As pit bulls become more understood, more and more people are willing to adopt or buy a pit bull because they are friendly, sociable, good with children and loyal.
They may have difficulty finding information to help them properly look after their pit bulls because of the rumors surrounding them.
After the larger practical considerations such as space, people will start asking questions such as:
Do Pit Bulls Shed?
Pit bulls shed just like other dogs and haired mammals do. Despite all claims to the contrary, there is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t shed its coat. Even hairless dogs shed, but not a lot or often.
Why Do Pit Bulls Shed?
The primary reason a dog will shed is the same reason all mammals (including humans) shed: dead, old or damaged hair.
Therefore shedding depends on your dog’s age, health, and breed. Ignoring breed, all dogs can be split into two types:
- double-coated dogs – as one might expect, this coat has two layers. The undercoat is comprised of short hairs that are usually woolly; this coat’s purpose is to help protect the dog from extreme temperatures. The top layer is made of ‘guard hairs’. These are longer and help repel dirt and moisture. In general, the fluffier the dog, the more likely it is to be double-coated. Most terriers, sheepdogs, and retrievers.
- Single coated dogs – they lack the distinct undercoat of double-coated dogs. Some breeds may have a very thin undercoat but may be classed as single coated dogs. In general, the thinner a dog’s coat, the more likely it is to be single coated.
Pit bulls are single coated, short-haired dogs and as such are considered minimal to moderate shedders by most breeders and owners.
Some people may assume pit bulls don’t shed because their fur is short and fine, but as any dog owner can tell you shed fur is more noticeable on contrasting items.
A dark-furred breed’s shedding will be less noticeable on a dark carpet or clothes when compared to white hair.
How often a dog sheds does not depend on whether they are double-coated or single coated. But generally speaking, dogs with longer or silky coats shed more than dogs with short or coarse coats.
The next important factor in dog shedding is the changing of the seasons. This has nothing to do with the weather, but with the days getting longer or shorter.
As the days get shorter, fur sheds and a longer, thicker coat grows in; as days get longer, the winter coat sheds and the summer coat remains.
Their fur helps protect their skin from the sun, weather and environment. Most pit bull owners can expect their dog to shed twice a year.
The final primary factor is your dog’s health. As a rule of thumb, older dogs shed more than younger ones.
Dogs that have allergies or other illnesses are more likely to shed often. Pregnancy can also affect dog shedding.
Elements That Can Affect Your Pit Bulls Shedding
As expected, seasonal changes are the most well-known reason behind dog shedding, but it may also depend on the weather in general.
If you live in a colder place, then the chances are more likely that your pit bull will shed more often in an attempt to grow enough fur to regulate their body temperature.
If your pittie has been through recent uncomfortable events such as moving home, thunderstorms, training classes, or having new people or animals in their home, they may undergo stress shedding.
Along with panting, pacing and cowering, excessive shedding is a key sign that your dog is undergoing an anxious or stressful episode.
As with humans, stress can be a one-off event (fireworks) or an ongoing such (such as a new home).
It is also important to know that happy dogs can stress shed as well. This is because adrenaline is the hormone behind triggering the shed response.
Scientists don’t understand why adrenaline can lead to stress shedding or a dog blowing their coat, but it is well documented amongst all dog types.
Infestations of lice, mites, ticks, worms, or even certain type of fungal infections can irritate the skin and cause more shedding than normal.
If you notice rashes, bumps or scabs alongside the shedding you should take your pit bull to the vet.
Hormonal changes or allergies are another key factor in shedding. Pregnancy, entering into heat or allergies to new foods, medications, household cleaners, and grooming supplies could lead to shedding.
If your dog has been shedding more after introducing a new food or substance to the home, it may be the sign of an allergic reaction.
How Much Do Pit Bulls Shed?
Every dog is unique because they have different life experiences, different home, and different DNA.
What can be said is how often they shed and what you can expect. As we have mentioned before dogs shed all the time, and this is true for pit bulls as well.
They tend to shed the worst from late winter to early spring and late fall going into winter.
Be prepared for a lot of fur shed during these times.
How Do I Stop My Pit Bull From Shedding?
This cannot be overstated: you can’t stop any animal from shedding, and all dogs shed. You can, however, control their shedding to some extent.
The most important thing you can do is brush your dog’s hair frequently. Many sites recommend brushing your dog anywhere from once a week to once a day depending on the breed.
With pit bulls, you should aim to give them a thorough brushing once a week. If you know your dog tends to anxiety, allergies, or has just had a big change, provide them with a brushing more often.
You should bathe your pit bull regularly as well. There are several shampoos online and in pet stores that advertise as a shed reducer or a shed preventer.
The best thing to do is ask your vet to recommend a shampoo specifically to reduce shedding to find one that works.
Along with regular grooming, you should give your pit bull plenty of love and attention.
These dogs socialize very well with humans, so your new pit bull may likely suffer from separation anxiety for a short time.
Regardless of how long you’ve had your pit bull, you should give your dog as much love and attention as possible.
Any abrupt change in diet could lead to excess shedding, but this is part of the dog’s body adapting to the new food.
You should make sure to give your dog a nutritious diet rich in zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin A, biotin and the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. All of these vitamins and minerals can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and certain grains.
You can also buy them in supplements to add to your dog’s food, though getting them from the source as often as possible is best.
Note: dogs cannot be vegetarian or vegan. They are omnivores (or potentially carnivores). Dogs need to be able to eat meat.
Grooming Tools for Shedding Pit Bulls
While most brushes are adequate for brushing short-haired dogs, the best brushes for pit bulls and other short-haired dogs soft, short-bristled brushes.
You need to choose a pit bull shedding brush that doesn’t scratch your pit bull’s skin. When selecting the type of brush, it is essential to consider the style of the bristles.
The best brushes should help to remove loose fur without digging deep into the skin of your dog.
Pin brushes, bristle brushes, and glove brushes are advisable for pit bulls. Rubber is the preferred material as metal ones can scratch the skin.
As you will be brushing your pit bull often and want to give them the best experience possible, you should choose a brush with an ergonomic handle and easy to clean bristles.
Choosing bristles with round-tip pins will have the added benefit of giving your pit bull a light massage.
It is possible to buy a double-sided brush; one with bristles and one with pins. This would be an optimal brush because it is suitable for single and double-coated dogs with short or long hair.
The pin side would help remove tangles, and the bristles will help create a smooth, shiny coat for your pit bull.
You can also buy glove brushes. Many people prefer glove brushes because it allows them to pat and groom their dog together.
You will be able to feel any resistance or problems more quickly because there is no hard surface separating your hand from their fur. Glove brushes are low-stress, so perfect for anxious dogs.
Glove brushes usually come in mitten form with plastic, spaced-out teeth. They help remove loose fur and dead skin very easily.
Most glove brushes are great for pit bulls since they don’t dig too deep and can get rid of the surface hair.
We also think it’s good to have a bristle brush for deeper grooming as well, but glove brushes are excellent options.
How to Brush Effectively
Because brushing is so beneficial for your dog’s health, there are good ways and bad ways to go about brushing your dog.
We’ll list a few tips below for you to use on your pit bull.
- Make brushing a safe ritual. You want your pit bull to be safe relaxed and happy when you brush their fur, so pick a nice place for brushing to happen and give your dog a treat before brushing if they behave nicely beforehand.
- Be systematic. As part of the above, make sure to brush the same way each time. General advice says to start at the head and work your way down to the tail, though some professional groomers suggest doing the opposite. No matter which you choose, always follow the same pattern. It will be reassuring for your pit bull.
- Brush before you bathe. While this may not seem like a big point for pit bulls with their short hair, giving your dog a brush will still help relax them. It is also known that wet fur will make tangles hard to get out.
- Brush against the grain. Gently brush against the grain (usually from belly to back) to loosen hair and dead skin before brushing the fur more firmly from top to bottom. Finish off brushing your pit bull with a smooth cloth to help spread natural oils and give their coat a shine.
- Using oils. As you search online, you may come across websites recommending using essential oils, coconut oil, olive oil, or similar natural ingredients. Talk with your vet before using any, and use caution. Undiluted essential oils can easily irritate the skin, and some oils to be ingested (such as coconut oil) could cause allergic reactions.
While pit bulls may seem low maintenance and are low maintenance than other breeds, this does not mean that they don’t need regular grooming.
They need grooming just as much as any other dog, not only for keeping their coat clean, but because it enhances the bond between you and the pit bull.
Make brushing a soothing ritual for both you and your pit bull.