7 Best Pug Shampoos On The Market: Our Review

Our little pugs are some of the most desirable and adorable creatures on the planet. Their small stature and unmistakable personality is something people all over the world find completely irresistible.

However, our little pugs can be a little tough to clean. They usually hate bath time, which is a problem as the numerous creases and wrinkles on their faces are some of the best breeding grounds for bacteria in the canine kingdom.

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With that in mind today we’re going to talk about several pug specific cleaning tips to give you a helping hand while trying to keep your pint-sized pooch clean. We’re also going to share the results of our research where we recommend 7 of the best pug shampoos on the market right now.

Let’s get started.

How Often Should I Bathe A Pug?

How often you should bathe your pug kind of depends on the shampoos that you’re using.

Soap based shampoos provide the deepest and best cleaning, but they are also the harshest. They can irritate and inflame your dog’s skin, and make allergies worse than they already are when used too often. Once a month is usually the recommended bathing schedule with these shampoos, although some people do it once every three weeks instead – it all depends on the sensitivity of your pug’s sensitiveness.

If you’ve got a sensitive pug (or a pug that gets dirty often and needs lots of bathing) then you’re going to have to start looking at natural shampoos. These products are much gentler than soap-based shampoos, but they are also less effective in terms of odor elimination and general sanitization. The upside of this is that you can usually use them as often as you like, or at least on a weekly basis at the very least.

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5 Pug Bathing Tips

In this section, we’re going to look at some simple bathing tips that you should be applying whenever you next wash your pint-sized pooch.

  1. Use The Sink – If you’ve got a large enough sink, you should consider using that to wash your pug in instead of the bath. It feels much more natural for your pug (as they are not trapped inside a large cavernous space) and working at waist height is much easier than bending over or kneeling down too.
  2. Only Use Dog Soap – This should go without saying, but only use dog soap on your pug – never use human soap. Soap that is made for us humans has a different pH level that is more suitable for our skin, it can cause serious issues for a pug. It should not be used in any circumstances, if you’ve run out of soap but need to immediately bathe your pug, just use water instead.
  3. Have Everything Ready To Rock – Get all your shampoos and towels and other bits and pieces ready before you start bathing your pug. If you need to leave them for even a short period of time, there’s a good chance you’re going to have an excited soaking wet monster running around your house shaking and soaking everything in sight.
  4. Put A Towel Down – By putting a towel down in your sink or bath you’re going to make it much easier and more comfortable for your pug to stand still when you’re bathing them. The smooth ceramic or plastic of bathtubs and sinks is very slippery, and it makes it difficult for your pug to stand up – especially when covered in a soapy warm water.
  5. Run The Bath Ahead Of Time – The anticipation and waiting for a bath is much worse for your pug than the actual bathing process itself. Don’t get your pug in the bathroom (or the sink) and fill it up while they are there, this just stresses them out. Get everything ready, get the water filled, and then quickly and efficiently get the job done to minimize their discomfort.

How To Wash The Face Of Your Pug

Normally we like to recommend that you don’t wash the face of your pooch with shampoo as it can get in their eyes and cause problems. But the wrinkled adorable nature of a pug’s face means that washing it is essential (as the creases and wrinkles are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria).

You should try and wipe down the wrinkles with a washcloth (or a baby wipe if your pug doesn’t have sensitive skin). Ensure that any wipes you use are completely unscented and are alcohol-free to avoid causing more harm than good.

Bathing your pug’s wrinkles is a hard job, as they really don’t like it – but it’s essential. You need to shampoo inside of each and every wrinkle and ensure that you rinse them out well. The most important part of your bathing routine, however, is going to be drying. Go one by one into each fold and properly dry each and every one – if you don’t, bacteria will grow very quickly – these little creases are essentially pug sized Petri dishes.

Note: You should also ensure that you dry the creases and wrinkles whenever your pug plays in the pool, sea, river, or other water for the same reasons.

Overall Best Pug Shampoo

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

We’ve researched a huge number of products to create this article, and we think that the best shampoo for pugs right now is this excellent product from Buddy Wash.

It’s a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner that has all kinds of exotic and natural ingredients inside to help you have the cleanest pug on the block. The natural conditioners come from plants like sage and rosemary, and they will leave your pug’s coat looking better and glossier than ever before.

It’s a soap-free shampoo, which means that you can use it much more regularly than a traditional shampoo – so it’s great if your pug likes to get a little messy throughout their day. Unlike some other lower quality and cheaper natural non-soap based shampoos, this product will generate a highly impressive lather that’s rich and rinses off easily.

There’s an aloe vera infusion in this product that will help heal and soothe any red or itchy skin your pooch might be suffering from and this works hand in hand with the coconut base of the product (and the lack of alcohol inside) to provide complete dermal rejuvenation.

The deodorizing properties of this product come from wheat protein, which is one of the most powerful natural alternatives to soap that’s commonly used in dog shampoos.

However, despite it being powerful, it’s gentle too – so it’s suitable for use with puppy pugs as well as their older brothers and sisters.

It’s a cruelty-free product that hasn’t been tested on animals, and at around $7 per bottle, it’s not going to break the bank either. It’s a great product that was practically custom made for pugs, and we strongly recommend you give it some serious consideration.

Pros And Cons


  • Great for skin issues and allergies
  • Excellent value for money
  • Cruelty-free product
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Reputable brand with great reviews
  • Good deodorizing capability
  • Aloe vera infusion
  • 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioner


  • None


Best Shampoo For A Pug With Allergies

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

If your pug has skin issues, allergies, or other dermal problems that need addressing, then this is probably the product you should be looking at. It’s a specialist shampoo that is specifically designed to treat a range of skin issues (including dermatitis and pyoderma) while soothing your pooch at the same time.

This isn’t a traditional shampoo, and it should be treated more like a treatment instead of a normal cleaning product. It’s designed to be used twice weekly at first to attempt to remedy any issues your pug is suffering from. Once the shampoo has worked its magic and your pug’s skin issues have healed, you switch to a weekly schedule to keep them moisturized and prevent issues from reoccurring.

The product contains several chemicals inside of it – so it’s not a natural shampoo, which might be a deal breaker for some people. However, the flip side of this is the level of performance that it provides. It will destroy bacteria that cause skin issues in the first place, and it will remove any fungal infections that might be making matters worse (or making your pug smelly).

There’s aloe vera inside this formula, which will help moisturize your dog’s skin, and the paraben-free nature of the product ensures you’re going to be able to sleep well at night knowing your pug isn’t being subjected to potentially harmful chemicals.

5 More Really Good Shampoos For A Pug

Before we finish this article, we just want to quickly point out these 5 other excellent shampoos for pugs that we came across during our research. They weren’t quite good enough to secure the top spots above, but they are more than worthy of your consideration.

Burt’s Bees Care Plus+ Hydrating Coconut Oil Dog Shampoo

This is a pH balanced shampoo that uses coconut oil as its active ingredient. The soap-free formula means that you can wash your pug as often as you like (so it’s perfect for messy pups) and the cruelty-free 98.2% natural formula will let you sleep well at night. It leaves you with a super clean pug that smells great, and it makes their coat look super glossy too.

Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Dog & Cat Shampoo

This is a great product that honestly smells good enough to drink. It has been infused with all manner of natural oils and minerals to promote a healthy coat and great skin at the same time. It’s a completely soap-free product and manages to clean and deodorize without having to resort to compounds that could dry out or harm your pug’s skin

PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo, Classic Fresh

This is the only soap based product that we came across that we are comfortable recommending. This is because PetAg has specifically designed the pH level of this product to be neutral (and less harmful for your pooch and their skin). It’s one of the best soap based pug shampoos on the market – and if you want the cleaning power of soap (that natural products can’t compete with) it’s your best bet

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

This is one of our favorite shampoos on the market right now. It’s a hypoallergenic product that uses the power of lemongrass and aloe vera to leave your pug smelling great while restoring their skin at the same time. It’s one of the most expensive products we came across, but it’s also one of the best natural non-soap shampoos you’re going to find. If it was a little cheaper it may well have been our overall best pug shampoo pick.

TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner

This shampoo uses a wide range of different fruit extracts that have been blended together in perfect harmony. The kiwi, papaya, coconut, and mango combine to create a product that’s going to deodorize and sanitize while promoting a healthy coat and providing better skin all at the same time (without breaking the bank).


So there you have it, we hope that you’ve learned a little bit about better bathing habits for your pug today. By using any of the tips above we’re sure bath time is going to be a little bit less stressful (for you and your pug).

Any of the shampoos we have talked about today are going to be more than worthy of being added to the top of your shortlist. Some have better use cases than others, but we’re pretty sure we’ve covered at least one shampoo today that’s going to be right for you and your pug.

They’re all great, and they’re all winners to have been mentioned here today. We highly doubt you’d be disappointed by the performance of any of them.

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Sean Green

Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your pets.

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