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Pitbulls may have a bit of a tough reputation but anyone who owns a pittie will know they love their humans and can play like goofballs. But when it comes to their skin, they also have a sensitive side. With their short coat, they don’t need an elaborate grooming or bathing routine to keep them clean. However, Pitbulls are prone to allergies, skin conditions and sensitivities, so they need gentle products to soothe, moisturize and keep their coat in tip-top condition. Choosing the best shampoo for Pitbulls depends on your pet’s individual needs and there’s a myriad of dog shampoos to choose from. But to help you keep your precious pittie fresh, clean and skin irritation free, we take a dip into some of the best shampoos for Pitbulls you can buy.
If your Pitbull is prone to scratching, has skin allergies or simply needs a gentle cleanser to keep his coat and skin healthy, then check out our Best Choice pick. Using moisturizing oatmeal and soothing aloe Vera, Earthbath have formulated this all-natural shampoo to boost your dog’s skin health. It smells delicious, thanks to the natural vanilla and almond oils and doesn’t over lather on shorter fur. Soap-free and PH-balanced, this shampoo also gently rehydrates irritated skin to promote healing. The result is a soft, shiny coat and a calmer pooch. Plus, it acts as a deodorizer and won’t wash off any flea applications. It may not be the cheapest in our review but the quality of this Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo speaks for itself, making it our best shampoo for Pitbulls.
If you need extra help in getting your Pitbull’s inflamed skin back under control, then this medicated dog shampoo from Veterinary Formula could do the trick. With coal tar, salicylic acid and micronized sulfur, the formulation works to treat a host of skin conditions, including seborrhea, mange and parasitic infections as well as bacterial infections. But while it’s tough on the cause of irritation, this medicated shampoo is also kind on that Pitbull hair and skin, with oatmeal and allantoin to soothe and hydrate. The shampoo is pretty fast-acting, although you will initially need to bathe your dog 2-3 times a week, reducing the frequency as their skin heals. The ingredients are powerful, but the shampoo is safe for dogs, and is paraben, dye and soap free. It can, however, only be used on dogs over 12 weeks old.
Super-mild, Healthy Breeds Oatmeal and Aloe dog shampoo provides much-needed relief for itchy, scaly and sensitive Pitbull skin without losing its ability to nourish and cleanse. As well as oatmeal and aloe Vera, its hypoallergenic formula contains botanical extracts, coconut and almond oils and is alcohol and soap free. The result is a dog shampoo for Pitbulls that provides effective relief from flaky, irritated skin as well as boosting the shine and condition of their coat. Plus, you get a scent that has a subtle ‘Pina Colada’ odor! While we’re not sure you could get your pooch to stand for the recommended 10 minutes for this oatmeal shampoo to do its work, this is a formula that lathers nicely and gets your pet lovely and clean.
Oatmeal and aloe for irritated skin
No-soap formula that’s alcohol free
Coconut and almond oils for hydration
Safe to use with topical flea treatments
Brand: Healthy Breeds
Weight: 15.2 ounces
Lathers up and rinses off really well
Conditions and nourishes the skin and coat
The fresh and clean fragrance could be a little stronger
Burt’s Bees are renowned for natural products for humans and with this gentle 2-in-1 puppy shampoo and conditioner, they have hit the nail on the head in the dog world too. This lovely smelling shampoo is safe enough for smaller puppies and has a tearless formula, should any get into a wriggly pup’s face. Made from natural ingredients, you get the soothing and moisturizing powers of honey, oatmeal, lavender and avocado which also help to heal irritated skin. Plus, the high level of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients deeply conditions their fur. If your Pitbull’s skin is seriously irritated or they have a diagnosed skin condition, you will still need additional medicated treatment so do speak to your vet. But for a gentle cleanser/conditioner to use in their regular Pitbull bath routine without irritating sensitive skin, this 2-in-1 formula is our Best Buy.
Gentle shampoo and conditioner in one
Tear-free formula for puppies
All natural ingredients
PH-balanced and Paraben free
Brand: Burt’s Bees
Weight: 1 pounds
Gentle enough to be used on small puppies
All natural ingredients effectively hydrate and condition
While this delicious smelling organic oatmeal shampoo may be our review’s Premium Pick, its generous 17-ounce bottle and ‘little goes a long way’ formula makes it good value for money. First up, you get an effective 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner which saves you time as well as adding extra oomph to the condition of your Pitbull’s coat. The ingredients are all PH balanced and natural – so no harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances or colors – and chosen for their soothing, moisturizing properties. You get organic oatmeal, aloe Vera and almond oil as well as vitamins A, E and D to help restore natural oils and relieve dry, irritated skin. This ingredient combination is also effective in soothing sensitivities, allergies and flea bites. Throw in a nice fresh scent to deodorize and Pet Pro Works is one of the best dog shampoo for Pitbull products to have on your cupboard shelf.
If a stinky, sensitive pittie is your problem, then Bodhi Dog’s itch relief shampoo is one of your best dog shampoo for Pitbulls options. With baking powder, this fresh-smelling oatmeal shampoo and conditioner is natural deodorizing to help make your pooch a little sweeter. But the organic formula won’t leave your sensitive pooch irritated. With oatmeal and coconut oil to moisturize, there’s also organic aloe Vera as well as vitamins A, D, E and fruit extracts to calm and cool itchy skin. Together, the whole 2-in-1 formula leaves your dog with silky, and temporarily fresh apple-smelling fur. This is a particularly soothing shampoo for dogs with dandruff and excess dander and as it is alcohol and soap free, should be safe enough to use on younger pets.
If your Pitbull is prone to the misery of seasonal allergies, then this vet-formulated itch relief shampoo could put that wag back into his tail. Used as part of his regular bathing routine or when those skin allergies flair up, the combination of natural ingredients and itch relievers should calm and soothe angry, allergic skin. You get micronized oatmeal proteins to maintain essential moisture levels and tea tree oil to heal and protect against infections. Add to this mix hydrating neem oil and soothing chamomile and you have a recipe for tackling the symptoms of your dog’s seasonal allergies. You may find you still need to administer your dog’s antihistamine prescription, but this shampoo should bring your Pitbull some welcome skin itching relief. Vet’s Best can be used as needed and can also be used alongside your pooch’s topical flea treatment.
Seasonal allergy bathing relief
Soothes skin and removes allergens
Natural and gentle formula
Oatmeal, chamomile, tea tree and neem oil
Brand: Vet’s Best
Weight: 16 ounces
Gentle but effective skin relief for seasonal allergies
Smells fresh and a little goes a long way
You may need to wash your dog twice, to get effective cleansing
Sensitive pooches need to be treated with a shampoo that’s not going to make their skin problems worse so if this is a worry, then take a look at the super-natural 4Legger Organic Dog Shampoo. With natural ingredients and a soothing hypoallergenic formula, this is an itch-busting powerhouse. All the ingredients are vegan and include organic oils such as coconut and flea-repelling lemongrass, giving the shampoo a deliciously natural fragrance. Soothing aloe Vera calms, alongside rosemary extract, olive and jojoba oil to hydrate and deeply moisturize. The gentle lathering formula also helps to remove allergens and debris from your pet’s fur, keeping it clean and irritant free.
USDA certified organic ingredients
Coconut, jojoba and olive oil
Natural flea-repellent lemongrass
Aloe Vera to soothe and hydrate
Weight: 1.2 pounds
100% non-toxic, organic, paraben and soap-free
Lathers well and effectively removes allergens
The lemongrass scent is quite strong so maybe not too everyone’s taste
With its delicious tropical smell, Tropiclean Shed Control helps to reduce the amount of coat your Pitbull loses by exfoliating and deeply moisturizing their skin. With some pitties prone to excessive shedding, this soap-free formula is pretty gentle and effective. Not only that, but your pooch will smell good enough to eat, thanks to the lime and coconut on the natural ingredient list. What we also like about Tropiclean is that you need to massage it into the skin, giving your Pitbull a home spa treatment at the same time. Paraben and dye free, its scent on your dog is pretty long-lasting without irritating anyone’s nose, and the lather is not too excessive, so easy to rinse.
Exfoliates and moisturizes
Aims to reduce excessive shedding
Natural oils and ingredients
Delicious lime and coconut smell
Weight: 1.6 pounds
Safe and gentle to use, with good conditioning
It may be a little harsh on pets with really itchy, broken or irritated skin
When you don’t want to over-wash your Pitbull, but you have skin issues you need to address, Wahl’s Calming Formula can help you get your pooch clean without causing any further irritation. With its 4-in-1 formulation, this concentrated shampoo and conditioner works to gently cleanse, condition, detangle fur and then moisturize their dry skin. With no harsh ingredients or parabens, this 4-in-1 is also PH balanced and alcohol free. It also comes in a value 24-ounce bottle, although the contents are a little thinner than the concentrate it claims to be. But the liquid is easy to work up into a lather and leaves a fresh smell once your pup is nice and dry. Containing coconut oil, lavender and chamomile, this calming formula is also gentle enough for dogs of all ages come bath time.
PH balanced shampoo and conditioner formula
4-in-1 to cleanse, condition, detangle and moisturize
Coconut oil, lavender and chamomile
For all dog age ranges
Weight: 1.66 pounds
Large value bottle for both cleaning and conditioning
Pitties are known for allergies and skin sensitivities so here are the things to look out for when buying a shampoo for your Pitbull:
Hypoallergenic: You want a shampoo that’s not going to irritate their skin so look for a product that’s hypoallergenic and free from anything that is going to get them inflamed.
Moisturizing: A Pitbull’s skin is prone to dryness which can lead to irritation and scratching. A moisturizing shampoo will soothe and hydrate their skin and coat; oatmeal, coconut, linseed and almond oil are all good soothers and moisturizers.
Natural ingredients: Look for a shampoo with as many natural ingredients as possible so that it’s kind and gentle on your Pitbull’s sensitive skin. Organically certified ingredients are best and read the label to ensure there are no artificial nasties.
PH balanced: Especially if your pittie struggles with dry or flaky skin, a PH balanced shampoo is a must. PH balanced means the product is neither acidic nor too alkaline – the perfect balance for healthy skin.
Targeted formulation: As well as sensitivities and dryness, look for extra ingredients to target any additional skin issues your pooch may have. For example, flea control is essential to calm skin so if this is an issue, a gentle flea shampoo formula could be a good idea. Other formulations can help with itching, inflammation or broken skin. Natural soothers to look for include manuka honey, aloe vera, lavender and neem oil.
Easy to rinse: Not all dogs enjoy bath-time so you need your shampoo to be easy as possible to use, and that includes how well it can be rinsed away. The more a product lathers, the longer it will take to rinse out of your dog’s coat so look for ‘easy rinse’ on the packaging.
Pet-safe: Last but not least, to keep your dog safe and clean, all the ingredients in your chosen shampoo for Pitbulls must be non-toxic and free from alcohol products. Dogs have a habit of licking themselves and you don’t want them swallowing anything harmful.
There are numerous benefits to choosing a shampoo formulated for sensitive skin:
You can be sure there are no ingredients that can cause irritation or make their skin worse
You’ll be getting the right moisturizers to keep their dry itchy skin and fur calm, healthy and happy
It will help to reduce any related negative behavior in your pet, such as excessive scratching, skin biting and licking
A Pitbull shampoo will help to keep their short coat in good condition, minimize hair loss, dandruff, infection and allergies
You can be sure it is gentle, soothing and pet safe.
Types of Shampoos for Pitbulls
Just as no two Pitbulls are totally the same, then there are a range of different shampoos to choose from when it comes to maintaining and boosting your dog’s skin and fur health:
General: For regular use. As well as gentle cleansers to clean away dirt and excess oil, it should also contain moisturizers to boost condition and no harsh chemicals. With a range of natural ingredients, essential oils, conditioners and skin soothers, look for a formulation that’s for sensitive skin.
Medicated: Formulated for specific skin complaints such as bacterial infections, dandruff or seborrheic conditions. With a medicated shampoo there’ll be an ingredient list that can include antifungals and antibacterials as well as skin soothers to heal.
Puppy: It goes without saying that shampoos used on very young dogs must be as gentle as possible. Most adult dog shampoos are formulated for dogs over eight weeks old so if you have a new Pitbull puppy, opt for a shampoo that has been specifically designed for very young canine skin.
Deodorizing: If your Pitbull tends to be a bit stinky, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have let your dog’s hygiene slide, it could just be the natural oils in their skin creating their very own ‘fragrance’. If you’d prefer a sweeter smelling dog, look for a deodorizing shampoo which used natural ingredients and fragrances.
Common Pitbull Skin Problems
Pitbulls are prone to several skin and coat conditions which will need sensitive handling come bath-time:
Allergies: Pitties can be susceptible to skin allergies, triggered by a range of things, including food, pollen, chemicals and their environment.
Dry skin: With their short hair, Pitbull skin can dry out so effective moisturization is essential. They do have natural oils in their fur, but a moisturizing shampoo can also work wonders for that flaky skin.
Skin infections: Pitbulls are also prone to skin infections, caused by bacteria on the hair shaft, most commonly folliculitis or superficial dermatitis.
Sunburn: Again, due to their very short coat, Pitbulls have less skin protection than more hairier canines and can be prone to the effect of UV rays from the sun if left unprotected.
Best Shampoo for Pitbulls FAQ:
Q: How often should I bathe my Pitbull?
A: All dogs need a regular grooming routine to keep their fur and skin in tip-top condition and Pitbulls are no exception. However, as Pitbulls have a very short coat, they don’t need to be bathed as often as longer haired breeds. The natural oils in their fur should keep it conditioned so unless your pooch is specifically dirty, he doesn’t need to be bathed too often. As long as he is groomed daily, he shouldn’t be bathed more than once a month and can actually go as long as six months.
Q: Can I use my shampoo and conditioner on my Pitbull?
A: It’s never a good idea to use your own shampoo or conditioner on your Pitbull as many of the ingredients can irritate and dry out their sensitive skin and can be toxic. Always use products that are specifically formulated for dogs.
Q: How do I bathe my Pitbull puppy?
A: When it comes to bathing your young pittie pup, you want it to be as an enjoyable experience as it can be for you both. Here’s our quick guide to a happy Pitbull bathing session:
If he is a wired bundle of energy, a little playtime or exercise before his bath can help to burn off that pup exuberance so he is calmer and easier to handle.
Have plenty of towels and shut the bathroom door so you don’t have a wet and wriggly escapee.
Brush your pup first before he goes into the water to remove as much dead hair and dirt as you can.
Make sure the water is the right temperature, then gently soak their fur, taking care to avoid their eyes and ears. You can pop cotton wool into their ears for a little extra protection.
Using the recommended amount of shampoo, lather their wet fur, starting from the neck and working your way down to the tail and then each leg, gently massaging as you go.
Rinse thoroughly. Use your hands to gently scrape back the water from their fur, working from the neck down.
Wrap your pup into a warm, clean towel and rub dry.
Our Top Pick
Formulated to target sensitive, itchy and dry skin, our best shampoo for Pitbulls – Earthbath’s Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo – is gentle enough to be used as your Pitbull’s regular cleanser and will leave his sensitive skin and coat shiny, smooth and smelling sweet. Soap-free, it doesn’t over lather and won’t remove any topical flea treatments you may be using. With added vanilla and almond oils to both moisturize and deodorize, the formula is also PH-balanced and will make easy work of bathing your mucky pup.