As a Pitbull owner, you always want to help your Pitbull achieve that healthy-looking, shiny and beautiful coat that can only be achieved by proper grooming and care, but you don’t know how to groom your Pitbull? In this post, I’ll be carefully going through everything you need to know about Pitbull grooming.
There are specific steps and tips you must note when grooming a pitbull, such as the essential supplies you’d need, basic steps you mustn’t skip, precautions that must be followed to ensure you don’t harm your dog in the grooming process, tips and tricks that are sure to guarantee success and make the experience truly a pleasant one
Do Pitbulls need to be groomed?
Like every other dog breed, Pitbulls need to be groomed and cared for regularly. However, Pitbull hair is very low maintenance and not naturally odoriferous and, as such, allows for less frequent brushing and only takes up short bath time.
How to Groom a Pitbull?
Before you begin grooming your American Pitbull Terrier, to achieve that shiny coat that would make your Pitbull stand out, you need to understand that it all starts from the inside.
On the inside, I mean proper nutrition and a healthy diet. The truth is that no grooming amount can make your Pitbull look healthy if it isn’t feeding well or feeding on the right things.
Your dog’s diet must be enriched with protein, nutrients, and essential fatty acids, as regular consumption of these would allow your dog’s coat flourish when accompanied with regular grooming.
Essential supplies to get before you begin grooming your pit bull
You’re a step closer to success when you know the particular tools and necessary equipment that you need. Supplies such as:
- Cotton balls (for your dog’s ear)
- A bristle brush
- A gentle pet shampoo (do not use regular human shampoo)
- A pair of nail clippers
- Baby wipes
- Coat conditioner
- Ear cleaner
- Styptic powder (for any cuts and injuries that may occur during grooming)
Precautions to take when grooming your pit bull
Before you groom your Pitbull, it’s important to size your work up, know what you’re dealing with, and how much work is involved. It’s important to note the delicate parts of your pitbull to know where you should be tender with, where you shouldn’t scrub too hard, and where you shouldn’t allow getting wet.
For example, ear care is a part of grooming that must be approached with great care and caution because some Pitbulls have cropped ears that are at a higher risk of getting infected. Hence, it is crucial to ensure that water, tiny debris, and stones don’t fall into your dog’s ear canal as you groom it.
This is why it is important that you do not allow water to get into your dog’s ears and why you’d rather use a large cotton ball to swab your pitbull’s ears clean.
Instead of using water, you should make use of ear cleaners as they help clean up debris and change the Ph level of your dog’s ear so that it isn’t susceptible to infections and the colonization of bacteria, and fungi.
To use an ear cleaner, you pour the solution into your dog’s ear canal, fill it up, and then carefully use your thumb to massage the insides for a couple of seconds.
Use a large cotton ball (ensure you use enough, so it doesn’t fall into your dog’s ear canal) to swab off any dirt, earwax, or moisture. Ear infections can be very harmful in pit bulls ; this is because the symptoms don’t show up until it has become severe.
Symptoms of ear infections include inflammation of the ear, tilting, scratching or shaking of the head, the pungent odor coming from the ear canal, heavy buildup of earwax, and your dog crying or yelping when you try to touch its ears.
If you believe your Pitbull is suffering from an ear infection, it is advisable to contact a vet immediately.
Steps involved in grooming your pitbull
It is important to brush your Pitbull regularly in between grooming day, as doing this at least once a week would help maintain a healthy coat.
To do this, you should make use of a good brush then gently but firmly, brush your dog’s coat in a circular rhythm as this would help to remove shed hair, stimulate the production of natural oils from the skin and also stimulate the growth of new hairs from the hair follicles.
Frequent brushing would ensure the dead and dull-looking hair shed off, while new, glossy and healthy-looking ones emerge. Also, choosing the perfect brush for your Pitbull is almost as important as giving it the right diet.
You see, when you use a brush that isn’t suitable for your dog, you might end up hurting and causing a whole lot of damage to its skin. It’s important to note that a suitable brush suitable for a long-haired breed might not be ideal for your short-haired Pitbull.
You want one that is tender on your dog’s skin while also doing an excellent job of taking off shed hair, and effectively distributing and stimulating natural oil production. Examples of brushes you can use for your dog’s coat include bristle brush, slicker brush and curry brush (because they are made from rubber and wouldn’t hurt your pet’s skin).
2. Facial hairs and toenails:
Pitbulls are generally known for their long whiskers. When grooming your dog, you might need to cut off its whiskers and any other excessively long facial hairs, however, you must ensure that you do not cut them too short as whiskers help your dog with navigating directions and sniffing.
Cutting your pitbull’s whiskers too short might result in a disoriented dog that is constantly bumping into things and can even cause your dog to be frightened.
It would be best if you also cut your pit bull’s toe nails as this tends to grow very long and curl up in itself. Leaving your dog’s toenails unclipped would cause it to be a site for specks of dirt and germs to take harbor; it could also dig into your dog’s paws and cause cuts and injuries even cause your dog to hurt others when playing.
It is important that you get your dog accustomed to clipping sections from when it is still a puppy, as this would allow your Pitbull get used to it and wouldn’t make much fuss when it gets older and more muscular.
Bathing a Pitbull can be a very tricky task because Pitbulls tend to be more stubborn and playful, and never like to stay in a particular spot for too long.
This is why most dog owners advise that you fix bath time after you must have taken your dog on an exhausting walk or a strenuous exercise as this would help tire your dog out and allow him corporate more.
After you must have brushed off any visible dirt that must have adsorbed to your dog’s coat, you can now wet your dog with water, ensuring to keep its eyes and ears dry. Ensure the water’s temperature is not too cold and not too hot, but just warm enough that it is comforting for your dog.
The next step is the shampoo, ensure you use one that is safe and free of pesticides and chemicals that can harm your dog’s skin. Most human shampoos contain ingredients and fragrances that might cause allergic reactions to your pitbull’s coat, so do not use them.
Here is a review of Best Dog Shampoos for Pitbulls I’ve written (opens in new tab)
Other ingredients to avoid in shampoo include coal tar, alcohol, and sulfur-based additives. Ensure to wash off the shampoo well using enough warm water and follow-up with a coat conditioner, as this would help achieve a glossy coat.
4. Brush your pitbull’s teeth:
You must brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week to prevent bacterial infection in your pet’s gum and eliminate bad breath and heavy tartar buildup . You would need a canine toothbrush suitable for your dog’s size and a safe canine toothpaste.
Ensure you do not use human toothpaste as this can be poisonous for your dog, mainly if it contains substances like baking soda and fluoride. To brush your pitbull’s teeth, you would need to use your fingers to gently raise your pet’s lips to show its teeth while brushing gently in a circular motion.
Ensure you do not brush your dog’s gum to prevent harming it. Understand that you only need to brush your dog’s outer teeth as dogs tend to use their tongue to clean their mouth and inner teeth.
Tips that would help when grooming your Pitbull
- Start grooming your dog at an early age: Dogs are creatures of habits and consistent patterns and act well-behaved and calmly as they get used to the activity. Hence, it is best to start grooming when your Pitbull is still very young and get used to the routine at early age.
- Be gentle: Grooming can be stressful and exhausting for your dog as it is for you. Hence you would want to be gentle and patient with your dog.Remember, you’re the one in charge and how well a grooming section goes is highly dependent on you. Your dog can read your mood, so you don’t want to show that you’re unsure or anxious, instead be steady and sure and try to calm your dog as well.You also want to read your dog’s body language to tell if he’s getting aggressive, know when to back down, and give your dog a little space before you continue again.
Dogs have an excellent memory and tend to link different feelings to different activities. For example, they know that walks are fun, so they look forward to it, this is why you might have noticed your dog bringing its walking gears to you at a time that coincides with the exact time you take it for a walk.
Hence, you don’t want your dog to associate grooming time with pain or discomfort, as this would happen when you continuously make mistakes like brushing your dog too hard or using cold water that would cause your dog to shiver or letting shampoo get into its eyes.
Also, keep treats handy and generously offer you Pitbull as soon as you’re done grooming it as this would give your dog something to look forward to.
If you want further information on grooming your pitbull, you might want to check my previous post on How often I should bathe my Pitbull?