How Often Should You Bathe a Pit Bull and 3 Useful Tips

Even short-haired dogs, like pit bulls, need grooming. 

It’s easy to assume that they only require wash-and-go baths. However, pit bulls need more. 

And although their coat doesn’t fall out in clumps during spring like other dogs, it does still shed throughout the year.

Check out the answer on how often you should bathe a pit bull, plus other proper grooming tips that will keep your pit bull’s coat shiny, regardless of the season.

Do Pit Bulls Like Baths? 

White pit bull


Pit bulls typically like baths more than other breeds, especially if you’ve done it regularly from puppyhood.

However, they are also individuals. Some just love bath time, while others are more reluctant.

The good news is pit bulls strongly desire to please their people. Therefore, there’s a high chance that they will willingly take a bath if you ask them. 

They also love to be petted. So, if you turn their bath time into a relaxing spa experience, they will cherish the opportunity to get your attention.

So, How Often Should you Bathe a Pit bull? 

Generally, you should bathe your pitbull once every month to six months. They don’t require frequent washing since they have short hair, experience relatively average shedding, and make natural oils that protect their coats and skin.

Of course, you need to bathe them if they play in the mud. You don’t have to give them shampoo every time, rinsing them with water and using a soft towel will do. Then, give their fur a quick brush to protect them against knots and mats. 

The frequency of their bathes also varies depending on the dog’s activity level, health, age, and weather.

Overbathing (more than once a week) can dry out your dog’s skin and cause flaking or itching. This will reduce the natural luster of their coat. 

Here’s a quick guide on how often you should bathe your pit bull during summer or winter.



Use cool water to help them cool down

Use lukewarm water to keep them comfortable and warm

Your dog can bathe outdoors

Pit bulls have short fur and get cold easily. It’s better to bathe them indoors.

You can use skin-soothing shampoo, like oatmeal. 

Your pitbull needs more moisture to treat dryness or soothe any irritation or dry winter skin.

A hairdryer is not necessary. Using a thick bath towel is recommended.

The use of a hairdryer is preferable. Use it on its lowest setting.

Brush their fur on alternate days

Brush their fur every day

If your pit bull is seeking warmth and is shivering during the winter season, you may want to invest in quality winter dog gear. 

At SparkPaws, we offer a breathable dog jacket with cotton insulation and a polar fleece interior for extra warmth.

How to Bathe Your Pit Bull: 3 Useful Tips for Dog Owners

Brown pit bull


1. Be Firm and Consistent

Pit bulls can be willful or stubborn. It’s the flip side of their energy and determination as dogs. This is why you must be firm and consistent as the pet parent when getting used to bathing.

Set aside time for a bath so that you will be less stressed. Let your pit bull know that you’re in charge of the situation. If your pit bull runs away and hides during bath time, you can incorporate rewards and treats and approach the situation with a calm demeanor. 

Talk to them with a reassuring voice. If you do, your dog will likely be calm as well.

Some pet owners prefer to thoroughly brush their pit bull’s coat before bathing. Doing so allows the shampoo to moisturize and penetrate the skin. Plus, it will loosen dry skin flakes and remove dead hair.

2. Slowly Wet Your Pit Bull’s Fur 

To begin, use a sink sprayer (recommended for a small pit bull puppy) or shower to moisten your dog’s fur.

Water intensity and temperature should be considered to avoid frightening them away. A gentle trick that works for most dogs is to turn the shower sprayers or sink only halfway.

Then, wash your dog's face with a washcloth before spraying a nozzle to completely wet your dog's skin. The next step is to apply a soap-free shampoo from its neck to its tail.

3. Protect Your Dog’s Eyes and Ears

Water can irritate the membrane of your dog’s eyes. As such, avoid spraying water directly on your pet’s head.

Pit bulls are prone to ear infections, so you must keep their ears clean and dry. Gently insert cotton balls in both ears to ensure their ear canal is covered during a wash.

You can also use a specially made dog-ear cleaning solution for your pit bull's ears once a week to prevent infection.

Besides bathing, grooming a pit bull includes ensuring their nails are trimmed and their ears and teeth are clean. Basically, just the usual dog grooming stuff.

When Must You Wash Your Pit Bull Right Away?

Black pit bull


While the recommended frequency of bathing your pit bull is once every month to six months, there are times when you need to bathe them right away. 

Medical condition

You may need to bathe your pittie more regularly if they have a medical condition requiring the use of a medicinal shampoo as part of their treatment. Not washing them may make them prone to infections.

Playful walks

Pitbulls are energetic. They love to run and enjoy a muddy day. However, mud getting stuck to their coat can make them smelly. 

If you find your pitbull smelling extra bad after a playful walk, you may need to wash them right away. 


During winter, the salt used to melt the snow on the street can hurt your pi tbull’s paws. Some of these substances (deicers) contain other types of chemicals too that can cause burns, irritations, and injuries to paws.

Moreover, your dog’s paw pads can become sore from stepping on rough salt crystals. Thus, you should bathe your dog once they get home or make sure its paws are salt-free.

Before walking outside in wintry conditions, take precautions. Use these dog booties to cover your dog’s paws and allow them to enjoy the season safely.

pit bull wearing shoes


Have you been enjoying some gardening? If so, you may have used some chemicals your pit bull could have been exposed to when rolling on the grass.

Bathe them right away and ensure all chemicals are removed from their coats.

Why is My Pit Bull Scared Of The Water?

A pit bull is unlikely to be afraid of water, especially if they’re exposed to it in positive situations since they were a puppy. However, a single negative experience with water, especially during a critical socialization period, can cause them to be scared of water.

It may explain the fear if your pit bull had less than gradual exposure to water or has been frightened of water in the past.

Here are a few possible explanations for fear of water, especially if you have adopted an adult pit bull.

  • They may have been sprayed with a hose as a punishment. It may be used to break a dogfight. So, they believe that water is a bad thing.
  • They’d never seen water before, so it became intimidating.

Don’t worry. They'll overcome their fear of water with plenty of positive reinforcement and slow introductions.

People Also Ask: FAQs About Pit Bull Grooming

Can I bath my pit bull once a week?

No, you should bathe your pit bull no more than once a month unless necessary. The ideal frequency of their baths is once every month to six months. Overdoing it can damage their fur and dry out their skin.

How do I keep my pit bull smelling good?

You can keep your pit bull smelling good by keeping them on a shorter leash during walks to avoid treks into the mud. You can also use a dry shampoo for pets when the bath isn’t convenient.

You can prevent the stench of a wet dog if you adequately dry your pet. Also, regular brushing will remove debris in their fur and keep them smelling fresh. 

Another option is to pat your pit bull’s fur with corn starch or baking soda for a quick dry bath. These two can neutralize odors.

You should also see healthy light pink skin in your dog's ears. It if smells foul or yeasty, it’s time for a veterinary checkup.

Furthermore, feeding your dog high-quality food will keep them healthy, which equals a better-smelling dog. Better digestion help maintain healthy gums and teeth and can reduce gas.

What should I wash my pit bull with?

Use a gentle, soap-free, or dog-friendly shampoo. Lather it up throughout your pit bull’s coat during a bath. After shampooing, you can use a dog-specific conditioner, comb their fur, and rinse your dog's fur properly, so no residue is stuck.

What kind of shampoo is good for pit bulls?

Pit bulls have sensitive skin and can be prone to skin problems. You should stay away from generic brands.

Choose a natural and gentle shampoo that leaves no residual thickness and rinses easily. Dog-friendly shampoos are designed to be comfortable and not sting your dog.

How do I keep my pit bull's toenails clean and healthy?

Get your pit bull’s nails cut while they are still flexible. You can use a sterile pair of scissors or clippers. 

The ideal way to trim your dog’s nail is to gently cut small pieces from the sides and inwards and not trim the whole nail through the clippers. You can ask for help from a veterinarian or a pet groomer if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself.

Do pit bulls ever need haircuts?

No, pit bulls don’t need haircuts. They are single-coated dogs, and their fur is quite easy to maintain. Brush their coat instead at least once a week. Use a soft-to-medium bristle brush when grooming them daily to weekly.


pit bull in a field of flowers


Pit bulls are often described as trustworthy, loyal, good-natured, and courageous dogs. Sadly, they are sometimes stereotyped as aggressive. But how well-behaved a pit bull is has a lot to do with how they are socialized, and trained, and the leadership of the pet parent.

On the plus side, they are easy to groom. Bathing them can even be a rewarding bonding experience. It keeps them clean, free from infection, and happy.

Yet, just like with any dog, you have to strike a balance between too much grooming and not enough grooming. Keeping them tidy and healthy is important, but over washing them can lead to other issues and make it counterproductive. 

Follow the tips we shared above to keep your pitbull’s grooming and hygiene needs in great shape.

Best of luck making bath time a rewarding experience for you and your pitbull

Pit bulls definitely have a talent for getting dirty, especially on walks when the weather isn’t so great. 

Fortunately, you can use SparkPaws' durable tactical collar to prevent them from creating a muddy mess outside.

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