Pug Shampoo: Our 6 Picks for the Best Shampoo for Pugs

If you’re a pug owner you know, they are playful, friendly, and great with children. We love pugs so much because they seem happy in every situation and they are relatively low maintenance in terms of keeping them satisfied.

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When it comes to bathing and grooming though, you also understand that pugs coats shed like crazy and they need frequent bathing due to the many folds in their face and skin. Even when you’re not bathing them, they require in between cleanings to make sure they don’t get an infection.

Your pug will spend a lot more time on your lap than he ever will chasing birds or rabbits outside. These dogs have always been companions, and they are the best at their job.

Make sure you keep your pug feeling and looking their best with the best dog shampoo for pugs. In this article we’re taking a look at some of the ingredients and components that make the best dog shampoos; continue reading below.

Things to Consider when Shopping for a Top-Rated Pug Shampoo

Every dog breed is unique, and pugs have their own needs and concerns. When shopping for the best dog shampoo for pugs, you should be considering their breed specific issues. The question is – what are they?

We dove deep to find out the most important things you want to find in all the pug shampoos you buy. Here they are:


One of the best things you can do for your pup is to get a shampoo that is hypoallergenic, so you don’t have to worry about irritating their skin. Pugs have highly sensitive skin especially around their face, so you need a sensitive shampoo that won’t be too harsh.

If your pug is sensitive to certain ingredients and has a lot of allergies which is common to pugs as well, you want to make sure that your shampoo of choice is hypoallergenic, so you do not force your pup to feel uncomfortable or itchy.

All Natural

We think any pet owner would agree that the best dog shampoos are all natural and free of any artificial dyes and fragrances. While it might not always be possible to get a shampoo that is completely 100% all natural you can do your best to limit the number of harmful ingredients you expose to your pug.

It’s also worth saying that not even all-natural ingredients are always the best for your pup. Some things like tea tree and birch are known for having significant effects on human hair, and they are natural, but they often have adverse effects when used on dogs.


As a pug owner, you realize that your pup sheds a lot and that increases depending on the type of coat they have. Black coated pugs only have a single coat, but every other color pug has a two-layered coat, so they shed the top one twice a year causing excessive fur to make an appearance throughout your home.

If you want to try and limit the amount of shedding your pug does you could consider getting a deshedding shampoo, and we’ve included one example of this below. Even when using a shampoo like this you still need to follow the standard procedure of regular brushing and blow drying to get all the dead fur off, but a deshedding shampoo does help.


Hotspots are common in pugs because they have many folds throughout their body especially if they’re a little overweight. These areas don’t get enough airflow and become moist and wet as a result; when this happens, the constant resting moisture causes the area to become irritated and even infected if left too long.

Hotspots also happen if your pug’s skin is irritated and they are licking and biting at a specific area for too long. The oils in their saliva do not dry quickly, and if they are biting and licking the same area too much, it becomes infected, requiring medical attention.

Using an anti-fungal shampoo helps regulate the skin’s pH level reducing the growth of bacteria on your pug’s skin and ultimately preventing hotspots and other bacterial infections.

The 7 Best Dog Shampoos for Pugs

Here’s our list for the five best dog shampoos for pugs; they’re graded based on ingredients, formula, and affordability.

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Dog Shampoo

Best Overall – This soap-free shampoo is a great option for pugs because it combines a bunch of all natural ingredients that help promote healthy skin development and relief of dry skin if your pug is scratching and biting at herself a lot you might want to try a shampoo of oatmeal and aloe to try and moisturize her skin.

The shampoo contains no soap and is 100% biodegradable so its gentle on skin and safe to use frequently if you’re treating an infection.

The list of ingredients checks out as well as being all natural and free from artificial dyes and fragrances. As a result, the shampoo works great and is gentle, but you sacrifice a fresh smelling pup because we didn’t exactly enjoy the scent it leaves behind.


      • Gentle
      • Helps moisturize skin
      • All-natural ingredients
      • No artificial dyes


      • Unpleasant smell
      • Doesn’t come with conditioner

Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Shampoo

Best Runner-up – If you’re looking for a shampoo that is all natural and blended with great smell inducing ingredients you might want to check out this shampoo from Buddy Wash. The shampoo contains lavender, mint, chamomile, and a variety of other botanicals and oils to keep your pup smelling amazing for days after their bath.

Something else we noticed is that a lot of these ingredients also help make your pug extremely soft and fluffy. You can get a nice lather going during the bath, and once you dry your dog off, you’ll release a lot of the essential oils that make your pups coat smooth and shiny.

The list of ingredients checks out for the most part, but we did notice the blend contains tea tree oil so we recommend trying this first in a small patch test to make sure your pug does not react, if everything looks good you can proceed to give him a full wash.


      • Smells amazing
      • Leaves skin smooth and soft
      • All-natural ingredients
      • Great company reputation
      • 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner


      • Contains tea tree oil
      • Not tearless

Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo

Best for Puppies – If you have a pug puppy, you want to be even more careful about what you expose their skin to because they are most susceptible to allergies and infections. This shampoo is free of sulfates and artificial colors, so it is designed to be gentle on your pug’s skin.

The blend of ingredients contains beeswax, honey, and buttermilk to make your pup’s skin soft and their coat fluffy gently.

The list of ingredients is minimal, and we didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, but the manufacturer says their shampoo is only 97% all natural.


      • Gentle for puppies
      • Makes skin soft
      • Hypoallergenic
      • Safe to use on puppy’s face


      • Only 97% all natural
      • Contains Xanthan Gum

FURminator Deshedding Shampoo for Dogs

Best Deshedding – We’re recommending this shampoo for the troubled pug owners who are unsure about what to do with their pugs shedding. If you feel like it’s out of control and you can’t keep up with the brushings and cleanings around the house you may want to consider a deshedding shampoo.

This shampoo gets enriched with fatty acids, calendula, and papaya leaf which is known to help protect against excessive shedding and promote healthy skin cell development.

After looking at the ingredients, we see that everything is natural and the formula is free of parabens and artificial dyes. Something we particularly liked about this shampoo was the smell, we’re unsure of exactly what they do to get the specific scent, but it’s long lasting and wonderful.


      • Deshedding formula great for pugs
      • Gentle on skin
      • Helps promote healthy skin development
      • All natural ingredients
      • Great scent


      • Limited formula information
      • Not safe for use around pups face

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic Shampoo

Best Medicated – Smelling sweet and feeling fluffy is great but what if your pup has hot spots or infections that you’re trying to prevent? You need a medicated shampoo that helps regulate their pH level and kill bacteria that cause infection.

This medicated shampoo is a great option for treating dermatitis and pyoderma that result from allergies, low immune systems, and excessive grooming.

During the treatment process, they recommend using the shampoo twice a week until the infection subsides and then after you should bathe them once a week if bacteria is a common problem for your pup.

The smell of this shampoo is less than desirable, but if you wanted to, you could use a double bathing process of using this for helping with your pug’s infections and then follow with a second bath to deodorize.


      • Medicated formula
      • Kills bacteria and infections
      • Regulates pH level
      • Affordable


      • Contains artificial dye
      • Requires frequent bathing

Other Great Pug Shampoo Options

If there are additional issues we didn’t cover or something else, you wanted to see; maybe these pug shampoo options will help point you in the right direction. These shampoos cover unique and more uncommon issues like allergies.

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo

If your pup has itchy skin he may find himself scratching the day away and excessive itching and biting causes hotspots and other infections. If you notice your pug scratching frequently it could mean he came in contact with an allergen inside or outside your home that’s causing him to feel uncomfortable.

This shampoo washes away allergens that attach themselves to the skin and cause irritations. The company has a wide variety of products that help with this, but they do not list the ingredients in their formula.

Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo Spray

Pugs are usually easy going when it comes to bath time, but if you’re worried about them getting too cold from a bath, you could try a waterless shampoo spray. Many people turn to this if their pups hate baths or they’re too old to get soaked with water.

The shampoo is 100% biodegradable, contains no alcohol or artificial products, and it’s a great option to use in between baths.

3 Tips for Bathing a Pug

Pugs require a lot of attention when it comes to cleanliness, so you want to make sure you read and educate yourself on everything you need to do to keep your pug fresh and clean.

      1. They need a lot of baths. Compared to many other breeds of dog you will have to bathe your pug much more often. Some dogs do not need a bath more than 4-5 times a year while your pug will need 4-5 baths a month.
      2. Clean around their face. Your pugs face a ton of little nooks and crannies to collect food, dirt, and bacteria, so you want to make sure you use a gentle face cleanser on them at least once a week to keep their skin healthy.
      3. Be careful. Your pugs face is a sensitive area because their eyes and nose require a lot of care. Pugs are prone to breathing problems, so you want to make sure to clean out their noses and prevent any water from getting in there during their baths.


Q: Am I bathing my pug too much?

A: It’s important to think of the quality of quantity when you’re bathing your pug because you don’t want to bathe them too much and dry out their skin. Use the best shampoo you can buy, and you should be fine with bathing your pug three or four times a month.

Q: What should I do if my pug hates bath time?

A: Try your best to show your pup that bath time can be fun and let him or her have a good time with it. If possible, you could always give your pug an outdoor bath with the hose but make sure it’s hot outside when you do; If all else fails, you could try a waterless shampoo.

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