As pug puppies grow older their faces get more and more wrinkles. This means that they will have many wrinkles on their skin. We love this about our pug Bunk and always joke about how he got a scrunched in face in the first place. We like to say that he ran into a wall and never recovered. All jokes aside, pugs have wrinkles on their face that make them harder to maintain than other dogs. The wrinkles can accumulate a lot of germs, bacteria and other things because the pugs spend a lot of time acting like a vacuum cleaner and putting their nose into the grass, the ground and of course their food bowls.
Our crinkly friends are such explorers that they love to sniff anything and everything in the search of food. When things get stuck in their wrinkles, it is our job as loving pug owners to make sure that there is no fungi or infection building in there. All this stuff can make your pug smell weird as well, so by cleaning out their wrinkles you are making sure you keep your little friend free of infections and yourself free of weird pug smells!
Also, some Pugs tend to hold lots of moisture in their wrinkles, which can cause itching, irritation and sometimes even nasty infections[i]. Finally, some pugs have really deep wrinkles, which means during the summer months they can get hot, sweaty and smelly[ii]! Again, when sweat and moisture is stuck in the wrinkles for too long it can cause the formation of big open sores that will soon become infected unless they are taken care of! Your main goal then is to clean away the food, dirt and excessive moisture[iii].
Cleaning your pug’s wrinkles can be a hard task in the beginning but it gets easier as the days go by. First off, you will need some cleaning wipes. You can use any puppy cleaning wipes or tear stain removers that are available in the pet stores. You can also use some baby wipes. Q-Tips and some water work great as well[iv]. Whatever you use, make sure that the washcloth, Q-Tip, baby wipes or puppy wipes are hypoallergenic. Sometimes your pug might not cooperate with you through the cleaning process and in that case you just need to apply a little more pressure to the process. They will get used to it in about a month’s time. Our puppy pug hated it at first but now he knows when it is coming and does not resist as much. Gently run the Q-Tips in the wrinkles above the nose and below the eyes.
PugSpot has an excellent step-by-step process on how to clean the pug wrinkles: “Use your fingers to help spread the wrinkles of skin apart so that you’re able to get inside the wrinkles where you can thoroughly clean every bit of skin. While wiping, be on the lookout for areas that have crusted over. If you find any, you may need to moisten the tissue or washcloth more to help loosen the crusty spot. Once loosened, be sure to wipe whatever is there away completely.” Use this process to make sure that your pug is always free of smells, bacteria and infection.
How often you do this process really depends on you and your pug. We wipe our puppy pug down every single time he comes back from outside and thus we do this process every day (but not as intensely as you might do it if you do it once a week). Ours is just a quick wipe down of the wrinkles but if you want to do it once a week then you might have to spend a good 5 minutes doing it. You can also watch out for that “fowl fold smell” to alert you on when to clean out the wrinkles. However often you do this, it is very important to take care of a pug by making sure that their wrinkles are clean and clear of germs!
Note: When you clean your pug wrinkles make sure the clean with moist items first and then use a dry cloth to dry them up. If you use moist materials and do not dry up your pugs wrinkles before sending them on their way, all you would have accomplished is adding more moisture into the already troublesome mix of dirt, food and moisture.
Clean well, keep your pup healthy!