Do you ever feel like you spend your whole life covered in Pug dog hair? If you are a Pug owner like I am, this probably resonates!
When I was still brand new to Pug ownership, I decided to find out whether all that shed hair was normal or if I needed to talk to my dog’s veterinarian. Read on to learn exactly what I found out about Pugs and hair loss. Don’t forget to get all your Pug fur questions and concerns answered on our resource page.
Why Is My Pug Losing Hair?
Pug dogs can lose hair for several different reasons such as fleas, ticks, mites, allergies, infections, alopecia, and Cushing’s disease. But the most common reason is simply this: dogs shed!
Today there is a lot of confusion around this issue because of so-called “hypoallergenic” or non-shedding dog breeds. But the truth is, all dogs shed to some degree. In fact, the Pug shedding season lasts longer than most dogs.
Dogs with very long or curly coats (like Poodles or Maltese) may not seem to shed because the hair gets trapped in the surrounding coat. But this doesn’t make these breeds hypoallergenic. No dog breed is truly hypoallergenic.
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While it may not seem like a blessing that Pugs shed visibly, there is a gift in this. You don’t have to worry as much about tangles, mats or professional grooming with your Pug dog’s short, shedding coat.
But My Pug Dog Sheds SO MUCH
Even though all dogs shed hair to some degree, after a while you will learn how much shed hair is normal for your Pug. If your dog suddenly seems to be shedding a lot more than usual, you will notice this too.
Why might a Pug shed more than usual? Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why Pugs may start losing hair.
In dogs, symptoms of allergies look a little different than they typically do for you.
When a dog experiences seasonal, food or environmental allergies, they may lick or bite their paws, rub their ears or bite at their skin to the point of hair loss.
Your dog’s veterinarian will need to determine what your Pug is allergic to in order to prescribe the right type of treatment.
Parasites like fleas, ticks and mites can cause hair loss at and around the affected site on your Pug’s skin.
Mange is caused by the Demodex mite. These parasites are so tiny you need a microscope to see them. While these parasites are always present on the bodies of dogs, sometimes they cause problems.
Hairless areas or lesions on the feet and face are one early symptom.
Skin Irritation or Infection
Pyoderma is one of the most common skin infections Pugs and other dog breeds can develop. Pyoderma can be caused by bacteria, parasites, allergies, thyroid imbalance, and lack of proper grooming.
Initially, pyoderma may manifest with skin scaling, redness, swelling, itching, scabs or blisters. Over time, continued skin irritation may cause the hair to fall out.
Pugs are prone to several types of skin problems because of all those adorable wrinkles.
Canine Pattern Baldness (Alopecia)
You didn’t think people were the only species that could have genetic baldness, did you? Pug dogs can inherit pattern baldness too.
What generally happens is that as your Pug dog gets older, some shed hair will simply not grow back. Over time, this can make the coat visibly thinner.
The areas where you are most likely to notice thinning coat is on the throat, inner legs, chest and abdomen.
Sometimes thinning hair can cause dry skin. If your Pug seems uncomfortable, talk with your dog’s veterinarian about a hormone supplement that may help.
Cushing’s Disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, is caused when your Pug’s adrenal system starts pumping out too much cortisol. Cortisol is often nicknamed the “stress hormone.”
In proper balance, it can help your Pug control weight, energy levels, blood sugar levels of immune function. When there is too much, it can be life-limiting.
One of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease is ongoing progressive hair loss. Hair loss is often most pronounced along the neck, flank region and around the private areas.
How Can I Treat My Dog’s Hair Loss At Home?
Just like it’s possible for humans to control hair loss, the same goes for your furry friend. Controlling hair loss in dogs is usually attributed to your pet’s nutrition and reducing skin conditions that can cause them to itch uncontrollably.
WARNING: Always talk to your veterinarian if your Pug is losing hair in clumps, patches, or is starting to show signs of skin conditions such as hot spots, and etc. You should also consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Omega 3 Supplement
Omega 3 fatty acids have become a very popular nutritional supplement for canines. It is known to help with skin conditions, kidney functions, heart disease, lymphoma, allergies and so much more.
A doggie supplement like Zesty Omega Bites will help maintain your dog’s brilliant coat. They also contain DHA, which is an essential fatty acid to provide extra nourishment for your pup’s skin and coat.
Monthly Flea Prevention
Most people only think about parasites during the warm spring and summer months. However, with global warming, some areas don’t see winters cold enough to kill off parasites.
If you notice your dog constantly itching after spending time outdoors, you may want to consider talking to your veterinarian about a flea preventative plan to help kill fleas and other pesky insects that can cause hot spots and other skin conditions on your pet.
Weekly grooming and regular bathing can help keep your pup’s coat healthy and shiny. Use a high-quality dog shampoo that will help remove bacteria from the skin and hair follicles.
Establish A Healthy Diet
Feed your Pug high-quality dog foods that are free from fillers and contain essential vitamins and minerals. The right dog food can make a huge difference, especially, if your Pug suffers from allergies or other skin conditions.
Pug Losing Hair In Clumps
Shedding in Pugs is completely normal. However, I wanted to share what’s NOT normal, and when you should get your Pug checked by a vet for treatment.
Allergies: As I mentioned above, this breed is prone to allergies. Mindy my Pug was allergic to grass and pollen.
You’ll be able to spot this by the excessive licking of their paws, especially, when they come back inside after spending time outdoors.
Ringworm: You’ll notice their skin looks red, raw, irritated, and itchy where they are losing hair. This will need to be treated by a vet as it is infectious and can be passed on to both humans and other animals. (source)
Stress: Dogs get stressed and this can lead to excessive shedding and other health problems in canines.
Insect Bites: If your pooch gets stung or bitten by ants, hornets, wasps or other insects, it can cause an allergic reaction in your pooch leading to excessive shedding.
An insect bite or sting will result in both inflammation and pain for your four-legged friend. In most cases, the issue will resolve itself. In some instances, you may have to take your pooch to the vet, especially, if they have an allergic reaction.
When to Seek Help for Pug Hair Loss
Many Pug owners are surprised to learn that the Pug, a short-haired breed with a neat and refined appearance, can shed as much as they do.
But moderate year-round and seasonal shedding is healthy for your Pug dog’s coat. The shedding keeps the hairs healthy so they can protect your dog’s skin from the elements, pests and sunlight.
When shedding increases and you can’t find any obvious reason why, it is time to talk with your dog’s veterinarian.
By working with your canine veterinarian to identify the root cause of your Pug’s increasing hair loss, you can make sure any emerging health issues are quickly treated and resolved.
Final Word On Why Is My Pug’s Hair Falling Out?
Pugs shed more than your average dog, so it’s totally normal to see dog hair on your furniture, carpet and other areas of your home. With proper hygiene, food, and supplements you can control the amount of hair your dog loses.
If you start seeing your Pug losing hair in clumps, or they are scratching uncontrollably and causing hot spots and other skin problems, it’s time to take them to the vet.
References And Further Reading
Pets WebMD – Bald Spots In Dogs
Pug Partners Of Nebraska – Shawn Finch, DVM – Common Pug Health Concerns
Merck Manual Veterinary Manual – Deborah S. Greco, DVM, PhD, DACVIM-SAIM, Nestle Purina PetCare – Cushing Disease (Pituitary-dependent Hyperadrenocorticism) in Animals
Merck Manual Veterinary Manual – Karen A. Moriello, DVM, DACVD, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison