Pug Skin Rash: What It Is And How to Treat It

So your pug has developed irritated itchy skin and you can’t get them to stop chewing and licking themselves for relief. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what causes a Pug skin rash, the symptoms, and what to do about it.

Pug Skin Rash, What Exactly Is It?

A canine skin rash also known as contact dermatitis means that your pet has come into contact with something that has irritated their skin.

Regardless of why your Pug has red skin, it’s important to find out what’s causing the rash. If left untreated, the condition can become worse and will only cause your dog extreme discomfort.

pug skin rash

Contact Dermatitis Or Allergies?

Contact dermatitis is basically just a scientific way of saying that your dog has come into direct contact with a substance that has triggered an allergic reaction. Canine rashes are not life-threatening, so you don’t have to lose sleep over it.

Just like you and I can develop contact dermatitis, so can your four-legged friend. In fact, Pugs are susceptible to several skin problems, not just rashes. In fact, there are several common health problems with Pugs you should know about.

Signs And Symptoms Of Contact Dermatitis

Dogs that suffer from a skin rash will usually have red itchy bumps on their skin that can occur on your dog’s their neck, groin, anal area, chest, neck, scrotum, between their toes, and their tail. You may also notice that some of the following symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Scabs and crust
  • Bleeding
  • Pink or red rash on your Pug’s belly
  • Constantly licking and biting of the skin
  • Uncontrollable scratching
  • Depression
  • Itchy ears

Every dog is different and some will have a few of these symptoms, while others will have more than one. It’s important to understand your dog’s behavior, so you can tell when something is actually bothering them.

The Most Common Causes for Rashes In Pugs?

most common causes for rashes in pugs
There are several things that can cause a rash on your Pug.

Every pet is different and something that affects one dog, may not affect another. Dog skin rashes and irritations are extremely common regardless of dog breeds. The great thing is that once the trigger is identified, the rashes tend to go away with the right treatment.

There are several things that can cause this skin condition in Pugs. Here are just a few things that can affect your pooch. Check this out if your Pug is itching uncontrollably, but doesn’t have a rash.

Pests And Parasites

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, it’s not uncommon for fleas, ticks, and mites to be the cause of your dog’s rash. In fact, it won’t take long for your dog to go into a scratching and grooming frenzy if they have any fleas.

During the warm months, you’ll want to make sure you use some type of flea medication on your dog and learn how to check for fleas if your dog is scratching a lot after being outside.

If your dog has been bitten by a flea, you’ll want to look for the hotspots on their body. A flea’s saliva will cause hotspots in dogs that tend to look like scaly and or scabby patches, that can eventually, lead to hair loss.


Plants in commercial and residential landscapes have been known to trigger allergic reactions in some pets. Some dogs have also been known to become irritated from common wild plants that can be found on hiking trails. When you plant your garden, make sure that you avoid planting some of the most common ones that affect sensitive dogs such as; Bermuda grass, Male juniper shrubs, Sago Palm, Oak Trees, Daylillies, and etc.

There are also some indoor plants that can irritate your dog’s skin. The most common ones that can irritate a dog are; Aloe, Spiderwort, Dieffenbachia.

Regardless of what type of plants you have around your home, it’s important to make sure your dog does not eat them. You should also monitor your Pug if they like eating grass because it can also be toxic to them.

There are many plants that are toxic to pets and can lead to other health issues. 

Fungal Infections (Ringworm)

It’s not uncommon for dogs to develop a rash from fungal infections such as ringworm, yeast infections or other types of infections. If they are dealing with an infection, they will need to be diagnosed by a veterinarian to determine what type of infection your pooch has.


Pugs like people can develop an allergic reaction to certain medications. Avoid giving your dog any type of human medications. Always talk to your dog’s veterinarian to make sure that there will not be any side effects before administering any type of medication.

Food Allergies

According to Wag, food allergies are responsible for 20% of the itchiness in dogs. The most common food allergens in dog food are; wheat, eggs, soy, pork, rabbit, fish, and lamb. Most Pugs will eat anything and you won’t have to worry about any rashes or allergies.

However, other dogs may have a genetic predisposition to develop allergic reactions to certain foods. If your Pug is sensitive to the foods they eat, you’ll want to make sure you buy foods that are specifically formulated for dogs with allergies.


While the little white flakes on your dog’s coat may not cause a rash, they will cause your dog to scratch, and lick uncontrollably which can lead to further irritation.

Dog dandruff is not very common, however, my black Pug used to have it. If your dog has dry skin, and it is irritating them, use a humidifier in your home and opt for an oatmeal and honey dog shampoo that is made with all-natural ingredients.

Household Products

Household products such as detergents, carpet cleaners, and other cleaning products can be harsh on both you and your dog’s skin.

Make sure that you’re using “green” or natural cleaning products when washing your dog’s blankets, beds or any surface that they walk or lick.

More Things That Can Irritate Your Dog’s Skin

The above are just a few of the common things that can trigger a painful red skin rash. However, there are several other triggers such as; carpets, mulch/cedar chips, soaps, detergents, rubber, leather, metals, topical agents, lupus, and etc.

Canine rashes should NEVER be ignored and your pet should be taken to the veterinarian to help determine what is causing the issue. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose what Fido came into contact with that triggered the rash.

What Can I Put On My Dog’s Skin Rash?

As I mentioned above, if your Pug has a severe rash, you will want to take them to the vet. They will perform a thorough physical exam to determine what caused the rash. It will be impossible to treat a severe rash from home unless you know what the underlying cause is.

Severe skin rashes will need to be treated with anti-inflammatory medications that your veterinarian prescribes. For minor rashes, you should be able to get rid of your dog’s discomfort through home remedies and dietary changes.

How to Treat Your Pugs Rash?

Once you know what’s irritating your dog, it’s time to follow the right course of treatment to help their skin return to a healthy state. If your dog is allergic to something, in particular, there’s no way to cure the allergy.

Your job as a pet owner will be to remove or limit their exposure to the irritant. This could be as simple as changing their diet and feeding them a different type of food. Buying a pet-friendly detergent washing all their toys, and bedding with it.

It may take some time to determine what is causing your dog to break out in rashes. However, you can start out by changing the detergent and cleaning products.

Another thing you can do is to watch your Pug when they are outside playing, make sure they don’t get too close to your flower gardens or eat anything from your garden.

If they continue breaking out in rashes, talk to your vet. They will be able to offer some advice on the type of food your dog should be eating as well as which hypoallergenic shampoo you should use that won’t irritate their skin.

Final Word On My Pug Has A Rash

Hopefully, you realize that Pugs can get rashes just like you and I. If your dog has developed a rash, hopefully, you’re able to determine what irritant caused it and remove it.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to get rashes. The great thing is that once you know what’s irritating your pooch, you can get rid of it so they don’t get another rash.

References and Further Reading

Merck Manual – Stephen D. White, DVM, DACVD – Hives and Rashes (Urticaria) In Dogs

Black Pug Site