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Pungent Pug Problems: The Truth About Stinky Wrinkles

happy pug face

Pugs are probably one of the most adorable breeds of dogs in the world. With their stumpy bodies, their flat faces and their adorable wrinkles, many pet owners fall in love with pugs right away. However, there is a downside to your pugs adorable face wrinkles. Since the wrinkles are caused by skin overlays, the wrinkles can become dirty. If the wrinkles are not cleaned out, the dirty wrinkles can become infected. 

This is not only pretty horrible for your dog, it also has a particularly bad odor and can ruin your day as well. If your pug's wrinkles have been smelling funky lately and you want an affordable at home solution check out the article below.

sad pug with face down in hands
Pug wrinkles are located on the forehead and around their muzzle.  Photo Courtesy of Pugs Club.

Pug Wrinkles Require Special Attention

What Causes A Pug’s Wrinkles to Become Infected?

Your pug’s wrinkles are probably one of the things you love best about them. Afterall they give the pug such an identifiable and adorable look. However, as an owner you need to take responsibility and ensure your pug’s wrinkles stay free of debris and infection.

Since your pug is so short and close to the ground, there is a good possibility their wrinkles are at a level that comes into contact with miscellaneous debris throughout the day. On top of this, your pug has to bury its face in its bowl when it wants to eat. Unlike other dogs that have long noses that let them keep their face back from the food, pug’s have flat faces. So whether you feed them kibbles or wet food it's a guarantee that they are going to get food on their face at some point.

If debris or food are allowed to build up in your pug’s face wrinkles this can lead to bacteria and pathogens getting trapped in the fields of the wrinkles. When this happens, your pug’s wrinkles can become infected.

sketch drawing of pugs whole body
Although a pug’s wrinkles are adorable and cause many owners to fall in love with them, the wrinkles can become infected and cause your pug to smell bad.

Want to Know If Your Pug Is Infected or Just Stinky?

How to Determine If Your Pug Has A Wrinkle Infection

If you’re concerned that your pug’s wrinkles might be infected, there is one sure fire way to tell. When your pug’s wrinkles develop an infection it's going to smell. Bad. This is often because when a pug’s wrinkles become infected it is a type of yeast infection. Since your pug’s wrinkles create a damp dark valley on your dog’s face, it creates a hospitable environment for bacteria, yeast, and fungi. The most common type of growth is a yeast called Malassezia pachydermatis. This infection is described as giving off a musty scent that is particularly strong.

However, even if your pug doesn’t smell, it doesn’t mean they 100% don’t have a wrinkle infection. If you notice your pug acting funny with their face or head, it would be a good idea to take a look at their wrinkles. If you notice areas that look red, inflamed, or itchy, this is a good sign that an infection is happening. So if you see your pug rubbing their face on the carpet or furniture legs there's a good chance an infection is making them itchy.

sad pug wrapped up in blanket
Cleaning your pug’s face daily can go a long way in preventing their wrinkles from becoming infected.

Once You’ve Determined There’s An Infection, What's Next?

How to Treat A Pug’s Wrinkle Infection

If you find your pug has an infection in their wrinkles there are a few easy methods you can do at home or treat the issue. Antifungal creams and antibacterial medicated wipes are the most popular options. Anti fungal cream that are sold over the counter at pharmacies or pet stores can be used to clean the infection. The two ingredients you’ll want in an antifungal cream are chlorhexidine and ketoconazole as they are the most effective. With these kinds of antifungal treatments you’ll want to apply them two to three times a day until the infection clears up. This usually happens in three days and will be entirely gone in a week or so.

However, if your at home treatments are not working and you notice the infection getting worse you’ll want to get them to a vet. Particularly strong infections will require a prescription strength medication that only a vet can get for you. 

If you want to prevent your pug’s wrinkles from getting infected in the first place be sure to keep their wrinkles dry and free of debris. Make sure to do this anytime they’ve been off exploring or burying their face in their food bowl. If the wrinkles are dry and free of debris an infection won’t be able to form.

black pug with inquisitive look
Your pug will be happier and healthier if you prevent their wrinkles from getting infected in the first place.

If you’ve noticed your pug giving off an unusual odor lately it would be a good time to check their wrinkles for infection. If your pug does have an infection there are easy at home solutions you can use to get your puppy smelling fresh and healthy. You can even take the time to clean your pug's wrinkles after their meals or play time to make sure they stay bacteria and debris free to prevent an infection from happening in the first place. But if an infection does occur you can use an at unscented wipes right at home to clean the infection out of your pug’s wrinkles and get them feeling (and smelling) happy and healthy again.

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