Bathing and Grooming a Pit Bull Puppy

The sooner you get a Pit Bull puppy used to grooming and nail trimming the better.


Q. How often should I shower my Pit Bull puppy? I also want to know how to trim his nails. Is it necessary? If so, how do I do it correctly?

A. Pit Bulls like to be clean and luckily they are wash-and-wear dogs. You can shower your Pit Bull as often as you like as long as you are using a mild pet shampoo and rinsing him thoroughly. I hope I’m not getting too personal here but I trust you are either showering with him or using an attachment in the tub or sink, not hosing him down outdoors as the water would probably be unpleasantly cold for your pet.

The sooner you get your Pit Bull puppy used to nail trimming the better. Actually, it should have been introduced as soon as you brought him home. It is necessary because overgrown nails can deform the foot, dig into the footpads, and sometimes break off, causing pain and infection. Start desensitizing him by handling his paws every single day.

To make this chore easier, I would invest in a grooming table and also enlist the help of a partner who can stand at his front end and gently hold his head as you lean your back against his rear end and gently lift each paw toward you as if you are shoeing a horse. Just clip the tip of each nail; don’t take a chance of cutting the quick, the vein inside, causing pain and bleeding. Use pliers-type nail clippers and have some styptic powder on hand just in case you should ever nick a nail. It’s not a catastrophe but it will be easier on you and your pet if you avoid it.

I prefer to work fast, being calm and matter-of-fact as if this procedure is not a big deal. When you move up to the front nails, again cup the paw in your palm and trim only the tips as your helper talks reassuringly to your pet. Some Pit Bull owners prefer to grind the nail tips down with a dremel tool. Either way, nail trimming should be done weekly to make sure your brawny buddy does not take offense and declare his nails off limits. These dogs sometimes take nail trimming as an act of dominance on our part so it’s wise to get them used to it, early and often. You don’t want to be faced with the unpleasant and costly scenario of having to put dog put under anesthesia at the vet’s every time he needs a pedicure.


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Adam   IL, Illinois

1/4/2015 8:19:41 PM

To Joe in Albany. Do not listen to Z. Pits are not supposed to be bathed frequently unless they get themselves dirty by rolling in dirt or mud, or get other filth on them. The best thing with a Pitty is to brush them everyday or at least every other. It gets rid of the dead fur which may be what smells. If need be by a nice dry shampoo. Its a spray on shampoo than you spray on and just towel off. If your dog gets wet alot and especially when your not brushing to remove the dead fur they can start to stink a bit. DO NOT bathe your pit once a month.

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bill   burton, Michigan

11/9/2013 9:08:37 AM

my daughters pit bull smells awful the dog is about four years old what can she do to stop this

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Z   Omaha, Nebraska

5/1/2013 1:56:21 AM

To Joe in Albany: Your pit puppy doesn't smell because of the dog food. Every dog is different as are people. Give your puppy a bath once a week and see how he smells and than you can determine after that how often to bathe your puppy! :)

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P   Plattsmouth, Nebraska

5/1/2013 1:47:49 AM

I have a pitbull almost 3. yrs old and he hates his toenails being touched, so fortget about clipping them. You will definitely have a new face!!!!!!!!!!!! He has to be muzzled @ the vets and yes it does cost more!! Wish I would have known sooner to touch his paws more often as a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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