Bathing and Grooming A Pitbull Terrier [How Often & 9 Best Methods]


Pitbull Terrier’s are like any other dog and have essential grooming and bathing needs that need to be followed.

Fortunately for you, I know you would only be reading this or searching for this information if you either recently adopted a Pitbull Terrier or you are considering adopting a Pitbull.

The good news?

Grooming and bathing a Pitbull Terrier is a straightforward task and simple compared to other dog breeds.

The rest of this discussion is designed to break down everything you need to know about the grooming process with your Pitbull.

We will cover essential areas of concern such as bathing, skin concerns, shedding, and other items such as nail trimming and ear cleaning.

Here is how I want to break down this grooming and bathing care guide for you today:



Understanding 9 Fundamentals When Bathing And Grooming A Pitbull Terrier

When it comes to grooming a Pitbull Terrier, it boils down to some fundamentals.

You can almost treat it like a to-do list on the timeframes or days you have your Pitbull scheduled for a bath and some grooming.

Essentially, these are the 9 areas and tasks you should complete to ensure you are completing the grooming process from each angle.

Some Pitbull Terrier owners may deviate from this list and focus more on certain aspects which is okay too.

That is perfectly fine, and every dog is different, and ultimately, it is your dog and your decision.

Either way, these are 9 areas that are important to recognize or understand that some level of grooming care should be offered.

I also always prefer to remind every new Terrier owner that professionals are always available in most areas to help with these grooming needs.

Especially if you think 1, all, or any of these grooming steps for your Pitbull Terrier seem like something, you can’t handle nor prefer to do based on time or preference.


#1-Pitbull’s Don’t Need Frequent Bathing

One important thing to point out is that although frequent bathing a Pitbull Terrier is not required, regular bathing is needed.

This means that you need to be consistent.

It may not be often but it should be somewhat scheduled and routine for you.

Whether you do this yourself or schedule with a dog groomer in your area, it needs to be penciled into your calendar.

In general, Pitbull Terriers need to be bathed once every 6 months unless they get dirty or have a demanding reason for a bath sooner.

The reason for the infrequent baths with a Pitbull Terrier is due to having a shorter coat of fur.

Shorter coats of fur and hair on a dog like a Pitbull still provide essential natural oils that help protect their skin and coats.

Bathing too often can result in removing these oils, ultimately causing more issues and can even increase shedding.


#2-Bathing Is Still Necessary

Like mentioned a moment ago, 6 months in between baths may seem like a long time.

I was somewhat thrown off by this when I adopted my Terrier (Luna) about 3 years ago.

She also has a short coat and requires the baths to be spread out.

Nonetheless, I try my best to ensure I am providing her a bath every 6 months.

Sometimes it may be every 5 months, and sometimes I push it to 7 months, but I am still usually close to the recommended schedule.

It basically comes out to 2x times per year for the bathing schedule with your Pitbull Terrier.


A Few Key Steps To Remember When Bathing Your Pitbull Terrier

When giving your Pitbull their first bath, I want to point a few things to remember.

This isn’t a full tutorial on providing a bath for your Pitbull, but that is not needed in all honesty.

Outside of the items, we are going to discuss below, it is mostly common sense.

Be sure to remember these 3 things and follow these bathing steps, and you will be in great shape for bathing time.


#1- Brush Your Pitbull Before Bath Time

Before jumping into the bath with your Pitbull, be sure to provide them a good brushing.

This is going to help remove dead hair, and dirt debris stuck in the coat.

It also helps distribute some of those natural oils we discussed previously throughout your Pitbull’s coat.

This helps provide further protection and helps prevent issues such as skin irritation.


#2-Prep The Bathing Area Before Beginning Your Pitbull’s Bath Time

This seems easy, but I am one to admit that I forgot to do this the first time I gave my Terrier a bath.

Prepping the room and having everything ready for your Pitbull’s bath is such a game-changer and time saver.

Have a towel ready for drying and have a towel ready for your Pitbull to stand on when exiting the bath.

Have a soft brush ready to go to help move dog-approved conditioner and shampoo throughout your Pitbull’s coat.

Plan your exit from the bathroom.

Plan your exit with the goal in mind to wrap your Pitbull up to get outdoors before having the chance to shake that excess water all over the walls.

Unless you plan on blow-drying (more on this later)

Lastly, have your shampoo, conditioner, and any hypo-allergenic shampoo’s ready to go and set up.

Having these items ready to go and the temperature for your water ready is a big help.

Not to mention, being prepared keeps you relaxed, which can make the process for your Pitbull comfortable and relaxed.

Trust me, if you can keep your Pitbull calm and relaxed during bath time, it will be 100% easier to get this grooming process completed in a timely fashion and with less stress.


#3-Comfort Is Key During Your Pitbull’s Bath

I think this is one of the most overlooked steps in preparation you should take when giving your Pitbull a bath.

We just touched on how comfort can be anxiety-saving and shave the time it takes to complete the grooming process.

Guess what helps this comfort even further?

Treats and love.

Be sure to have a few treats ready to go during your Pitbull’s first bath.

When they are sitting still and allowing you to complete the grooming process quickly, give them a treat and shower them with love (no pun intended)

The more enjoyable you make the process, the easier it will be during this bath for your Pitbull and future baths and grooming needs.

Have treats and provide love.

It is that simple.


#3-Don’t Neglect Your Pitbull’s Ears

When it comes to grooming and making sure you care for your Pitbull’s ears, you have two concerns.

First, you want to make sure you keep water out of your Pitbull’s ears during bath time.

Usually, this is easiest to ensure by cleaning your Pitbull’s face with a cloth instead of a showerhead.

In addition to ensuring water remains out of your Pitbull’s ear canal, you want to clean their ears either before their bath or after.

This will help your Pitbull avoid ear infections which can be a costly visit to the vet to handle.

You can also use cotton balls during bath time, but you want to ensure you do not push them in very far to avoid the cotton ball entering the ear canal.


#4-Cut Those Pitbull Nails

Nails are one of the items on the grooming list for your Pitbull that can be intimidating because many individuals simply do not know how to do it.

That and, a lot of individuals fear cutting their Pitbull’s nails too short.

Cutting a nail too short is the biggest concern, in addition to dealing with a Pitbull who can’t sit still during the nail trimming.

Order yourself a good pair of dog nail clippers and use the steps I mentioned when referring to treats.

Get your Pitbull comfortable with the situation and scenario.

When they sit still and behave during the first nail clipping, reward them with a treat.

This will signal your Pitbull that this isn’t a big deal, and they may even enjoy it.

When cutting the nails, try and remain under good lighting so you can see the vein in the nail.

You do not need to cut so short that you are getting close to the vein.

Hitting the vein will result in pain and your Pitbull bleeding around the home.

Cut above the nail and file the nails after the clipping to get rid of any rough edges.

Exercise and plenty of time running or walking on pavement can also do a great job naturally filing down the nails.

And again, always remember that you can have this professional done for your Pitbull at a groomer or the vet for a small fee.

If you are too worried about it or know your Pitbull won’t cooperate during the trimming, pay the money, and let a professional handle it.

Trust me, it is worth doing on a schedule and being routine with this step to avoid rips and tears in furniture or uncomfortable scratching when your Pitbull jumps on you to greet you or just cuddles you on the couch.


#5-A Pitbull’s Hair and Coat Shouldn’t Be Compromised For More Frequent Baths

We have already discussed this critical step and information to remember, but I want to touch on it one more time.

I completely understand that sometimes your dog can get an odor to them, and it can be tempting to bathe much more frequently.

You should avoid this unless it is 100% necessary.

An example could be you took your Pitbull out for daily activity and went swimming at the lake or hiking, and your Pitbull got dirty and muddy.

Clearly, in this situation, if we want our Pitbull to remain in the home and around furniture, a bath is necessary.

Outside of these scenarios, the 6-month timeline we discussed previously is enough and shouldn’t be exceeded.

It will potentially do more harm than good and cause additional skin irritation and shedding.

Less bathing with routine and consistency is the key when grooming and bathing a Pitbull Terrier.


#6-Brushing A Pitbull Is Still Required

This is a step that is often neglected.

Many new Pitbull owners may feel that brushing during bath time or before bath time is sufficient and will get the job done.

This is 100% false and a common pitfall during the grooming process.

Make sure that in-between bath time, during those 6-month gaps, that you continue brushing your Pitbull consistently.

This is the key to reducing and shedding and ensuring that 6-month intervals on bathing suffice.

Brush your Pitbull a minimum of once per week, but a few additional times is even better.

I would recommend taking your Pitbull outside to ensure the loose hair or dead hair that is removed floats off into the air outdoors instead of inside the home.

Be sure that even with the 6-month bathing timeline, you continue brushing the entire year and consistently keep your Pitbull’s coat healthy and looking it’s best.

Not to mention, it will keep your home clean and reduce shedding and allergies.

A win-win if you ask me.


#7-Drying Your Pitbull Post Bath

One of the last steps you need to complete during the grooming process is to ensure your Pitbull is dry.

This is a big step for a few reasons.

First, nobody wants their Pitbull shaking that wet hair all over the walls in the home.

Next, it helps ensure that the process is complete and returns its fur to its original state before the bath.

With my Terrier, I always wrap her in a towel, hand dry her the best I can, and then take her for a walk to allow her to finish drying and shaking off water outdoors.

If you prefer, you can use a blow dryer on a low setting and ensure you stay several inches away to ensure you are not overheating your dog or burning their skin.

Either way works.

Just make sure you do something unless you want that wet hair being flown everywhere after the bath.

Trust me, your Pitbull immediately will begin the full-body shakes to get rid of the water, so you will want to plan for this in advance.


#8-Flea And Tick Regimens Are Recommended

Depending on the activities you prefer to engage with your Pitbull, flea and tick regimens can be critical.

Even if you don’t do much, such as hiking, swimming, or days at the lake, the flea and tick preventatives are highly encouraged.

Flea and ticks can be present and latch onto your Pitbull when they are pooping outside or running around the backyard as well.

Fleas also carry diseases such as Lyme disease.

Overall, it’s a few insects or parasites I prefer not in my home or irritating my dog.

Talk to your vet and ensure you provide a trusted, safe, and vetted flea and tick regimen.

In my opinion, this is one of the most essential steps in the grooming process and is most likely overlooked more than any other step we have discussed thus far.


#9-Dental Care For A Pitbull Terrier

Up last in my 9 critical grooming essentials comes down to ensuring your Pitbull’s mouth and teeth are not neglected.

Some Pitbull owners may take this further by physically brushing their dogs’ teeth, but there is an easier way.

Dental chew bones are created and enjoyable for a Pitbull.

These can help build strong teeth and reduce teeth issues in the future.

Not to mention, they can provide some fun chewing for your Pitbull.

Especially when they are young puppies wanting to chew everything.

Or they can be hugely beneficial during the teething phase.

I highly recommend finding one of these dental chew sticks or bones your Pitbull enjoys and giving them to your dog at the instructed intervals and quantities.

Remove that bad breath and promote good dental hygiene for your Pitbull to ensure you are covering all aspects of the grooming process.


How Does Bathing And Grooming With Pitbull’s Impact Shedding

Following all the steps and parts of the grooming process we have discussed thus far can dramatically reduce the shedding.

Brushing frequently and not over bathing is crucial but other factors also impact shedding.

Some dogs shed more than others, and diet can be a massive part of the shedding equation.

Overall, proper grooming gives you the best chance at reducing shedding and keeping it to a minimum.

On the flip side, lack of brushing or over bathing may create a shedding problem that is more significant than you originally planned for.

I recommend sticking to the basics and remaining diligent with your grooming schedule for the best results and to reduce shedding as much as possible.


Grooming and Bathing A Pitbull Is Part Of The Process, Embrace It

By now, I hope it is clear to see that the grooming process with a Pitbull Terrier is not much different than any other dog breed.

Not to mention, it is not a headache to worry about.

Following the tips and steps we have laid out in today’s discussion should help keep your Pitbull’s hygiene and grooming needs in great shape.

Each time you do it, you will get better at it.

If the grooming process is simply too much to handle for you, never forget that trained and friendly professionals are always happy to help with your grooming needs.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Pitbull Terrier and hope the grooming and bathing process is straightforward for you.


What Other Bathing And Grooming Tips Can You Share With The Readers?

What other grooming and bathing tips can you share with the community that you implement with your Pitbull Terrier?

Did I leave out any of the pertinent information a new Pitbull owner should be aware of?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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