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Pitbulls are amazing dogs. They are bundles of joy with copious amounts of energy.
Have you ever taken your Pitbull on a walk, let them off the lead, then taken your eye off for 2 seconds, and they come back after a mud bath?
They love to get down and dirty, chasing balls, jumping and rolling in puddles, and more! You know, just living their best life!
With all this action and play, Pitbulls very quickly become dirty and begin to smell; your first thought may be to give your Pitbull a bath. But you’re also thinking: ‘how often should I bathe my Pitbull?
Well, read on! In this article, you’ll not only know how often you should be bathing your Pitbull, but also other tips on how you can keep your Pitbull squeaky clean!
Use an Appropriate Shampoo for your Pitbull
Before you even consider putting your bundle of joy in the bath, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right shampoo for your Pitbull!
Pitbull’s tend to have a short coat and sensitive skin; this means that you must only use a shampoo specifically for dogs!
Using regular shampoo for humans will irritate your Pitbull’s skin and it’ll also affect the natural oils its coat produces. These natural oils help keep your Pitbull’s skin and coat healthy while also protecting it from any germs that may be present.
Choosing the right dog shampoo for your Pitbull may sound daunting, but trust me, it’s not! There are plenty of websites or stores you can browse that will have a dog shampoo explicitly stating that it’s for dogs that have sensitive skin. You should look for medicated shampoo or dog shampoo that specifically states that it’s for dogs with skin allergies.
If you don’t want to take the time to look for the best dog shampoo for your Pitbull, why not read our guide on it?
How do I Get my Pitbull to Take a Bath?
Pitbull’s seem to hate baths. It’s frustrating, especially when they’ve decided to take a mud bath!
Before you put your Pitbull in the bath, you need to understand why they hate baths!
If you’ve bathed your Pitbull before, was it a traumatic experience for them?
Are you bathing them too much?
Was the water too hot?
Was it too cold?
Did they accidentally get water in their ears?
If your Pitbull had a traumatic or, at the very least, a stressful experience, they will associate bath time as a not so fun time!
You should bathe your Pitbull no more than once a month and definitely not weekly. Bathing them weekly will cause their coat to not produce natural oils, which will affect them negatively in the long run.
You should try and associate bath time as a positive experience with treats, encouragement, and making sure when they are being bathed, they don’t get water in their ears.
Always make sure that the bathwater is neither too hot nor too cold. The water should be warm.
TIP: use your elbow to check the temperature of the water. Your elbow will give you a better indication if the water is too hot or too cold for your Pitbull!
When you do bathe your Pitbull, you must remain patient and firm.
They are going to be stressed and try to jump out of the bath as soon as you put them in it; this is where you, the owner, need to remain calm, patient and stay firm with them. If you lose your cool, your Pitbull will pick up on this, and chaos will ensue!
Using treats and positive reinforcement will help them calm down and associate bath time as a positive experience. This will help you next time you bathe your Pitbull!
Why do Pitbulls Hate Water?
Pitbulls may hate water as they most likely associate it with getting it in their ears.
Getting water in your Pitbull’s ears is a big no-no. Not only will getting water in their ears cause stress, but it can also cause infections! Getting ear infections from the bath is guaranteed to have your Pitbull run in the opposite direction as soon as they hear ‘bath time!’.
Brush and Groom your Pitbull Regularly
Brushing and grooming your Pitbull should be done more regularly than bathing them.
By brushing your Pitbull regularly, you will help keep their skin and coat healthy. Doing this regularly will ensure your Pitbull’s coat continues to produce natural oils. The natural oils help your Pitbull fight against any infection or germs that may be present on its coat.
You should brush and groom your Pitbull at least once a week. We recommend that you do this a few times a week!
When you do bathe your Pitbull, make sure that you brush them before; this will make sure the dog shampoo you use will get all the dirt and lose hairs that are left over and missed by the brushing.
You should always use positive reinforcement when brushing your Pitbull so that they associate it positively. Just like when you say ‘walkies’ and your Pitbull goes crazy, getting the brush out should at least not make them anxious!
The best type of brushes for Pitbulls are shedding or bristle brushes.
I’m sure that you’re aware, even though Pitbulls have a short coat, they shed a lot of fur!
Bristle brushes are also great for Pitbulls as they’re great for dogs with short coats. They’re great as they will gently brush your Pitbulls coat and leave a great shine afterward!
You can find plenty of deshedding and bristle brushes online or in stores! If you don’t want to go on a brush hunt, please read our blog on the best brushes for Pitbulls!
How do I Keep my Pitbull Smelling Good?
If your Pitbull has an issue where they smell, introducing a brushing, grooming, and bathing routine will do wonders!
You should try to brush and groom your Pitbull with a bristle and deshedding brush a few times a week. Obviously, there’s no need to use a deshedding brush in the colder months!
Try and bathe your Pitbull at least once a month.
Always make sure that you do not use normal shampoo! Always(!!) use dog shampoo. Medicated dog shampoo or dog shampoo that is for sensitive skin will be fine to get rid of horrible smells. You can also use dog shampoo that’s specifically for smelly dogs as an alternative!
Top Tips to Keep Your Pitbull Squeaky Clean
Keeping your Pitbull squeaky clean is actually easier than it sounds! Not only will your Pitbull look great, but it’ll also be healthier and happier!
Here are our top tips to keep your Pitbull squeaky clean:
- Get your Pitbull into a brushing and grooming routine
This will do wonders for your Pitbulls overall health and appearance. Pitbulls unfairly get a bad rep for being a dangerous dog. But when you take your Pitbull out on a walk, having a shiny, happy looking dog will definitely make them look like the friendly lovable dogs that they are!
- Use a dog shampoo for sensitive skin
As Pitbulls have a short coat and sensitive skin, you’re running the risk of irritating their skin by using normal dog shampoo. Irritating their skin will cause their coat to produce less natural oils; you don’t want this! Pitbulls are just like us, if we feel comfortable in our skin, we generally feel happier and less irritable!
- Remain calm and firm when bathing your Pitbull
Your Pitbull will view you as it’s owner and carer. If you appear stressed, unsure of what you’re doing or, nervous, your Pitbull will pick up on this! Bath time will turn sour very quickly and, before you know it, bath time will forever be associated as a bad time!
- Use treats to associate bath time as a good time
Using treats is a great way to train your dog to do tricks, sit down, lie down, or come in from the garden. Why not use them to get over the fear of baths? By mixing treats and positive reinforcement, bath time will be associated as a good time in little to no time at all!
- Try and use cotton balls to stop water getting in your Pitbulls ears
If you’re worried about getting water in your Pitbulls ears, you can use cotton balls as a fail-safe. The last thing you want is to get water in your Pitbulls ear and it developing an infection!
- Make sure the bathwater isn’t too hot nor too cold
Let’s be honest, dipping your feet into a bath that’s too hot nor too cold isn’t a pleasant experience; why would it be different for your Pitbull? You should always aim to make sure that the bathwater is warm. Use your elbow to test the temperature of the bathwater to see if it’s too hot or not!
Pitbulls are fantastic dogs. When they’re treated with love and care, they’re one of the most loyal and loving dogs around. By maintaining their coat and skin, their love for you will only grow!
Remember, you should only bathe your Pitbull no more than once a month. Brushing and grooming should be done at least a few times a week!
We hope that you’ve learned a lot from this! If you think we’ve missed something or that you learned something, please comment below!
About the Author
Hey there! I'm Jeremy and I’m the brains behind Pet Care Project, a website chock-full of pet-care know-how. I've got the experience and knowledge to help you keep your furry friends happy and healthy. And let's not forget about my own little fluffball, Lunar, my Ragdoll cat who keeps me on my toes.
Jane Norman says
My pitti sadly passed away a couple of months ago. I think of her each and every day. She wasn’t just the family dog, but a family member. I have had numerous dogs in the past, but hands down, my favorite. I was a little skeptical about having a pitbull with all the bad press about them, but she was the most loving, loyal dog that we had. Dogs response to people in the way they are raised and treated. This little girl was loved by her family and everyone she met.
Hi there, I’m sorry about your pitti. Pitbulls are lovely dogs and definitely do not deserve the bad rep that they have. Thank you for sharing your story.
Pamela Panek says
I have had several Pitbulls as pets in my lifetime, they are simply the most affectionate, loving, sweet, loyal and sensitive friends you could have on this earth. They are a gift and with the right training and responsible guardian, they will dispel any negativity that has been unfairly labelled to this breed.