of looked like warts, however, after doing the research I realized that they were pimples. Just like pimples on humans, they are filled with pus and are caused by clogged skin pores.

You NEVER want to pop the zits on your dog. It can cause skin infections and spread the pus and oil from the zit to other areas on your dog, which will make the acne worse.

These cysts are benign but can be painful to your dog. The best thing to do is to clean their face with OTC medicated wipes. (this worked for Mindy).

If your dog has a severe case of acne, you will want to take them to vet to get some for vet prescribed medicated wipes or antibiotics.

If you’ve ever wondered if Pugs can get pimples, this article will answer all your questions.

Pug Skin Problems Scabs

Pug skin scabs

Skin scabs are also known as superficial bacterial folliculitis that affects short-haired dogs. Folliculitis results in sores, scabs, or skin irritations on a pup’s skin, and mostly affects dogs that are suffering from other skin disorders such as fleas, mange, allergies, or an injury.

Bacterial infections occur when a dog continually licks, scratches or chews their skin from the condition they are suffering from. When their skin breaks open, they expose their system to bacteria that eventually lead to folliculitis.


Contact your veterinarian as they will usually prescribe oral antibiotics or antibacterial shampoos and ointments after diagnosing your dog’s condition.

How to Keep Your Pug’s Skin Healthy

One of the best ways to avoid common skin problems with pugs is to keep their folds clean and dry. Cleaning and caring for your pug’s skin should be a part of the regular grooming process. Read this article on how often you should bathe your Pug.

When you’re brushing their fur, make sure you’re paying special attention to the skin folds. Check for any redness, odor, or swelling. If you see something unusual, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Pay attention to the behaviors of your pug. Watch for excessive licking, scratching, biting or hair loss. Yes, pugs shed, but if you notice their hair falling out in patches, that’s a sign that they could develop one of the common pug skin conditions.

The sooner you seek medical attention, the better the outcome will be for your pug.

References and Further Reading

Pug Partners of Nebraska – Common Health Concerns

Healio – Demodex Infestation Requires Immediate, Aggressive Treatment by Doctor

VCA Hospital – Skin Fold Pyoderma In Pugs

Black Pug Site