Why Do Pugs Ears Smell And How to Prevent The Odor

If you have a Pug, there’s a chance that you’ve asked yourself “why do Pugs ears smell?” These adorable dogs are known for their bad odor. That’s why I’ve done some research on the odors and Pug ear cleaning to help you get rid of those bad odors.

Why Do Pugs Ears Smell?

Like humans, your Pug will build up ear wax inside the ear canal. The odor is usually due to the brown or black waxy buildup that gives off a nasty earthy odor. The best way to get rid of the odor is to use a Pug ear cleaning solution to help remove the wax buildup.

In fact, there’s a chance that you’re likely to smell the odor before you realize your furbabies ears are dirty. 

why do pugs ears smell

Symptoms of Pug Ear Odor

Some dogs won’t show any signs of odor at the beginning stages. However, if left untreated, your dog may start showing the following signs:

  • Irritable when you touch their ears because they are tender and painful.
  • Excessive shaking of the head.
  • Rubbing their head on the ground.
  • A musty smell that may be an indication of an inner ear yeast infection.
  • Redness underneath the flap of their ear area.
  • Waxy, yellow or reddish-brown ear discharge.

Don’t forget when you bathe your Pug, to always dry their ears. A buildup of moisture is known to cause ear problems. I’ve written an in-depth article to help you bathe your Pug. You may also want to check out the best shampoos for Pugs that won’t cause allergic reactions and will help your Pug smell better on this post.

Reasons for Pug Ear Smell

If you’ve just cleaned your Pug’s ears, then the odor can be due to the other reasons below. Read this article to find out why Pugs smell.

Dirty Ears

As I mentioned above, the buildup of wax and debris buildup, which gives off a potent smell. All dogs produce a certain amount of ear wax, which is natural.

This only becomes a problem when the buildup becomes to be too much. The great thing is that you can use ear cleaners to ensure that your Pug’s ears stay clean at home.

Most dogs won’t show any signs or symptoms of dirty ears. Most Pug owners will only take notice when they start noticing the smell.

Ear Mites

Otodectes cynotis mites, commonly referred to as ear mites is a parasitic infection that can affect canines. If your Pug suffers from this, you may notice them excessively scratching around the neck, head, and the ears.

You may also notice a dark substance discharge that looks similar to coffee grounds, which gives off a foul odor.

If you suspect that your Pug has ear mites, they will require a complete physical exam by a professional.

Ear mites are contagious and can be spread to other dogs, or pets in your household. They are NOT contagious to humans.


Pugs are prone to ear infections at a higher rate than other dog breeds. Their soft floppy ears are the perfect combination for trapping water in the ear canal.

Unlike breeds with pointy-ears, where the water doesn’t get trapped as easily. This is why it’s important to check the underside of your Pug’s ears on a regular basis.

If your pet’s ears are a beautiful pink color, that is normal! Also, a healthy Pug ear should never give off a bad odor.

Infections usually occur due to a lack of regular cleaning. If the bacteria in your dog’s ears is left unchecked, it can turn to a painful ear infection.

According to PetMD, ear infections can be caused by an excess of fur around the ear canal, allergies, or hypothyroidism.

How to Prevent Pug Ear Odor?

According to the video above, the best way to prevent ear odor is to keep your dog’s ears clean, using ear cleansers to prevent wax buildup. You can do this by cleaning their ears as a part of the grooming process.

Other steps to take to prevent ear odor:

Keep Their Ears Dry: By using ear powders after they are exposed to water to ensure they are completely dry.

Hair buildup: If hair buildup occurs inside the ears, it can cause ear problems. This is most common in other breeds like Poodles.

Periodic checkups: from your veterinarian to ensure they do not have an infection.

If you do notice an odor, there’s a good likelihood that your Pug has an infection. You’ll need to use some type of cleansers, ointments or other approved creams to get rid of the problem.

The sooner you can catch these infections, the better it will be for both you and your Pug.

Get Rid of Ear Odor In Dog

Depending on what’s causing the bad ear odor with your Pug, will depend on the steps you take to get rid of the bad odor.

If the smell is coming from a yeast infection or bacterial infection, you will need to take them to your veterinarian to get those issues taken care of.

Your veterinarian will most likely prescribe an antibiotic for a bacterial infection and an antifungal is needed to clear yeast infections.

If the odor is coming from wax buildup due to lack of cleaning.

Related Articles for Smelly Pug Issues

How to Clean Pug Wrinkles

Why Does My Pug Smell Like Fish?

Why Does My Pug Smell Like Corn Chips?

Do Pugs Have A Good Sense Of Smell?

Related Questions

What do dogs ear infections smell like? Some people say that the odor smells like Fritos or Corn chips. If you’ve ever smelled, then you know that it’s a pungent smell that is hard to place.

References and Further Reading

PetMD – Why Do My Dog’s Ears Smell Bad

Pet Carrier – My Dog’s Ear Smells and Has A Brown Discharge

Black Pug Site