According to The Nest, pugs can smell bad when their wrinkles are not properly cleaned. They can also smell bad due to blocked anal glands or unclean ears.
The wrinkles on a pug's face tend to trap water, food and sweat, which can cause foul odors and can also lead to infection. Stud Pug recommends taking a paper towel, wetting it with warm water and wiping the wrinkle folds every day.
Blocked anal glands are another common reason for foul-smelling pugs. When anal glands are blocked, pugs typically emit a "fishy" odor. According to The Pug Owner Guide, it is best to be proactive and express the anal glands during every grooming by gently squeezing the anal glands between the thumb and other fingers. Use a tissue to catch any secretions.
Unclean ears is another reason why pugs can smell bad. Typically, too much wax or too much yeast can cause foul odors to come from the ears. Generally, it is enough to simply clean pug ears with a soft cloth or soft cotton gauze to avoid any issues. However, if a pug continues to have foul-smelling ears, ear drops or ear wash can help remedy the problem, according to Pug Pals.