Keeping your Pug cool in summer is challenging. Especially as Pugs already struggle with temperature regulation. Pug shaving is a controversial topic. Researching this practice can lead to confusing results.
So, can you shave a Pug?
Well, that depends. Some swear by it and others strongly discourage it.
But don’t worry, we’re here to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision for your pet.
To shave or not to shave? That is the question.
Can I Shave My Pug?
Never shave your Pug. Unless for specific medical reasons, advised by a veterinarian, Shaving your Pug poses no benefits for them or you.
In fact, shaving could damage your Pug’s coat and stop it from carrying out its essential functions.
About The Pug Coat
The Pug breed has a short, smooth coat. Some Pugs have a single layer coat, whilst others are double-coated.
Whether single or double-layered, the Pug’s natural coat is super important. The outer “guard” hairs offer essential protection against the sun and its powerful UV rays.
Double coats are made up of two distinct layers. Your Pug’s outer guard hairs repel water and provide essential UV protection and the inner coat is specifically designed to keep them warm, cosy and dry at all times.
We don’t recommend shaving any Pug. But shaving a double-coated Pug could be particularly detrimental.
Why You Should Never Shave Your Pug
It is no benefit to shave your Pug. Under any circumstances.
They maintain that a Pug’s coat, whether single-layered or double-layered, serves as a vital protection for your Pug’s health. And why get rid of something functional?
And that means even the most ‘indoorsy’ of Pugs have little to benefit from an annual shave.
Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should NOT shave your Pug.
1. It won’t keep them cool
Most people shave their Pugs with the best of intentions. We know our pooches struggle with the heat and we want to help them out in the summer months.
But (and this is super important) shaving your Pug will NOT keep them cool.
Shaving your Pug inhibits their body’s natural defense against the heat.
Your Pug’s coat goes through cycles.
In the summer months, double-coated Pugs will shed their undercoat. This allows cool air to circulate around the skin and keep the body cool.
Even if your Pug doesn’t shed for some reason, shaving is not the answer. It exposes your Pug to many risks including overheating and sun damage. Not to mention patchy regrowth.
2. It might cause stunted re-growth
There is no guarantee that your Pug’s hair will grow back exactly as it was before.
They might lose their protective undercoat permanently, or experience incomplete, patchy, regrowth of sub-par hair.
After a Pug is shaved, the undercoat will begin to grow back first. Guard hairs grow more slowly.
Because of this, your Pug’s undercoat and guard coat might start to grow into each other leaving a coarse texture.
Aside from being patchy, this new coat is far less protective than your Pug’s natural coat. This secondary coat prevents airflow and offers far less protection against the heat and sun, putting your Pug at increased risk of overheating or heatstroke.
And that leads us on to reason number 3.
3. It won’t protect them from the sun
As humans, we’re often warned against too much sun exposure. And dogs are no different.
Pugs that spend too much time in direct sunlight, without adequate protection, are at risk of sunburn and cancerous skin lesions (actinic keratosis) just like us.
Shaving your Pug increases skin exposure to harmful ultraviolet light.
Plus, when we shave our Pugs we might be more tempted to take them out in the heat of the day, inadvertently putting them at risk.
4. It doesn’t help with shedding or allergies
Some people choose to shave their Pugs in an attempt to control shedding. But most experts will tell you that shaving has little to no impact on shedding.
Pugs may shed shorter hairs, but they will still shed. There’s no getting around it.
Sadly this also mitigates any perceived impact on human allergies.
Dander is often invisible to the human eye and shaving offers little defense against these irritant particles.
Shave Pugs Alternatives: Tips To Keep Your Pug Cool
So what other options are out there for keeping our Pugs cool and their coats healthy?
There are so many things you can do to keep your Pug cool in hot weather, without ever needing to get out a pair of clippers.
1. Hydration, hydration, hydration
Keep your pooch hydrated. If you’re out and about, make sure you’re always carrying water. Offer water at regular intervals and especially if you notice your Pug panting heavily.
There are loads of portable water bowls and cups designed specifically for dogs. It might sound obvious but hydration is the best thing you can do for your Pug to keep them cool.
2. Never leave in a parked car
A dog must never, under any circumstances, be left in a parked car.
This is incredibly dangerous and often results in death.
Even with windows left ajar, parked cars get very hot, very quickly. Your Pug will be unable to regulate their temperature in this environment.
Every year, many dogs die due to being left in parked cars.
3. Keep things calm
If the weather’s hot, try to prevent your Pug from getting overexcited.
Playing for a long time could cause them to overheat. Try to keep things at a slower pace with plenty of water breaks.
4. Let them splash
Water isn’t just for drinking. Letting your Pug splash about in water is a great way to help them stay cool whilst having fun.
It could be a natural spring, river, pond, or paddle pool. Your Pug will thank you for it and you’ll enjoy watching them being silly in the water.
5. Keep them inside
When temperatures soar, try to keep your dog inside.
Your Pug will struggle to regulate heat that exceeds their natural body temperature. Bring them inside and, turn on the aircon if you have it.
If you are outside for a prolonged period, ensure your Pug has access to shelter.
6. Brushing can help
Since your Pug’s coat is their natural defense against the sun it’s best to keep it in tip-top shape.
You can do this with regular brushing. Brushing removes the dead undercoat and helps circulate air around the skin. You’ll keep your pooch cool and enjoy some bonding time.
1. Should I buy a cooling vest for my Pug?
Cooling vests are designed to help your dog stay cool in hot weather but may not be ideal for every dog.
In general, avoid anything that impedes your dog’s biological mechanisms. A vest, for example, could present air circulation and actually result in overheating after all.
Shave A Pug: Final words
Pug shaving really is a hairy business. In every sense of the word. This is an issue that divides opinion in the dog world.
Can you shave a Pug? No. Whilst some do, shaving a Pug offers no benefits.
To keep your Pug cool in summer there’s no reason to shave. Water, shelter, and brushing will suffice. Your Pug’s natural insulation will do the rest.