While pugs are known for their distinctly wrinkly faces, these folds can create serious health problems for your pooch. They need to be cleaned out on a regular basis -- as often as every day or as seldom as once a week. The frequency depends on your pug, so keep an eye on his wrinkles.
A pug's wrinkled face can hold a lot of secrets -- particularly, grime and dirt. Anything your pug sticks his face in, be it dirt, sand or food, can get trapped inside your pet's facial folds. When that happens, not only can it irritate your pug -- it can also cause sores and infections. Even if your pug isn't the messy type, his own natural excretions like eye mucus can collect in his facial folds, necessitating your intervention.
If your pug's facial wrinkles are ready to be cleaned, you'll know -- there is little guesswork involved in pug maintenance. One of the most prominent warning signs is that your pug will grind his face into anything he can, like furniture, grass or the carpet. The other most noticeable sign is odor -- you will notice an unpleasant smell emitting from your dog's face. When either or both of these signs are present, it's time to tend to your pug's face.
While you can purchase medicated wipes for cleaning out your pug's face wrinkles, you can also keep the folds clean using household toiletries. Fill a cup with warm water and dip the end of a cotton swab in it. Run the moist tip of the cotton swab through the folds to wipe out the dirt and grime, but be gentle -- the skin inside your dog's facial folds is very sensitive. Once the cotton swabs come out of the folds clean, use a cotton swab to smear a bit of petroleum jelly inside the folds to keep the skin protected.
If the skin inside your pug's facial folds goes unattended for too long, it may become a breeding ground for infection. If you notice the symptoms of infection, like severely bad smell or oozing skin, schedule a veterinary appointment immediately. While regular fold cleaning helps prevent this, so does weight management -- obese animals are generally more likely to develop health problems like dermatitis, so keep your pug active and healthy and his folds clean.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.