For many, our canine compadres are our closest companions. After all, they’re not called man’s best friend for no reason. Many dogs are living lives of luxury with their loving human counterparts, accompanying their partners just about everywhere. Even inside the home, these dogs have nearly as much freedom as their people, lounging on the furniture and sometimes even sleeping in bed with their family!
While there’s nothing wrong with being incredibly close to your dog, they’re not quite as sanitary as we are. Dogs tend to roll around in the dirt, sniff and lick some nasty things we wouldn’t want to touch, and just generally attract a lot of mess to themselves. Pitbulls certainly aren’t a breed known for being particularly smelly or dirty, but they do accumulate mess all the same, which is why bathing your bull is so important. There are many different products to aid you in cleaning up your best friend, but the six reviews you’re about to read will cover the absolute top choices for keeping your Pitbull fresh and free of dirt!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 6 Best Dog Shampoos for Pitbulls
1. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Dog Shampoo – Best Overall
Designed with veterinarian-recommended ingredients that have gone through extensive research and testing, the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Dog Shampoo is our favorite shampoo for Pitbulls. It’s created to treat a wide range of skin infections caused by parasites and bacteria, though it’s a great shampoo for healthy Pitbulls as well.
Some of the infections that can be cured by this shampoo included dermatitis, seborrhea, and mange. It will even kill off mites, though it won’t kill their eggs, so for severe infections, further treatment could be necessary. Several ingredients work in conjunction to eliminate these infections, including coal tar, salicylic acid, and micronized sulfur.
Even if your canine is currently in great health, this shampoo is still an excellent option. It contains oatmeal and allantoin, which both help in hydrating the skin and will also aid in healing. What you won’t find in this formula are paraben, dye, and soap, making it completely healthy and risk-free for your dog. For what you get, this shampoo is priced quite affordably. You can save even more by purchasing it in bulk volumes up to 1 gallon.
2. Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo – Best Value
If you’re looking for a dog shampoo with all of the features found in expensive formulas but without the high cost, then we recommend trying the Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo. Considering the affordable price and excellent ingredients, we think it’s the best dog shampoo for Pitbulls for the money.
This shampoo is made with 97% natural ingredients, ensuring it’s healthy for your beloved Pitbull. You’ll notice it’s missing any harsh ingredients that could irritate your dog’s skin or coat, such as sulfates or colorants. It’s a pH-balanced formula made specifically for dogs that helps to avoid drying out their skin, which can easily cause redness, flakiness, and itchiness. Though it’s strong enough to keep your dog clean and fresh, it’s so gentle that it won’t wash off flea and tick treatments.
Using this shampoo feels a little different than working with other formulas because it doesn’t lather well. As such, we tended to use more of this product than others when washing our Pitbulls. However, it does leave behind a naturally fresh scent that’s not too strong or overbearing. Best of all, our Pitbulls’ coats were left soft and clean; exactly what we were hoping to see.
3. Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo – Premium Choice
A premium product with a matching price tag, the Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo was one of our favorite formulas, though the high price kept it from earning our top recommendation. It’s twice as expensive as other effective shampoos we’ve used on our Pitbulls, but this formula does have a lot to offer; especially if your dog is suffering from itchy, flaky, or sensitive skin.
Crafted with essential oils and other natural ingredients including oatmeal, tea tree oil, and d-limonene, this shampoo is made specifically to relieve your dog’s itchy skin. It washes away allergens, curing and preventing allergic reactions. It’s strong enough to provide instant relief for your dog, but also gentle enough that it won’t affect topical tick and flea treatments.
We found that this shampoo left our pooches smelling fresh, though the scent was very mild and none of our testers found it offensive. It worked great on all of our Pitbulls; even the ones with sensitive skin. If it weren’t for the price, this dog shampoo for Pitbulls might have been our top choice, but the expense certainly doesn’t take away from its effectiveness.
4. TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Dog Shampoo
The TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Dog Shampoo simplifies the washing process for your pooch by combining shampoo and conditioner into one product that only requires one application. It comes in a large 20-ounce bottle, though you can also purchase it in bulk sizes of up to two gallons, which should last you all year!
Designed to replenish your dog’s natural moisture balance, this shampoo contains natural ingredients like coconut, mango, kiwi, and papaya that work together to clean and relax tangled fur while nourishing dry skin and conditioning your dog’s coat. After washing your Pitbull with this product, you can expect it to smell fresh and clean while being far easier to brush since the tangles in your dog’s fur will be loose and relaxed.
One nice thing about this shampoo is that it’s gentle enough to be used on cats as well as dogs, making it ideal for multi-pet households. It also won’t interfere with flea and tick treatments since it’s a soap-free formula. However, it’s not a tear-free product, so you’ll have to be careful not to get it into your dog’s eyes. And since there’s no foil under the lid, leaks in shipping are quite common.
5. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo
Earthbath makes high-quality pet products that are crafted with natural and healthy ingredients. This particular formula contains oatmeal and aloe to soothe itchy and dry skin. It’s a two-in-one deal that includes both shampoo and conditioner. The Shampoo is soap-free and contains no DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates.
Gentle and effective, this shampoo and conditioner set will help keep your dog smelling good while maintaining hydrated, luxurious hair and skin. It won’t wash off topical flea and tick treatments and it is completely safe for any animals over the age of six weeks. While we like this product as a general shampoo, it’s prohibitively expensive compared to other options, so we would only use it for Pitbulls that are currently suffering from itchy, dry, red skin.
Unfortunately, these are poorly packaged products that often leak in shipping. Half of our shampoo was missing when we received it, which is quite disappointing when you’re spending this much. We also noticed that the conditioner causes a reaction in some sensitive dogs. Thankfully, it does come with a 100% money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied, you won’t be out of luck.
6. Healthy Breeds Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo
Specifically formulated for Pitbulls, we had high hopes for the Healthy Breeds Oatmeal and Aloe Dog Shampoo, but we were disappointed by its performance. It is pH balanced and hypoallergenic, which we think are great treats for any shampoo. However, at this high price, we need to see more than just a standard shampoo meant to aid itchy, dry skin. Products that cost half as much perform the same job, so it’s hard to recommend this shampoo when it seems so overpriced by comparison.
We also weren’t thrilled with the odor of this shampoo. Many of our testers felt that it smells like artificial pina colada. While some testers didn’t mind the scent, others were thoroughly turned off by it. For the testers that liked the fragrance, it didn’t last long enough to satisfy, though our other testers were glad it wore off so quickly.
In the end, we can’t recommend the Healthy Breeds Oatmeal and Aloe Dog Shampoo. It’s too expensive for what you get, especially when compared to other options that offer similar performance at less than half the price.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Dog Shampoo For Pitbulls
The truth is, finding dog shampoos for your Pitbull is easy. There are hundreds of choices on the market. It’s weeding through them to find the best ones that is difficult and time-consuming. Luckily, we’ve already done the hard work for you by testing out as many of these products as we could to determine which ones are worth your hard-earned money.
As you read our reviews, you might be wondering what we were comparing these products on. After all, finding the right shampoo is only half the battle. The other half of the battle is understanding what makes a particular product superior to another.
Through the process of testing so many canine shampoos, we’ve come to understand exactly what makes a dog shampoo great. Lucky for you, we’re about to share that knowledge in this buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll be able to compare dog shampoos for yourself to determine which one is best for your dog.
Choosing the Best Shampoo for Your Pitbull
There are many different traits you could compare dog shampoos on, but they don’t all carry equal importance. We’ve found that the following five traits are the most important when comparing these shampoos. Look for the dog shampoo that best meets your needs in each of these five categories and you’re sure to be satisfied with the product you pick.
Better ingredients, better… shampoo? Well, it works for just about anything. Whatever you put in is what you’ll get out. So, it stands to reason that a shampoo made with higher-quality ingredients will be a superior product than a shampoo made with budget-priced ingredients instead.
When it comes to ingredients, we prefer to keep things as natural as possible. Dyes, soaps, parabens, and other harsh chemicals aren’t our top choices. In fact, we try to look for shampoos that are devoid of such ingredients. Instead, look for dog shampoos that use natural ingredients like essential oils, fruits, oatmeal, and aloe.
Gentle, natural ingredients are less likely to damage your dog’s skin or coat. They’re also more likely to leave behind fresh scents that won’t be offensive to sensitive noses.
The last thing you want to bathe your dog with is a product that will dry out their skin and coat. Our favorite dog shampoos are all pH-balanced to avoid this. Furthermore, they contain ingredients that will do the opposite. After washing your dog with a good shampoo, its coat should be soft and shiny with supple skin underneath that’s not red, itchy, or flaky.
Look for dog shampoos that will heal itchy skin rather than create it. This means a pH-balanced formula that contains ingredients meant to soothe and heal skin, such as aloe or oatmeal.
One of the main reasons to wash your dog is that they tend to get a bit smelly after a while without a bath. But you don’t want to end up with a dog that smells strongly of any type of scent when you’re done. Still, you do want your dog to finish bathing with a fresh scent that will hopefully keep the natural dog smell at bay for several days.
We’ve used many dog shampoos that have harsh chemical odors. These tend to offend many sensitive noses and can make it difficult to be around your dog, even though you just washed them! We recommend searching for shampoos that have very mild scents and nothing artificial. Natural, subtle scents are our preference, and we find that they’re not offensive to almost anyone.
Flea and Tick Treatments
Some shampoos can aid in removing ticks, fleas, and other parasites and infections. This is, of course, only necessary if your dog is currently suffering from some type of similar infection. But even if your dog is currently flea-free, it’s important to get a shampoo that won’t wash off flea and tick treatments that you might use in the future. You don’t want to be working against yourself treating fleas and ticks just to wash the treatment off with each bath!
Even the expensive dog shampoos aren’t going to break your bank account. Still, some formulas cost several times more than others. While you do often get what you pay for, many affordable products offer exceptional quality, so you don’t need to opt for the most expensive shampoo. We suggest finding the shampoos that meet all of your requirements, then, narrowing them down further by price. Many of our favorite shampoos weren’t that expensive, so don’t gauge a product’s effectiveness by its price tag!
A simple internet search will make it obvious that there’s no shortage of canine shampoos to choose from. The question is, which product is best for your Pitbull? We’ve tested quite a few different formulas while writing these reviews, but after all was said and done, we settled on three that we can recommend with full confidence.
Our top recommendation is the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Dog Shampoo. It’s easy on your dog’s skin and coat while treating parasitic and bacterial infections. It will simultaneously hydrate your Pitbull’s skin while promoting healing and helping to keep your dog’s coat looking and smelling fresh.
For the best value, we recommend the Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo. It’s priced more affordably than similar products, though it still contains only quality ingredients that are 97% natural. This formula moisturizes and strengthens your dog’s hair to promote healthy growth but won’t wash off flea and tick treatments.
If you want a top-of-the-line premium product and don’t mind spending a bit more, we suggest the Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo. It’s made with essential oils and other natural ingredients to relieve itching and wash away allergens without affecting topical tick and flea treatments.
Featured Image Credit: Larissa Chilanti, Shutterstock