A pug is both cute and handsome and he is usually a people-stopper when he's out for a walk. There is something about his appearance that makes you think of a smartly turned out gent. Following a regular routine will keep your pug looking well-groomed.
Without doubt, taking care of your pug's coat is the biggest part of his grooming routine. As many pug owners are aware, this dog breed sheds copious amounts of hair. Indeed, you'll find hairs in places your pug hasn't even been because his hairs are all over you, and any guests you have to your home. The fawn pug typically has two coats, although black pugs usually have a single coat. As a result, the black pug sheds less, but he still sheds enough to require regular brushing. With your two-coat pug, the more visible top coat is straight with hairs that grow to about 1 inch in length. Underneath he has softer hair and it is this that falls out all year round. Regular brushing, at least twice a week, helps to control his shedding. Stand your pug on a table -- outside would be ideal -- and using a brush or shedding comb, work down from his head to his tail, not forgetting his belly.
Face and Ears
It is vitally important to take care of your pug's facial folds on a weekly basis, or more frequently if you wish. His wrinkles trap debris and if you don't clean them out, he will develop a fungal infection which you'll be able to smell. Gently pull back his folds and wipe along them with a soft tissue, damp cotton ball or soft cloth. Check for any signs of infection while you're doing this. Give his nose a regular wipe as well. Pugs find breathing difficult enough without having to contend with a blocked nose. His ears also need cleaned to prevent wax build-up. Never use a cotton swab to do this. Wipe them gently with a cotton ball instead, adding some drops of a dog formula ear cleaner to the cotton ball if you wish. Check for ear mites when you're cleaning his ears.
Eyes, Nails and Teeth
Those enormous pug eyes are vulnerable to injury and irritants because of their size. Check them for any signs of a problem, and make sure that you protect them from shampoo during bathing. Your pug's nails also grow pretty fast and he will need them clipped regularly, as frequently as every two weeks. If you've never trimmed a dog's nails, get an expert to do this for you, as you don't want to clip the vein in his nails. Your vet or dog groomer will do this for you. Your pug, like any dog, needs good dental care. Buy him a special pet toothbrush and toothpaste to give his chompers a special clean, in addition to giving him teeth-strengthening hard biscuits to chew on. Don't use human toothpaste or you may make him ill.
According to Brenda Belmonte in "The Pug Handbook," your pug doesn't generally need a bath more frequently than every 12 to 16 weeks, whereas other pug enthusiasts suggest anything from every two to eight weeks. It depends on how dirty your pug gets outdoors. Belmonte says that if your pug gets dirty, from playing in muddy puddles for example, then you should bathe him. Pugs are prone to skin infections, so it is important to keep your best friend clean, but at the same time over-bathing can dry his skin which could cause dermatitis. Only use a specially formulated dog shampoo. Oatmeal-based dog shampoos will keep his coat glossy, and you can even get color-specific shampoos for your fawn or black pug. If you're unsure about how much bathing he needs, talk to your vet.
Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.