Pug Pimples: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment For Pug Acne

Humans are used to the perils of pimples.

But did you know that Pugs are susceptible to spottiness just like us?

Your Pug’s pimples could be a sign of Pug acne.

But don’t fret, I’ve collated all the information you need to maintain your Pug’s skin health.

Let’s dive in.

Do Pugs Get Pimples?

Just like people, Pugs get pimples from time to time. Pugs might develop pimples or acne on various parts of their body. They are prone to this common skin affliction alongside other short-haired breeds.

Breeds most likely to develop pimples include:

  • Pug
  • Boxer
  • English Bulldog
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Rottweiler
  • Mastiff
  • Great Dane

It is thought that the shorter the hair the more likely your pooch is to develop pimples. Since Pugs are a short-coated breed with heavily wrinkled faces, they are at increased risk of bacterial buildup. Especially if facial hygiene is not being properly maintained.

What Does A Pug Pimple/Acne Look Like?

Pug pimples or acne come in different shapes and sizes. Depending on the severity of the skin condition, you might notice anything from small bumps to severe inflammation.

Typically, dogs get pimples around the muzzle, chin, and lips. But belly breakouts are not unheard of. Love ‘em or hate ‘em pimples are a part of life.

But what are the differences between a mild doggy breakout and a severe case of Pug acne?

1. Mild breakout

A mild breakout usually appears first as raised, reddened, bumps on the surface of the skin which develops into whiteheads or pustules. When pustules contain bacteria, they cause and spread infection.

[su_note note_color=”#fef5c4″ text_color=”#333333″ radius=”3″ class=””]

Top-tip: Sometimes your Pugs whisker bumps look a bit like acne spots, but these are completely normal and will not develop into whiteheads or pustules.[/su_note]

2. Severe breakout

A severe breakout is marked by significant swelling, inflammation, and discomfort. You might notice your Pug’s face looks fatter. This is because of increased swelling to the muzzle.

When your pooch itches those spots they can start to bleed. At this point contact your vet as this can cause permanent scarring.

3. Key symptoms to look out for

Whether your Pug is experiencing a mild case of pimples or severe inflammation, there are numerous symptoms of skin irritation in your Pug.

Owners should look out for:

  • Inflammation
  • Red bumps
  • Puss-filled pimples
  • Blackheads
  • Bleeding wounds
  • Scars and scabbing
  • Pain or irritation

What Causes Pug Pimples or Acne?

Pug acne is caused by a buildup of natural Sebum on your Pugs skin. Sebum is produced naturally to protect the skin and coat.

But this sebum is made up of oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that, when overproduced, clog the pores and create acne sore on the hair follicle surface.

When bacteria becomes trapped in the follicle, the body produces white blood cells as a defence against infection. That is what causes oozing spots and pimples.

Why do these occur?

1. Genetic predisposition

Genetic predisposition is thought to contribute to skin acne in dogs since some breeds are more prone to spots than others.

Pugs, Boxers, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Dobermans, for example, experience acne at higher rates than other breeds.

Your Pug’s family history might indicate whether they are at increased risk of acne.

2. Skin trauma

Trauma to the skin (particularly the muzzle area) can cause hairs to break off the skin’s surface.

Hair follicles rupture due to inflammation and if infected, bacteria collects on the damaged skin, causing infection.

This can result in weeping sores, scratching, and bacterial buildup resulting in pimples.

3. Allergies & skin conditions

If your dog has preexisting allergies or skin conditions to a food or environmental factor, this could be causing acne.

Your vet can check for underlying conditions and parasites that might be contributing to skin irritation and acne.

4. Puberty and hormones

It is commonly thought that canine acne accompanies puberty at five to eight months.

As hormones fluctuate, excess oil and dead skin cells accumulate, clogging hair follicles and causing spots.

Some people believe that canine acne is not hormonal, however, and that it is the result of hygiene and genetic factors.

5. Poor hygiene

Poor hygiene causes bacterial buildup. Pugs love to muzzle around and their skin folds are breeding grounds for bacteria.

If you’re not bathing your Pug regularly or practicing good dental hygiene this could cause acne.

Wipe your Pug’s face after each meal with canine wipes and dry gently to prevent food particles and moisture.

6. Contact irritation

Contact irritation from everyday items like food and water bowls can cause acne.

Porous materials are a breeding ground for bacteria and some materials (plastic in particular) can cause allergic reactions.

Top-tip: Get your Pug some stainless steel bowls(internal linking to best bowls for pugs) and utensils. Stainless steel can prevent bacterial buildup and contact irritation.

Get Rid of Pug pimples: Home Remedies for Pug Acne

As long as your pooch isn’t experiencing a severe acne flare-up, starting with home remedies is a great idea.

I’m going to delve into some amazing Pug acne treatments that you can apply from home.

1. For prevention

Prevention is better than cure, as they say. So here are some top tips for preventing acne from developing in your Pug.

  • Healthy diet

For Pugs experiencing allergy-related acne, diet can have a huge impact on their skin health.

Try and find out which foods are causing their allergic reaction and eliminate them.

Consult your vet before choosing a dog-food brand and check the ingredients for any suspected allergens.

  • Toys and bowls

Contact irritation contributes to canine acne. Avoid using plastic bowls and toys.

Plastic products scratch easily and bacteria multiply in these tiny crevices. Switch to stainless steel utensils and keep them thoroughly cleaned and well-dried.

Wash toys and bedding regularly to reduce bacterial exposure further.

  • Good hygiene

One of the best things you can do for your Pug is keeping them clean. Acne comes about when oil and dirt build up on the skin.

  1. Wiping your pooch down once or twice a day will do wonders.
  2. Avoid using heavily scented products as these cause irritation. Warm water and a soft cloth will suffice.
  3. Aim for regular bathing once a week and dental brushing each day to prevent oral bacteria buildup causing acne around the muzzle.
  4. You could even try offering your Pug a special dental chew.
  • Keeping dry

Keeping your Pug’s skin dry is super important. Your Pug’s skin folds are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Make sure you’re drying your pooch after washing, eating, drinking, and even drooling!

Check out this video tutorial on how to clean your Pug:

2. For mild cases

If your Pug already has a few pimples, trying out some home-remedies is a good first port of call. Everything from ointments to herbs can help alleviate discomfort.

Let’s take a look at some existing favorites.

  • Try dog acne shampoo

Buy dog acne shampoos, typically benzoyl peroxide, follicle flushing your Pugs to flush out blackheads and reduce the spread of bacteria.

Wet your Pug’s skin and gently massage with the doggy shampoo. Remember to rinse well afterward. By doing this you’ll resist pimple popping and reduce acne scarring.

  • Invest in Natural products

There are many natural products on the market suitable for mild canine acne.

(1)Herbs like burdock, nettle, calendula, echinacea, and red clover boost immunity and moderate hormonal fluctuations.

(2)Green and black teas are a safe and soothing anti-bacterial that can be used to clean your Pugs’ ears and folds.

(3)Aloe vera gel is a great acne treatment, well known for its soothing properties.

(4)Likewise, diluted tea tree oil can be applied to your Pug’s acne directly with a Q tip (but avoid the eyes and mouth) and apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

3. For severe cases

If your Pug is experiencing a severe case of acne visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Severe acne requires medication, and your vet will want to carry out some localized testing to rule out other skin conditions.


1. Can you pop pug pimples?

No. Whether you find it tempting or revolting, it is never a good idea to pop your Pug’s pimples.

By squeezing your dog’s spots, you’ll only make things worse by encouraging follicles to rupture and cause further inflammation.

2. What If the Pug pimples do not go away?

If, despite your best efforts, your Pug’s pimples persist it’s best to visit your vet. Particularly if you start to notice bad smells or an excess of pus.

This could be a sign of demodectic mange, ringworm, or a pre-existing allergy exacerbated by diet, or contact with an irritant.

Wave Goodbye to Pug Pimples

Your Pug’s pimples need not be the end of the world. Most of the time, a spot of canine acne will relieve itself naturally.

Pug acne is fairly common as a result of their genetic predisposition and a propensity to harbor bacteria in their facial folds.

By maintaining a healthy diet and hygiene routine, you’ll be well on your way to a spotless pooch.

image source: Pinterest