So you own a Pitty? With their thin coat, it’s easy to think that grooming Pitbulls is an easy task. But a good amount of knowledge of their physical needs will send you looking for tips on how to groom a Pitbull. Even with thin hair, they can shed like crazy. In fact, grooming costs for Pitties can be as much as $500 a month if you don’t know some home hacks. That’s equal to more than 10 bags of dog food or your house’s monthly mortgage! So for starters, I recommend that you pick the best shampoo as your first move:
|PITBULL SHAMPOO||PRODUCT NAME||EXPERT|
|Pro Pet Works |
|Bodhi All Natural |
Pitbulls could be medium-sized dogs, but their grooming needs can be more than the demands of large breeds. So to answer your whys and hows, here are my personal Pitbull grooming tips:
Common grooming dilemmas for Pitbulls
Before we dive into the bathing and brushing, it’s important to know what you’re actually dealing with here. Although Pitties may look impeccably clean and fine, they share a number of dermatological issues. Their eyes, ears, armpits, and paws are also critical spots that can harbor various problems. Here are some to watch out for:
Yes, those sharp toenails can grow too long and curvy that it will turn into an eyesore. Pitbulls’ toenails tend to grow fast and if you leave this unclipped, it will dig into their paws and cause injuries to them and other people. Long toenails will also harbor more dirt which will add up to the possible infection. It takes a lot of practice to finally get your Pitty to relax during clipping. And since they are muscular, they can get really frisky.
➕Whiskers and facial hair
Pitbulls are one of the breeds with the longest whiskers. Cutting this and other excess facial hair is a matter of keeping your Pitty well-groomed. However, never cut this too short. Whiskers play an important role in the sniffing and navigating of your Pitbull.
This came as a surprise to me the first time I owned a Pitbull. Since their hair is thinner than most breeds, I was quite confident that my doggo will cut me some slack from the vacuuming. However, it only took less a week for my AmStaff to fill the edges of my sofa with fallen fur. Take note, though, that if the shedding is going overboard, you may need to assess your Pitty’s diet and overall health.
➕Sores, scabs, hotspots
It’s a fact that Pitbulls are prone to allergies. They have this hard-wired sensitivity which is worsened by their thin coat. So when contact allergens crawl into them, they will scratch and lick. The result is scabs and sores. If your Pitty has this, you have to be more careful with bathing. Later on, I’ll walk you through the process of how to groom a Pitbull.
➕Flaky and poor coat
This one is on the same vein of Pitties’ tendency to have hotspots. Since they have a thinner shield against UV rays, they are likely to have dry and flaky skin. Pitbulls also have a history of ichthyosis where the skin flakes heavily and the paws get inflamed.
Now that you know what to expect, I discussed here some of my personal practices when it comes to grooming my Pitty. I covered here the staples but feel free to tweak the Pitbull grooming tips to suit you and your pooch:
Bathing a Pitbull is like bathing other breeds, except that you have to deal with stubbornness and constant wiggling (it can get really strong, though).
I suggest that you take your doggo for a short walk before bath time. This trick works for me because when my pooch is tired, there’s less resistance in the bathroom.
Once you’re back home, give your Pitty a nice brush. This will remove dead hair and other dirt that got stuck to its coat. After that, wet the entire body of your Pitty while being careful not to run the water on their eyes and ears.
Next, use a hypoallergenic shampoo. Below, I’ve reviewed two products I’ve personally used on my pets. I prefer oatmeal formulas as this helps ease scabs and hotspots.
But here’s the thing, my Pitty’s fur seems to have a water-resistant characteristic. If this is the same case as yours, I suggest that you fill the tub with water and apply shampoo while your doggo is soaked into it. Scrub gently until the shampoo lathers. This should work successfully. After that, rinse, rinse, and rinse carefully.
Once you’re done bathing, gently dry your Pitty’s coat with a towel. Since this won’t remove 100% of the moisture on their coat, you can use a dog dryer. Watch out for their armpits as it can hide moisture that can cause bacteria buildup. If your place is windy, you can leash your dog on the porch.
Don’t forget to brush the coat. This is very important for two reasons: first, to remove dead hair and excess moisture, and second, to spot skin issues.
I suggest that you use a slicker brush in a circular motion. It will catch dead hair and stimulate the skin to produce more natural sebum. Brushing once a week even without bathing is imperative to maintain the coat of your Pitbull.
But to be honest, brushing a Pitty will take some time to get used to. My pooch hated this restraint but after a month, he slowly yielded to the brush. Just be patient, and remember, no shouting or punishments during groom time.–
➕Cutting toenails and whiskers
Like what I said earlier, you have to cut the toenails short. A clipper specifically made for dogs are needed here. Never improvise with human clippers or scissors as this will cause unimaginable injuries. Be as careful as you can and use rewards on how to groom a Pitbull.
As for the whiskers, I advise that you do it while the Pitty is leashed. You’re working with a scissor in direct sight of your dog. This might induce harsh reactions.
Regardless if your Pitbull’s ears are cropped or natural, it still needs the same ear care once a week. This cavity on your dog’s body can harbor the nastiest dirt. It’s important that you use dog ear plugs when bathing. You shouldn’t risk water going into the ear canal as this is the leading cause of infection.
If your pooch resist his ears to be touched or he’s scratching, constantly head-tilting, and head-shaking, you should consult a vet.
After the bath, swab your Pitty’s ear with clean cotton. Do this every time the pooch will go for a swim or a bath. Apply the right amount of an ear cleaning solution, massage the ear opening, and then wipe the insides clean. Keep the ears as dry as possible.
Now, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: those large daggers. You have to brush your Pitty’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems. I must admit, this is the most intimidating part. The first time I brushed my Pitbull’s teeth, my heart was pounding. Still, don’t be taken aback by their large teeth.
Use a double-bristled dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. There are flavored dog kinds of toothpaste which will make brushing easier. Anyway, you only have to scrub the outer layer and let your dog lick the toothpaste. His tongue will do the internal cleaning. My pooch loved the seafood flavored toothpaste, yours might too.
Pitbull grooming tips: Never, ever use human toothpaste. Our toothpaste has Xylitol and Fluoride that can be lethal for dogs.
➕Check the skin folds
Lastly, double-check the folds of the skin. Once you’re done with the above-mentioned steps, run a quick check on the armpits, neck, paws, and rear. If everything is cleared, your job is done.
Remember that although you can groom your Pitty at home, it’s best to visit a groomer every quarter. This should keep you up with what you’re possibly missing. Also, your doggo will need professional hair trimming.
My Personal Shampoo Recommendations for Pitbulls
As promised, here are two shampoos I recommend for Pitbulls:
⭐Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo⭐
This shampoo from Pro Pet Works is formulated for dogs with skin allergies to grass, ticks, fleas, and food. Since it has Vitamin A, D, and E as well as Aloe vera, this is guaranteed to soothe the coat and provide the much-needed moisturization. And before I forgot, this is infused with oatmeal which I personally guarantee to help with the itching.
This is soap-free, alcohol-free, and bears no scent so there’s a low chance that your dog will be irritated. The almond oil content will also add a soothing effect to Pitbulls with a bad case of sores.
Pitbull grooming tips: For best results, let this lather on their coat and let it stand for five minutes.
Also, the half-liter bottle is more affordable than those of the famous brands. Overall, this Pro Pet Works shampoo served as a moisturizer and cleanser for my pooch.
⭐Bodhi All Natural Dog Shampoo⭐
If you want to save a few bucks, my second best option is the Bodhi All Natural Dog Shampoo. Like the one from Pro Pet Works, it soothes the skin of dogs with itchiness and scaling. It has coconut, fruit, and aloe vera extracts. Aside from that, this is also infused with Vitamins A, D, E, as well as the richness of oat proteins.
One crucial ingredient here is baking soda. As for my dog, it helped eliminate ticks and scabs. Proceed with caution if you’re worried about the potency of this formula. But overall – and based on other dog owners’ experience – it worked just as fine on how to groom a Pitbull.
This is free of alcohol, detergent, and other harsh cleaners that may irritate the skin of your Pitbull. But unlike the first shampoo, this bears a light apple scent which is more refreshing than overpowering. Since this has fruit extracts, I don’t think it will be a cause of concern.
Does your Pitbull hate grooming?
So you’re all set to start home grooming but your Pitbull seems to not having it. If the pooch is reluctant about groom time, here are more Pitbull grooming tips:
➕Start with grooming early
It’s probably too late to say this, but grooming can be more worthwhile if you start early. Next time that you welcome a dog, subject him to grooming as early as possible.
➕Careful with your body language
Remember, dogs won’t listen to your words, they will observe your actions. If you’re moving too briskly, you’re sending a threatening message to your pooch. So, at all cost, be gentle.
➕Don’t make it painful
Dogs develop grooming hate because it’s an awful experience. Maybe you keep putting shampoo on their eyes or you’re brushing too forcefully. All these unpleasant experience can go a long way.
➕Maintain a safe environment
To make grooming time exciting, reduce any source of stress. Don’t shove your dog to the bathroom or punish him for not obeying. Understand that your pooch might be scared and that bath time is still an unchartered territory he’s still trying to get used to. Little by little, as they say, your doggo will soon love this routine.
Do you have thoughts on how to groom a Pitbull? Share your paw-rent tips with me in the comment section!