Does a Vinegar Bath Help a Pug's Skin?

Keep vinegar out of your pug's bath.

Keep vinegar out of your pug's bath.

With its smooth, glossy hair, the pug is considered among the easiest breeds to groom. Pugs should be bathed about once a month with a pH-neutral dog shampoo, and special attention paid to the folds of their skin. A vinegar bath will most definitely NOT help a healthy pug's skin.

Don't Believe Everything You Read

A shocking amount of disinformation is available on the Web these days, including a mountain of claims about the benefits of vinegar. People drink the stuff, use it as an astringent, or add it to home-made cleaning products. Vinegar does have many uses, but if your pug's health is important to you, do your homework before you do him any harm.

The pH Balance of Vinegar

Vinegar is an acidic substance, regardless of type. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is on a scale of 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH of less than 7 is acidic. A pH of greater than 7 is basic. Although the pH of human hair is between 4.5 and 5.5, a typical pug's skin has a pH balance of 7. So what works for us doesn't necessarily work for them.

The Right Product for Pugs

Experts recommend using a pH-balanced or pH-neutral shampoo for bathing your pug. Using a product balanced for human skin or hair risks altering the natural pH balance of your dog's skin, and puts him at risk of developing bacteria overgrowth, parasites and skin irritations. You run the same risk when using an overly acidic product like vinegar to wash your pet.

When shopping for your pet's next home bath, look for a preferably natural product with a pH of 7.

A Good Use of Vinegar

Pug ears should be checked once a week for wax and dirt and cleaned separately, and the residue and grease-busting properties of vinegar-based cleaning products do come in handy here. Do not use cotton swabs, as the tips can injure your dog's ear canals if you probe too deeply. If your pug's ears appear red, inflamed or smelly do not use a homemade solution without a veterinary consult. Some ear solutions can further harm an infected ear.

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About the Author

D.H. Blandings is a writer and award-nominated editor based in Ottawa, Canada. Working mainly in the corporate sector, she also writes about species at risk for a local not-for-profit animal sanctuary. She has degrees from the University of Toronto and Concordia University, and is pursuing a publishing certificate at Ryerson University.

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