Pitbull Grooming Guide [Bath + Shiny Coat]

It is a fact of life that dogs get dirty. An active Pitbull who spends time outdoors is susceptible to skin issues, and grooming your Pitbull is essential to their overall health. 

With the costs of pet services soaring higher than ever, many dog owners want to learn to groom their dogs from home. Though your pup should visit a professional regularly for procedures such as anal gland cleaning, you can certainly keep them tidy at home to reduce costs.

Pitbull grooming guide
Pitbull Grooming Guide [Bath + Shiny Coat]

While the grooming needs of a Pitbull are similar to other dogs, they do have sensitive skin that owners should take into consideration. If you are searching for a thorough Pitbull grooming guide, complete with advice on purifying your Pittie from head to toe, look no further. 

Proper Preparation for Grooming Your Pitbull

You can start prepping to groom your Pitbull at home from the first day they join your family! Obedience training is a must for all breeds. The best way to ensure proper grooming for your Pitbull is for them to master basic commands such as:

  • Sit 
  • Stay
  • Lie down

Pitbull grooming also requires desensitization. Get puppies or young dogs used to the water, soap, and grooming tools early on.

Maintaining a calm demeanor is essential throughout this desensitization process. If your Pittie senses you are anxious, that can transfer over to them. 

a happy Pitbull runs in grass
A happy Pitbull running in grass outside

A Shiny Coat Starts Within

For your Pitbull’s coat to look its best, it needs the proper nutrition. Choose a dog food rich in vitamins and minerals and contains correct ratios of protein, fat, and other nutrition. 

Zinc has been shown to play a major role in the health of your Pitbull’s skin and helps the skin organ maintain homeostasis. You can also talk to your veterinarian about supplements that may make your Pitbull’s coat look shinier. Some of these fatty supplements are also super-healthy for your dog in other ways. 

Pitbull eats
It is essential for Pitbull to eat healthy foods to have a shiny and healthy-looking coat.

A Thorough Guide to Grooming Your Pitbull

Grooming your Pitbull at home can not only save money, but it can also be a bonding experience for you and your dog. By starting early and making the experience fun and rewarding, grooming can be a breeze rather than something you and your dog dread.

When you’ve established training, gathered safe and healthy products, and gotten your dog comfortable with water and grooming tools, it is time to clean your dirty Pittie! 

Bathing Your Pitbull

You can opt to groom your Pitbull inside or outside. Since dog-washing can get messy, many owners opt for a grand time outdoors where your pup can splash and shake freely. 

Use a high-quality, sensitive formula shampoo and conditioner to wash your Pitbull from head to toe. Even though Pitbulls have thin coats, it is important to rinse them thoroughly and not leave any residue behind. 

Once you have rinsed your Pitbull, you can use a slicker to pull off excess water. Towel dry your Pitbull gently, and if your dog will tolerate it, use a hair-dryer on the cool setting to dry their armpits and areas of friction.

After your Pitbull is dried, you can add an after-shine conditioner spray meant for Pitbulls. Select one that is designed for sensitive skin and will provide moisture. You do not want anything loaded with fragrance or unsafe chemicals.

Not only will it make your Pittie shine, but it is beneficial for their long-term health.

Pitbull Terrier towel
Pitbull Terrier wrapped on a towel after bathing.

Cleaning the Face & Head

Pitbull owners need to pay special attention to the face and head during grooming as Pitbulls have big eyes, tender skin, and wrinkly ears. Keeping your Pittie’s face clean and healthy will maintain their quality of life and help them live longer by avoiding infections. 

Whether your Pitbull has floppy or docked ears, cleaning them is a necessary part of Pitbull grooming. Clean your Pittie’s ears at least once a week with a clean, warm cloth. You can use a cleaning product as recommended by your veterinarian.

Never ever pour or squeeze water into the ear canal. 

Ear cleaning prevents nasty bacterial and fungal infections from taking up residence in your dog’s ears. These infections can get serious and lead to discomfort and long-term health issues. 

Most Pitties don’t have trouble with their eyes, but you still want to ensure they are clean and clear. If your Pitbull has discharge coming from its eyes, talk to your vet right away!

For optimal dental health, try to brush your Pittie’s teeth a couple of times a week.

If this task sounds intimidating, you are not alone. However, tooth-brushing is part of a solid training regime for your Pitbull. Of course, there is special meat-flavored toothpaste to make the experience more pleasant for your pup. 

You can incorporate this into a weekly grooming routine and reward it with a healthy dental treat. 

Some owners opt to trim their Pitbull’s whiskers down for a more clean look. Whisker trimming is optional, and be sure to educate yourself on how short you should cut whiskers to prevent any health or sensory issues. 

Pitbull smiling
What a smile! (Wanna learn how to teach your dog to smile?)

Paws and Claws

Nail trimming is the bane of every dog owner. Some dogs howl, some scream, and some try to get away. Some dog owners insist that no matter what they try, they cannot get their dog to calm down when it comes to nail trimming. 

Even so, nail trimming should always be part of grooming a Pitbull. Long claws can cause injury to you, your dog, or other animals in your household. Long nails are also more likely to break and split, which can lead to injured or infected paws. 

dirty Pitbull paws
Pitbull paws should be maintained clean for your dog’s health and wellness measures.

Hot Spots and Skin Issues

Most dog owners are no strangers to hot spots. These oozy dermatitis infections are unpleasant for everyone and can be a symptom of poor grooming or hygiene. 

Pitbulls are especially prone to hot spots for several reasons. They have sensitive skin with little fur to protect it, meaning abrasions and products can irritate and lead to hot spots.

Just like us, dogs rely on proper grooming to maintain their health. Pitbulls, with their sensitive skin, especially should not be neglected in the grooming department. Not only can a lack of grooming cause your Pitbull to stink, but it can cause skin issues. 

Aside from hot spots, dogs can develop bacterial infections, yeast infections, or other skin conditions from lack of grooming. 

If your dog has skin that is crusty, flaky, scabbing, or red, and thorough, gentle grooming does not calm it down, it may be time to visit a veterinarian. 

two Pitbulls and owner
The owner checks his two Pitbulls’ coats for any skin issues.

If Grooming Your Pitbull Proves Difficult, Try This

Grooming is a point of contention for many dogs and dog owners. Pitbulls are highly energetic and intelligent, but above all, they want to please their owners. By creating a positive, loving environment around grooming and properly socializing your dog, you can make grooming a breeze for your Pitbull. 

High value or “ultimate” treats are another great way to motivate your Pitbull to cooperate during grooming time. This can be any treat your dog goes crazy over. Knowing that they get this treat when they let you groom them can be a huge motivator. 

In some cases, your Pitbull may need extra training or retraining classes. If they have a fear of water or other grooming tools, professional intervention may be the safest route for you and your Pitbull. 

Whatever you do, take it slow, and be patient!

Pitbull with a bone toy
A Pitbull with a bone toy

Frequently Asked Questions About Grooming Your Pitbull

The best way to maintain a clean and healthy Pitbull is through a combination of at-home maintenance and professional grooming services. 

Check out these FAQs for any additional inquiries about grooming your Pitbull and more about making the experience easier. 

How often should my Pitbull be groomed?

How often you groom your Pitbull depends on how often your dog gets dirty. However, you should thoroughly brush your Pitbull once a week and groom them once a month to every other month, or when they develop that “dog” smell. 

freckled Pitbull
Freckled Pitbull smells bad and should take a bath after playing.

How often should I trim my Pitbull’s nails?

Keep a close eye on your Pitbull’s claws and trim or file them regularly or when they start to get long. This is essential to their comfort and the health of their paws and legs. 

How do I stop my Pitbull from shedding?

Weekly brushing and regular grooming is the best way to reduce shedding in your Pitbull. Additionally, make sure they are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. 

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How do I keep my Pitbull’s skin healthy?

You can keep your Pittie’s skin healthy by keeping up with regular grooming and using healthy, non-toxic products that moisturize your Pitbull’s skin. Keep their skin folds, armpits, and areas of friction clean and dry so they do not develop dermatitis or other skin issues.

The Best Way To Groom Your Pitbull

The best way to groom your Pitbull is with patience, proper training, and preparation.

Always choose products for your pet that are veterinarian approved and non-toxic. Don’t forget they will be licking this stuff off themselves! Additionally, if your pet shows symptoms of illness that do not improve with grooming, contact your vet right away.  

Pitbulls are highly trainable and enthusiastic dogs you can easily train to cooperate during grooming. Every Pitbull should be comfortable with grooming, as it is essential to their health, quality of life, and comfort.