Q: Should I shave my pug? A: NO, NO, NO!

#savingstu practicing sun safety post-op

We recently welcomed Summer in Australia, and temperatures are already rising, with many states already experiencing days well over 38 degrees.  While this can be a very controversial topic for many pug owners, we thought it important to share our views on this, not to be controversial, but because many pug owners (us included) humanise their pugs, and by doing so we can overlook things – how a pug deals with heat is one of them.

Pugs are ‘double-coated’ you would have noticed they shed their soft undercoat twice a year (spring and autumn) – well yes they shed all the time, but you would have noticed more shedding around this time.

What you may not know, is they grow a less dense summer undercoat, this summer undercoat protects their skin from the sun and it protects them from the summer heat. Yes, this ‘coat’ effectively keeps them cool. So while us humans, can’t think of anything worse that a dense fur coat covering us in summer, we can not project how we keep cool on a pug,

Pugs skin doesn’t perspire to keep cool, their summer undercoat acts as insulation to keep the heat out. Think of it as similar to your home installation, its designed to keep your home cooler in summer, by keeping the heat out.

So effectively, if you shave your pug or cut / trim their hair in any way, you are stripping them of their natural defence to the heat, which can have serious complications for a pug. 

A friend of PugLove #SavingStu, had his coat shaved completely at our recommended Sydney Veterinary Hospital, because he had dangerous skin grows and mast cell tumours, many of them so tiny, they could not be identified during surgery without shaving. If its for medical reasons, as Stu’s case was, or your pug is suffering tick paralysis and your vet can not find the tick for example, you will need to shave your pug – however it should only be done in consultation with your vet and when medical treatment requires. Your vet will provide details on how to assist your pug in recovery, keeping them cool and protected from the sun post-op.


Disclaimer: we are referring to pugs only, we acknowledge their are other breeds which have different coats that do require trimming.

ADDITIONAL READING: 4 Tips on how to keep your pug cool this summer. 

Stu's shaved coat post-op
Stu’s shaved coat post-op, he has no natural heat or sun defence without it.