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How Often Should You Bathe a Pitbull? Facts & FAQ

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

pitbull taking a bath

Pitbulls have short hair and a weather-resistant coat. Their fur naturally stays pretty clean, especially if you brush it regularly. Proper brushing helps remove the dirt and dust from the dog’s coat and spreads around the dog’s natural oils. A brushing routine can go a long way to keeping your Pitbull’s coat clean.

With that said, you’ll still need to bathe your Pitbull every 6 months or so. A bath will help prevent dirt and grime from building up.

You may need to bathe your dog even more than this, though. Pitbulls tend to be pretty active, which can easily get messy. Your Pitbull may roll in the mud or decide to have a dust bath. Either way, you’ll want to bathe these messy dogs before allowing them to run around your house.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to only bathing your dog once every 6 months. We don’t recommend bathing your Pitbull more than once a month, if possible, either. Too many baths can lead to dry skin, which can cause all sorts of shedding and skin problems.

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Can I Bathe My Pitbull Once a Week?

We don’t recommend bathing your Pitbull once a week (or even more than once a month). Dogs have different skin than humans. Often, their skin doesn’t react well to being washed regularly. Even with a gentle shampoo, your dog’s skin can easily dry after weekly baths.

Dry skin may seem like a small problem. However, it can lead to serious issues down the road. Firstly, dry skin can harm the integrity of your dog’s coat, leading to excessive shedding and even thinning.

Secondly, dry skin is irritating for many dogs. Your canine may lick or chew the areas of dry skin, which only irritates the areas more. Eventually, this may lead to sores. If the chewing and licking continue, these sores won’t heal and may get infected. Many dogs end up with infections due to excessive licking and chewing.

A Pitbull’s coat does a good job of keeping itself clean. Most Pitbulls don’t need a bath frequently and bathing them more often isn’t necessarily good.

A brown American Pitbull standing on the road
Image Credit: KruBeer Photo, Shutterstock

What Should I Wash My Pitbull with?

We highly recommend washing your Pitbull with gentle dog shampoo. Never wash your dog with soap made for people. Dogs and humans have different skin pH levels. Therefore, a soap that works for one won’t work for the other. A single bath with human shampoo may be okay, but it can seriously upset your dog’s pH balance if done more than once.

Even if your Pitbull doesn’t have sensitive skin, a shampoo designed for sensitive skin is often best. It isn’t odd for a dog’s skin to become irritated after a bath, and gentle shampoo can prevent this.

You should only consider a different shampoo if your dog has an underlying problem you’re trying to fix, such as a fungal infection. In this case, you should prioritize getting the correct shampoo for their needs (preferably by working with your veterinarian).

Your Pitbull won’t have long fur so they won’t need conditioner. Still, using a shampoo and conditioner combo won’t hurt, especially if it checks all the other boxes.

pitbull taking a bath
Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

How Can I Make My Pitbull Smell Better?

If your Pitbull is stinky, your first thought may be to bathe them. However, this isn’t necessarily recommended. Baths rarely make dogs smell better for long unless they’ve rolled in something stinky, which usually isn’t the case. Instead, you can make your canine smell a bit fresher in several other ways.

Firstly, feed your dog the highest quality of food you can afford. Cheaper foods often have fillers and lower-quality nutrients. These can affect your dog’s health and even make them smell worse. Brushing your Pitbull will remove most of the dirt and dust from its coat. It also spreads their natural oils around, which helps keep them clean. If it’s debris that is making your dog smell bad, try brushing them first.

Wash your dog’s bedding, and anywhere they tend to lay. Often, the bedding gets smelly and then rubs off on your canine. If your dog uses their bed often, you should wash it at least once a week.

Fungal and bacterial infections can make your dog smelly. For instance, ear infections often have a very particular smell. Visiting the vet may be in order if your dog suddenly seems very smelly. A bath may worsen these conditions, which is one reason we don’t necessarily recommend jumping into a bath immediately.

Don’t forget to brush your dog’s teeth, too. If your dog has smelly breath, it is a sign that their mouth isn’t clean. If your dog’s breath is suddenly very smelly, it may indicate an infection.

blue fawn pitbull eatin dry kibble from a bowl
Image Credit: Roberto Cabrera Castro, Shutterstock

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Do Pitbulls Feel Better After a Bath?

Pitbulls may feel better after a bath. Often, baths remove dirt and debris, including potential irritants and allergens. However, baths can also make Pitbulls feel worse as baths can have a drying effect. Many dogs may have drier skin after a bath, which can cause itchiness and discomfort.

Baths don’t always make dogs feel better. We don’t recommend bathing your dog solely to try and make them feel better, as this isn’t a guarantee. Instead, you should bathe your dog when they are obviously dirty or around every 6 months—whichever comes first.

A brushing session can also remove dust and allergens from your dog’s coat. Brushing won’t irritate your dog’s skin the same way baths will, so it is often a better way to handle a dusty dog.

pitbull dog with leash lying indoor
Image Credit: Andrew P Attilio, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

You should bathe your Pitbull about every 6 months. Unlike us, dogs don’t need that many baths. Pitbulls have weather-resistant coats that do a good job of staying clean. Regular brushing can remove most of the dirt and grime from your dog’s coat, eliminating the need for frequent bathing.

The only exception to this is for dogs with skin problems or parasites like fleas. These dogs may need baths more often until they are healed. Talk with your vet about how often to bathe your Pitbull if they have one of these conditions.


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