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GoPugyourself Reader Myth Buster Day: Shedding

Myth: You can keep a pug from shedding
I've heard of 3 methods to keep a pug from shedding.

  1. Salmon oil, and Hemp seed oil, combined with a high quality food.
  2. The Furminator
  3. Shaving the pug's coat shorter

Shedding is always a hot topic with pug owners. It is said, and rightly so, that a pug sheds only once, for 365 days. Personally, I've tried adding oil to Shelby's diet, and there seemed to be no notable difference. I've also tried the Furminator, both the professional process, and the at-home kit. It seems to work as well as any bath at the groomers and doesn't seem to have a lasting effect. Which leaves the last option. Steven and I had discussed shaving Shelby, but the groomer at PetSmart cautioned us that the fur may never grow back the same.

So I declare this GoPugYourself Reader feedback day. I've you've tried any of these shedding control methods on your pug please leave a comment and tell me how it went.

I'm especially interested in photos of shaved pugs. Do they really look funny? Email them to shelby [at] gopugyourself.com and I'd be happy to post them on the blog, or email me a link to the photo.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

August 22, 2008 | Permalink


The one thing I find with the furminator or any other grooming tool - though I like the furminator a lot - is that to be effective, you really need to groom them at least 4-5 times a week, ideally once a day. I had a neighbor with a pug who groomed her daily and the pug was lovely and hardly shed at all - and to boot, she had a gorgeous coat.

Beyond that, the only tried and true method I know of is to learn about cream carpets, cream furniture and a blind eye. Truly, it's the price we pay for having such cute little beasts.

I can't imagine ever shaving a pug. How awful for the pooch!

Posted by: Angie | Aug 22, 2008 6:17:52 AM

hey there!

This is an answer I found which might scare you off of shaving:

~A dogs hair is the only way it can control its temperature. Without hair, your pug can get severe sunburn, heatstroke, and even cancers.

Part of a pug is its thick coat and the shedding. Shaving dogs that have undercoats may actually ruin the topcoat. With some dogs, the fur will grow back, but maybe only in patches. Most dogs when shaved, will grow their coat back, but it won't look as full as it was originally.

And also: They also have very sensitive nerves in their skin that can be damaged when their hair is cut.

You would also be putting your dog at greater risk of overheating which is already a pug problem.

I remember when you got Shelby you were thinking of shaving her, that you like your place to be very clean (more than I do my place: lol)and that with your newborn you won't have (as much) time to use the vacuum cleaner, but for Shelby it would be best to leave her coat alone...

My pug Tommie just got cancer and although we are cleaning up her puke and other stuff, we have to allow ourselves to not worry too much about dust nests... Those will be attacked when things become more settled.

Pugs are crazy shedders, though!

ENjoy the last days of summer with your family...

Posted by: Frederieke | Aug 22, 2008 6:31:30 AM

The thought of shaving my Puggies just makes me feel itchy all over...in my mind it seems to be a little too radical and even (itching is nasty) cruel just to have a hair free home.....but, that's just my thoughts........Cheers....

Posted by: AnnCrago | Aug 22, 2008 6:33:46 AM

I seriously considered shaving Dory until I did a little more asking around...

Apparently, the guard hairs on a pug's coat insulate them from the heat and cold. Shaving them off compromises their ability to regulate their body temperature. Sure, I've seen shaved pugs that look fine and have no visible problems, but why risk it?

I agree with Angie. The Furminator does work if used daily. I know that's a pain in itself (read: pass the job on to your husband!), but it's worth it.

Posted by: April | Aug 22, 2008 6:37:19 AM

Haha that is an interesting idea.. we bought the furminator but I haven't used it yet.

I cannot imaging my dogs sitting still long enough to do that and after reading the above posts, shaving is now not an option.

I have 2 cats and the hair drove me nuts and when I got my first pug I never really saw the hair around all i ever saw was pug hair. For a tiny pug, my Indy sheds a ton! (She is 9lbs full grown). I got my second pug not that long ago and I swear that the amount of pug hair I see is less. It is like Indy has stopped shedding since we got Gus!

Posted by: lex | Aug 22, 2008 8:23:23 AM

Don't shave Shelby! The fur will never grow back the same way. Does your area have any of those "mobile" grooming vans? My town here in Massachusetts has a couple, they'll come to your home so you don't have to worry about the time it takes to get to the doggie spa.

Posted by: BostonShelbyFan | Aug 22, 2008 9:16:25 AM

I agree with Frederieke, you all should know that Pug skin is very sensitive. Even with a bath, the water has to be just right or they wince and cry. When I started adding olive oil to the dogs'food, the shedding did slow down some and their coats were beautiful,but they had TERRIBLE farts!! I added just about 1 tablespoon to about 5-6 cups of dog food (I free-feed my animals) then mixed it around good so it was all coated, it even made the crunchies a little softer and easier for them to chew. Don't do it every day though, just 1-2 times a week, otherwise they will get the poo-poos. And then hair will be the least of your problems!!

Posted by: Lisa | Aug 22, 2008 10:25:03 AM

I have been shaving my pug since summer started. It's a life-saver. I live in Miami Beach and before I had her shaved she was always hot. Now, she doesn't shed (heaven and bliss rolled into one) and she doesn't over heat at the park.

I had all the same reservations as the posters here, until I moved here from NYC. Everyone here shaves their pugs. It's a lifesaver.

Does her coat grow in in patches? Yes, sometimes. Some parts grow in faster than others.

Is her coat as soft when it grows in? Softer, in fact, than before I had her shaved.

What about her colouring? Same as it ever was. She's beige with loads of black (almost zebra-esque) and when her coat grows in fully, it's exactly the same as it was before I had her shaved.

Is she itchy after she's shaved? Nope. She loves it and her undercoat is silky soft, so it's actually quite nice. And since she's been shaved, she's softer (even with regrowth) than before we started.

Does it bother her? Actually, she's more perturbed by excessive regrowth. When it gets too long for her sense of comfort, she starts rubbing her sides against the couch. It's the sign it's time to shave again. I tried waiting a few weeks, last time, to see what would happen. She did it until I had her shaved and now she's happy as a lark.

Is she cold/ hot more easily? No, actually.

I've sent photos of Beatrix, so you can (hopefully) see the before and after of a shaved pug.

Have a great day

Posted by: BeatrixsMom | Aug 22, 2008 11:56:42 AM

I am reminded of my mantra when my kids were little (also applies to pugs).
Quiet down cobwebs
Dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep!
Also I have heard that children develop better immune systems if we let them play in the dirt (or pug hair)

Posted by: carold | Aug 22, 2008 1:17:35 PM

I 've asked my Father if I should the same thing to Winston.
There was only one time I used the sripper comb that I still use on him, which worked fabulously. The great thing is, he did not shed for excessively for one week. I am assuming that dog owners don't have the time or make the time to groom their pugs, that's why we bring them to the groomers.
I can't imagine a shaved pug like Beatrixs Mom in Florida.

Posted by: Joanne | Aug 22, 2008 2:01:18 PM

Don't shave a pug! My vet has said that the double coat pugs have actually insulates the pug against heat- If you shave a pug, then they are exposed to heat directly and can overheat very quickly. Not to mention sunburn if left in the sun for 15 min. or more. You can reduce shedding if you bath Shelby 2x per week. You need to massage the shampoo into her fur so that the loose fur sloughs off when rinsing off. This helps keep Mia's shedding down during the summer months.

Please don't shave her. You will not like the results and she will not have an even double coat for months to come....

Posted by: Mary and Mia | Aug 22, 2008 2:06:33 PM

I shave two of my short haired cats. I find that some people have very strong feelings against doing this. My cats are more affectionate afterwards both with me and eachother in order to generate heat. (They are indoor cats). But it's less hair everywhere, less licking for them therefore fewer hairballs...

I think you should just try it and make sure to protect Shelby from sunburn if she's out doors. Overheating has signs and you can simply look for them. And if it doesn't work out, her hair will just grow back. You know this to be true because the whole point is her hair is constantly growing in and falling out, i.e. shedding! It's total crap that hair grows in differently in an animal if you shave it. It might take a while, and vary based on the season, but it does grow back fully.

If you decide against it, I suggest doing what we did with regard to decor: Leather furniture (or leather like), no carpet, and a bed spread that we don't sleep under- we just use it for the cats to sit on.

Posted by: Chrissycrunch | Aug 23, 2008 3:49:33 PM

Shedding was a prob with Annie (god rest her soul) we'd take her into the walk in shower in the mornings with us and she ran in and out of the spray and a lil shampoo and a quick rinse and she was good to go. And then she would butt tuck around and make our day. Quick daily showers might not work with your schedule but it worked for us. And lots less hair around.

Posted by: julir | Aug 23, 2008 8:41:03 PM

I've done all three. The shaving was the best for us. I didn't realize at the time that it would be a problem. Honestly, it grew back the same. The heat here is awful and I did notice that it was harder for him to stay cool. We don't shave him anymore but it did help.

Posted by: priscilla | Aug 24, 2008 6:23:07 PM

Hi Winnie,

You sure know how to get your audience excited.

Well, at least Shelby dosen't have skin problems like flaking and acne. What's shedding compared to a pug that constantly scratches and bites itself and vets only know how to bring temporary relief.

Take heart, you've got a health pug... unlike unlucky me who has to put up with the endless skin issues of my pug.

Posted by: lene | Aug 24, 2008 6:48:03 PM

Our solution is simply to use the furminator often and vacuum the house like crazy. We have a Golden Retriever too ... so we'll likely have to replace our vacuum every year. hee hee.

Posted by: tj | Aug 27, 2008 6:17:41 AM

We live in southern Louisiana (read: It's about a billion degrees, with 100% humidity 8 months of the year) and we're constantly wondering if we should shave Yahtzee. At the Mardi Gras dog parade, we came across the softest pug we had ever met- when we asked what the deal was, the owner told us she had been shaving her forever. She was sooooo silky soft and had a great disposition. I don't think Shelby spends excessive time outside, so I truly don't think you need to worry about her overheating- at least, no more than you normally have to with a pug. I think you should try it. Trust me, she's a pug, you know the hair will grow back!!!

Posted by: Emma | Aug 28, 2008 9:42:13 AM

Hi Winnie,

We have had this conversation before...

First let me say, I wouldn't dream of bringing Louie to anyone but a well qualified groomer... Just like for people a quality cut means EVERYTHING!.... and remember you get what you pay for!

Louie has been getting shaved (clipped)for the last few years. It's NOT "shaved"... It's long enough so that unless you touch him you probably wouldn't notice (most of my freinds don't even know when he's been done). When it's first done the most noticable aspect is the more pronounced "racing stripe" down his back and he feels like velvet. Other than that you can't really tell.

He and I both love it. I have yet to find any downside to clipping.

My and my vet has said that it was perfectly fine to have him clipped, but as with all Pugs you have to pay attention to overheating. (My Vet is Dr. Doug Mader, do a google search for him. Let's just say he's well qualified)

1, There have been no problems with regrowth. The outer coat is longer than the undercoat so it can look a tad un-even during the grow out process but it's also a reminder to make the next appointment with Dina at "Dogs En Vogue".

2, He Has NEVER had a sunburn, and we live on the edge of the Carribean (why would a pug be in the direct sun for that long anyway?)

3, Shedding is almost nonexsistant, what does shed is very, very short and dosen't require daily vaccuming.

4, Bathing and drying times are nearly half and bathing seems much more effective, because you can actually get through both coats to get dirt off the skin... I now bath him more often because it so much easier (which is healthier for him)

5, He is more active before getting "too hot" and needing a break.. It took me a while but I realized that he walks much farther with clipped hair than when I let it grow out. (Long or short hair, we only walk late at night due to outside temps in the Florida Keys)

For the last year and a half now my freinds in Kentucky also clip their pug (Max) and they feel the same way I do. (they got the idea from Louie)... Bea's mommy in Miami (see above post) also knows Louie and was so impressed with him, she found a groomer for Bea too.

For the naysayers of clipping; Be it work, babies or caring for other animals... not all of us have hours everyday to spend combing and cleaning up behind our beloved Pugs. This is a safe, effective practice with many positive benefits and no direct detriments.

I prefer to use my free time giving and getting love from my best boy Louie... not defurring my clothes, my house and brushing an annoyed dog.

Eric H. Peterson
Key Colony Beach, FL

Posted by: Eric Peterson | Aug 28, 2008 10:29:52 AM

Hi Eric,

What exactly is the difference b/w shaving and cliping? Is clipping like waxing in human terms?


Posted by: Arlene | Aug 31, 2008 12:16:38 AM

Ok, I have had 3 pugs, and I have never had a pug pup who has such a hard time sleeping because he is overheated, Its wintertime and 20 degrees outside, and I have to get a icepack, the gel type and wrap it in a light towel and he lays on it, but it doesnt last, when the cool is gone he is back searching the bed for a cool spot, He is only 7 weeks old and I dont want him sleeping on his own,, what do I do???

Posted by: Rex | Nov 24, 2008 8:22:53 PM

hi Rex,
That's pretty odd behavior. Shelby is a heat seeker most of the time. Have you asked your vet about it? Maybe they would have some insight.


Posted by: Winnie | Nov 24, 2008 9:38:17 PM

I own 2 pugs for a few years now. I've tried almost all sane advice on how to stop pug from shedding but none works. I've come to accept that if you want to own a pug, you have to be ready to spend efforts to clean it up. I've also tried several vacuum cleaners and my advice is not to go for the cordless type. Though it's more troublesome, but only a stronger vacuum like the Dyson will work well.

Posted by: Lancy | Dec 4, 2014 6:34:39 PM

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