Why Is My Black Pug Turning Brown? And What To Do About It

There’s nothing more beautiful than a Pug’s healthy deep black coat, as it glows from within. However, some dog owners may notice that their Pugs fur can begin to change colors over time. If you’ve ever wondered “why is my black Pug turning brown,” I’ve found some possible reasons for you, as well as whether or not there’s anything to worry about.

Why Is My Black Pug Turning Brown?

It’s NOT unusual for a dog’s hair color to change, however, if your Pugs hair is turning brown, it’s most commonly due to the sun bleaching their hair.

Depending on how the sun hits your dog, it can make your black Pug look brown or even reddish-brown. This breed is prone to several issues and it’s vital to understand Pugs and their health problems.

why is my black pug turning brown

But now, let’s take a closer look at how the sun can affect the color of your dog’s coat and what you can do to protect your pooch.

The Sun’s Heat Can Be Deadly

We already know that Pugs can’t tolerate the heat very well, that’s why you need to keep them inside as much as possible during the hot weather days.

Pugs are prone to heatstroke more than other dog breeds. They don’t sweat like us, plus this brachycephalic breed has trouble breathing in the heat.

They have sweat glands in their paws, but this won’t protect their fur from the sun’s rays.

Sun Bleaching The Coat

People who spend a lot of time outside in the sun will notice that the sun can bleach their hair. Like you, if your Pug spends a lot of time outside, over time they will develop a sun-bleached coat.

Sun bleaching usually affects the darker colored dogs, more than light-colored dogs. But this doesn’t mean that light-colored dogs are NOT affected by the sun, they are more prone to sunburns.

The sun is one of the most common reasons why a dog’s black coat changes color. On some dogs, their hair will turn red, reddish-brown, or even look tri-colored.

Unfortunately, the sun-bleached hair means that your Pugs coat has been damaged. The hair is usually dry, damaged, as well as discolored.

Can I Prevent The Sun Bleaching?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do about this, other than limit the time your Pug spends outside. Just like us, if we spend too much time in the sun, we’ll get sunburned and dark-headed people will get sun bleach.

The great news is that the damage isn’t permanent.

Will Sun Bleaching Go Away?

If your black Pug looks brown, the good thing is that the bleached hairs should eventually return to your dog’s deep, rich color. Just don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Here are some things you can do to speed up the process:

Premium Dog Food: Nutrition plays a huge part in your dog’s health. A good quality dog food can help maintain a healthy dog coat. Talk to your veterinarian to ensure your dog is eating a well-balanced diet.

Color Shampoo: There are specific shampoos that are made specifically for dark-colored dogs that have brown, black or red coats. These colored shampoos can help restore the luster in your dog’s coat.

Fish Oil Supplements: The omega 3 can help improve your Pug’s skin, joint health, and coat health.

Regular Brushing and Grooming: Use a good dog brush to remove all that dead damaged hair. I’d recommend using a slicker brush on your Pug’s double coat. The regular brushing will help distribute the coat’s oils giving their coat a shinier healthier look.

Leave-In Conditioners and Coat Sprays: Opt for an oil-based conditioner or coat spray to help bring back the shine and luster your dog’s black hair used to have.

Should I Keep My Pug Out Of The Sun?

black and tan pug
Black Pugs are prone to sun bleaching and fawn pugs are prone to sunburn.

If your Pug is anything like mine was, they enjoy sitting in the sunshine. Mindy used to sit in the sun for hours until her fur was hot and she was panting heavily.

Like us, dogs need to spend time in the sun to soak up vitamin D, which can help keep them healthy.

However, you should limit their time in the sun. There is NO set limit to how long your dog can spend in the sun.

The rule of thumb is when you’ve had enough sunshine, then they probably have too. Dogs are usually more tolerant to the heat then we are, but don’t let your Pug sit in the sun too long.

If your four-legged friend does spend time outside, make sure they have access to freshwater. You’ll want to make sure they drink more fluids in the hot weather.

Can My Dog Get A Sunburn?

Your black Pug is less susceptible to sunburns because their coat protects them. However, if you have a fawn or light-colored Pug, you may want to consider using some a good quality canine sunscreen to protect their skin.

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, there’s nothing wrong with taking along a good sunscreen regardless of the color of your doggie. Whenever I applied sunscreen to my skin, I would use the canine version on my black Pug.

Do All Black Dogs Turn Brown?

As I mentioned above, darker dogs are more prone to sun bleaching than the lighter colored dogs. If you have a dog that has a brown, chocolate, red, liver, or reddish-brown, they are more vulnerable to discoloration from the suns rays.

All Pugs will change color at some time in their life.

When To Contact The Vet?

Regardless of what we think, all dogs go through some type of discoloration in their lifetime. No one wants to see their jet black Pug turn brown.

However, it most likely will, especially, if your dog loves spending time outside. Read this if you’ve noticed that your Pug’s skin is turning black.

If you notice that your dog is overheating or suffering from heatstroke, you’ll want to take the steps to cool them down. Once you’ve started cooling them, contact your veterinarian immediately or take them to your nearest emergency clinic.

Final Word On My Black Pug Is Turning Brown

The skin can wreak havoc on your dog’s fur, so it’s important to limit their time in the sun. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about your Pug’s black fur turning brown from the sun.

One of the best things you can do is make sure that you’re bathing your Pug on a regular basis using a high-quality shampoo. This will help protect their fur as much as possible.

References and Further Reading

Dogster – Dr. Eric Barchas – Why Is My Pet’s Hair Changing Color?


Black Pug Site