Best Shampoo for Pugs: Top 7 Picks in 2020 Reviewed


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If you own a Pug, the most important product you need is the right shampoo. The Pug essentials for coat care include shampoo, conditioner, and sometimes, a leave-in spray. Pugs have extremely dry skin. They are also sensitive to additives and prone to skin infections. Their dense coat retain odors and make your pet smelly. So, what is the best shampoo for Pugs?

Well, we have a couple of ideas you can try. The products on our list help with shedding, odor, and skin infections. Our best pick, Earthbath Dog Shampoo, is a completely natural product with a scent of eucalyptus and peppermint. It will help with any skin inflammation and infection.

But you can also try other options. We have the best dog shampoo for odor and best dog shampoo for shedding. Read on.

Our Reviews

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1. Earthbath Dog Shampoo

Most people go for the Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe shampoo. In this case, though, we wanted something different. So, we went with Eucalyptus and Peppermint. Earthbath is a brand known for producing all-natural and affordable options. You can’t go wrong with it. Made in the USA, the shampoo meets all standards.

It helps with dry and itchy skin, and its ingredients work to reduce skin irritation and promote skin healing. At the same time, the shampoo moisturizes sensitive, dry skin. You get a luxurious and natural shampoo for a great price. And the best part is, the shampoo is soap-free and pH balanced for safe and thorough usage, and it won’t wash off topical flea treatments.

Why do we like it?

  • Recommended by veterinarians for skin irritation
  • Made in the USA
  • Helps moisturize sensitive skin
  • Soap-free and pH balanced

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2. Vets Best Hypoallergenic Formula

The Vets Best Hypoallergenic Formula works for sensitive skin. It’s a gentle, soap-free shampoo that relieves itching and helps smooth out dry, brittle coats. Formulated by veterinarians, the shampoo contains key natural ingredients, and you’ll find aloe vera and vitamin E in the formula.

You can use the shampoo as often as necessary to remove allergens. Being that Pugs need frequent baths, you want a shampoo safe for regular use.

You can use it along with other treatments, like flea and tick control. If you want to take a step further, use it with the complete treatment system by Vets Best, which includes a moisture mist and ear relief.

Why do we like it?

  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Safe for frequent usage
  • Complete treatment system by Vets Best

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3. FURminator deShedding Shampoo

This shampoo is part of the FURminator deshedding system, which includes the best brush for Pugs as well. Given that Pugs shed a lot, you want a shampoo that will tackle the issue. The company manufactures innovative and proprietary shedding solutions.

The shampoo promotes a healthy skin and coat. Enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it will make your dog’s skin shiny. You can use it once per month, and the company recommends you use the FURminator conditioner as well.

Why do we like it?

  • Reduces shedding
  • Promotes healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids

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4. Groomers Edge Dynamic Duo

A professionally formulated shampoo and conditioner, this shampoo will save time and money on bath time. A super-cleansing formula that rinses and combs out easily, the coconut-based shampoo contains aloe and vitamin E as well. There are many conditioners for skin and hair.

The best part about the shampoo is the concentration. Super-concentrated, a 16oz bottle makes up to 2 gallons of shampoo. It leaves your dog nice and fluffy, and it will last for many months.

Why do we like it?

  • Professionally formulated
  • Enriched with conditioners
  • Super- concentrated

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5. Pet Head Deodorizing Shampoo

This might come as a surprise, but Pugs smell. They can be smelly dogs. And you need the best shampoo for Pugs that removes the odor. This one removes odor — it doesn’t cover it up.

With an orange scent, the shampoo is perfect for dogs rolling in smelly stuff. Suitable for all dogs and skins, the shampoo replenishes the coat with vegetable protein extract. The result is fuller-looking and luscious fur, and you can use it frequently.

It contains baking soda and ordenone that deodorize and freshen the coat.

Why do we like it?

  • Completely deodorizes the dog
  • Replenishes the skin’s protein
  • Delivers fuller fuller-looking and luscious fur

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6. Pet Head Dry Shampoo

Some Pugs don’t love water, which might be a problem when you want to bathe them. Luckily, there are shampoos that work without water. Enter waterless shampoos. Pet Head is one of the best on the market. With a blueberry scent, this shampoo will make your dog look clean and smell fresh. It’s simple, convenient, and fast.

The formula is pH balanced for dogs, safe if licked, and suitable for all dogs. It’s formulated specifically for stinky dogs. Sounds good, yes?

Why do we like it?

  • Waterless spray shampoo
  • Simple and convenient to use
  • pH balanced

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7. Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo

The company uses organic products for their shampoo. That might make the price higher, but this also might be one of the safest products you can find. Non-toxic, the shampoo has a USDA certification of organic food standards.

Few dog shampoo products meet those standards. Perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, it’s hypoallergenic, free of animal by-products, and the shampoo is delightful. Extraordinary milk, the formula contains organic olive, jojoba, and coconut oil, and there are also organic essential oils in the formula.

Why do we like it?

  • Contains organic oils
  • USDA-certified organic food standards
  • Great for dogs with sensitive skin

How to Use the Best Shampoo for Pugs

Let’s talk about what the best products for Pugs should do. How do you use the shampoo and what should you expect from it?

Your shampoo needs to cleanse any accumulated body oils that clog skin pores. The shampoo helps free loose hairs and reduces shedding. The best shampoo for Pugs helps with issues like dry skin, itching, and skin infections. Use it once every three weeks unless your dog has a skin issue; in that case, bathe him more often.

The conditioner can smooth down hair cuticles after shampooing, and it protects your dog against external elements. Always use a conditioner along with a shampoo.

How to Wash Your Pug’s Face

The most challenging aspect of bathing a Pug is washing the face. Pugs have a wrinkled face. We don’t recommend washing the face with shampoo. Instead, use dog wipes; get unscented, alcohol-free wipes, and then wipe the wrinkles.

Washing the face is an essential part of the cleaning. You can also shampoo inside each wrinkle and rinse well. The drying is the hardest part. Get a towel and go one by one into the folds and properly dry them. If you don’t, your dog might get a bacterial infection.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Pug?

We mentioned before that you can use the shampoo once every three weeks. Pugs shed like crazy and need more frequent bathing. You should also clean them with wipes between baths. Their folded skin can accumulate bacteria and dirt. Clean them so they don’t get an infection.

Most Pugs need a bath once every three weeks, even if they appear clean and smell fine. Remember, Pugs produce oils constantly. At about three weeks, these oils can become too much and clog the pores, which can cause a bad smell.

You can also try using dry bath mists for the smell; use the spray after wiping your dog with a cloth. Wipe the snout of your dog with a wet cloth every day.

Regular bathing also helps with shedding. Many owners ask if Pugs shed. Yes, they do. And they shed every day.

Tips for Bathing a Pug

We talked earlier how to wash your Pug’s face. But bathing a Pug is a bigger process. Let’s talk step by step about how to get your dog from smelly to clean.

  1. Start with accessories for Pugs like a brush or gloves. Go over your dog’s coat before bathing. Gloves work great for removing dead hair from the coat, and they de-shed your Pug faster than a brush.
  2. Soak the coat down to the skin before applying shampoo. A spray nozzle works great for helping with this.
  3. Apply a generous amount of shampoo. Use a bath brush to massage the shampoo down to the skin level, and massage for three to five minutes. For Pugs with skin issues, allow the ingredients to soak in even longer.
  4. Rinse the shampoo off, and then follow up with a conditioner.

Here are some tips on how to make the process easier:

  • Use the sink if you like — it feels more natural to your dog.
  • Clean around the face to remove any dirt, food, and excess impurities.
  • Have everything ready before you start the bath.
  • Be as fast as possible. Pugs can act as soaking wet monsters running around and shaking if you leave them.

What to Do if Your Pug Hates Bath Time?

One of the tricks you can try is to use the sink. The sink feels more natural than a large bathtub. But the goal is to make bath time as fun as possible. Give your dog some treats before, during, and after the bath. And if possible, give your Pug an outdoor bath. But make sure it’s warm outside.

And if all else fails, try a waterless shampoo (we have one of those on our list).

What to Avoid in a Shampoo for Pugs?

We mentioned before that Pugs have a challenging coat and skin. You need to know what’s best for your pooch, and that includes avoiding some ingredients.

For starters, avoid soaping agents. Pugs have an adverse skin reaction to soaping agents. Instead, look for plant-based cleansers in the shampoo.

Avoid additives like sulfates, parabens, and synthetic preservatives. Other harmful ingredients include polyethylene glycol and artificial perfumes and dyes. They can cause an allergic reaction or irritation.


Any shampoo needs to meet certain criteria and standards so we can say it’s the best shampoo for Pugs. Any of the shampoos on our list are worthy of that title. Some are better than others, but they all get the job done.

The shampoos are effective in removing excess body oils from the dense coat. And at the same time, they are gentle on the skin. Our best pick is all-natural and has plant-based cleansers, and that’s why Earthbath is one of the most common choices among Pug owners.

If you need a more medicated formula, you can try the Vets Best hypoallergenic shampoo. And when you need to reduce shedding, go with the FURminator, our budget pick.


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