7 of the Best Dog Shampoo for Pitbulls (Top Brands in 2021)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Quick Picks

Best Shampoo for Pitbulls OverallVeterinary Formula Medicated Dog Shampoo
If you want the best solution to your dog’s persistent skin problems, this medicated dog shampoo has healing and moisturizing properties, preventing your pittie’s skin problems from coming back.

Best Anti-itch Shampoo: Pets Are Kids Too Anti-Itch Shampoo
Get rid of your pet’s itchy and flaky skin by using the Pets Are Kids Too Anti-Itch Shampoo. It nourishes the skin’s natural oils and alleviates any infections or itchiness.

Best Value for MoneyBurt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo
You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your dog’s skin healthy and itch-free. This affordable, tearless shampoo can free your little one from annoying skin irritations without draining your pocket.

Pitbulls have short fur and sensitive skin. You can’t just wash them with any old shampoo – you need to choose something that will cleanse, moisturize, and soothe their skin at the same time.

Using a generic product may result to your pooch experiencing discomfort, pain, and misery. But your pup doesn’t have to suffer, especially when it’s something you can control simply by choosing the best dog shampoo for pitbulls!

We’ve made a list of dog shampoo products made from all-natural ingredients with great cleansing and soothing properties.

Product Name
Best Shampoo for Pitbulls Overall
Best Anti-Itch Shampoo
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo, 16 oz – Paraben, Dye, Soap Free – Hydrating and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs
Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner In One! Smelly Puppy Dog & Cat Wash, Natural Ingredients! Relief For Allergies, Itchy, Dry, Irritated Skin!! Smells Amazing! (1 btl)
Burt's Bees Dog Shampoo for Puppies, 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Buttermilk and Linseed Oil, 16 Oz
Our grade
Our Rating 90/100
Our Rating 88/100
Our Rating 87/100
Feature 1
Has excellent moisturizing and hydrating properties
Hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin
Made with nourishing buttermilk and moisturizing linseed oil
Feature 2
Treats a variety of skin conditions
2-in-1 cleaning and conditioning formula
Gentle puppy formula that's easy on all skin types
Best Shampoo for Pitbulls Overall
Our ranking
Ranked #1
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Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo, 16 oz – Paraben, Dye, Soap Free – Hydrating and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs
Our grade
Our Rating 90/100
Feature 1
Has excellent moisturizing and hydrating properties
Feature 2
Treats a variety of skin conditions
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Anti-Itch Shampoo
Our ranking
Ranked #2
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Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner In One! Smelly Puppy Dog & Cat Wash, Natural Ingredients! Relief For Allergies, Itchy, Dry, Irritated Skin!! Smells Amazing! (1 btl)
Our grade
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin
Feature 2
2-in-1 cleaning and conditioning formula
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Burt's Bees Dog Shampoo for Puppies, 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Buttermilk and Linseed Oil, 16 Oz
Our grade
Our Rating 87/100
Feature 1
Made with nourishing buttermilk and moisturizing linseed oil
Feature 2
Gentle puppy formula that's easy on all skin types
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Sources researched
15
Sources researched
Customer reviews
11,265
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
9
Hours spent testing
Products tested
7
Products tested

Pitbull Coat Care: Everything You Need to Know 

Pitbull Coat Characteristics

Single-Layer Coat 

Pitbulls have a single-layer coat. Your dog’s coat is likely to be fine, thin, and close to the skin. And while this makes it quite a lot easier to groom a Pitbull than dogs with a double coat, they can still shed a lot, especially if they’re not groomed as they should be.

But you don’t need to spend an excessive amount of time grooming or bathing your Pitbull, though. What’s important is that you keep their fur clean and properly nourished. 

Very Short Fur 

Pitbulls have short fur which makes it easy for their skin to get aggravated when exposed to the elements. Sun exposure can easily lead to sunburn and dry skin. And too much wind exposure can cause windburn. This is why skin infections are not uncommon in a Pitbull. 

For this reason, the best shampoos for Pitbulls should have both cleansing and moisturizing properties. Ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil are great for cleaning your dog’s fur and keeping their skin hydrated.

Most Common Pitbull Skin Problems 

Skin Allergies 

Allergies can develop suddenly, and for no apparent reason. It could be as a reaction to their dog food or an environmental stimulus. If your Pitbull has developed skin allergies suddenly, you definitely want to be extra careful. 

Sunburn 

Your Pitbull can be susceptible to getting sunburned because his skin is too close to the surface of his coat and there isn’t enough protection. If you want to take care of your Pitbull’s exposed skin from the start, get them the best shampoo for Pitbulls, which protects, nourishes, and cleanses. 

Infections 

Skin infections can also be common in a Pitbull. They can happen when your pup’s skin is no longer pH balanced. A medicated shampoo could help alleviate symptoms and prevent irritations from turning into infections. 

Dry, Itchy Skin 

If the natural oils of your pup’s skin are diminished, their skin can become dry, brittle, flaky, and itchy. Shampoos for Pitbulls are generally designed to reduce itching and dryness, unlike general dog shampoos that are focused only on cleansing. 


Things to Look for in the Best Shampoo for Pitbulls 

Targeted Formulation 

You can buy a generic dog shampoo and use it on your Pitbull. But because they tend to struggle with their coat and skin health, the best shampoo for a Pitbull will be one with a targeted formulation. 

That means choosing the best shampoo for Pitbull health issues. If your pup’s skin is sensitive, you’ll need a sensitive skin formula. If he or she struggles with itching, get a pet shampoo created to alleviate it. 

If your dog’s problems are severe, a medicated shampoo could be the answer. We recommend Veterinary Formula Medicated Dog Shampoo. You don’t need to go for a breed-specific Pitbull shampoo, but it should definitely be targeted towards your dog’s particular condition. 

Hypoallergenic 

Hypoallergenic is a buzzword. But what it means is that there are no added dyes or artificial fragrances in the shampoo. One of the best things you can do for a Pitbull with sensitivities is choose a shampoo that’s pH balanced and free from chemicals and artificial ingredients. 

All-natural dog shampoos are just about the same as hypoallergenic dog shampoos. They’re meant to prevent aggravating allergies. Shampoos like Veterinary Formula Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo are created with allergy reduction in mind. 

Moisturizing 

The best dog shampoos don’t just cleanse. They moisturize both the coat and skin, too. This is more important in certain breeds than others. It’s essential that Pitbull shampoo has this quality because your dog’s skin is exposed to the elements and can become dry and crusty easily. A moisturizing shampoo for dogs with short fur is necessary to keep them as healthy as possible. 

Natural Ingredients 

Whether you’re buying a shampoo for Pitbull puppy, adult, or senior dogs, it should be made of natural ingredients.Burt's Bees for Dogs Shampoo & Conditioner is a  great example of an all-natural and wholesome product.

Some common ingredients include oatmeal and aloe, almond oil, coconut oil, botanical or herbal extractions, and essential oils. Make sure the recipe is soap-free, dye-free, and paraben-free, too. 

Make sure there are no artificial ingredients, especially fragrances and colors. Anything chemical or synthetic could be harsh on your dog’s body and should be avoided. If it’s not natural, it shouldn’t be in shampoo for dogs! 

Easy to Rinse 

This may sound silly. But you need a shampoo that won’t be difficult to rinse out of your dog’s coat. The best dog shampoos will work up to a nice lather. But if it’s hard to rinse out, you’re going to have an unhappy Pitbull on your hands! 

What is the Best Dog Shampoo for Pitbulls?

  1. Best shampoo for Pitbull overall: Veterinary Formula Medicated Dog Shampoo
  2. Best anti-itch shampoo: Pets Are Kids Too Anti-Itch Shampoo
  3. Best for extra sensitive pitbulls: Veterinary Formula Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
  4. Best value for money: Burt's Bees for Dogs Shampoo & Conditioner
  5. Best deodorizing shampoo: Honeydew Natural Dog Shampoo
  6. Best tearless shampoo: K9 Pro Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
  7. Best breed-specific shampoo: Healthy Breeds Dog Shampoo for Pitbull

1. Veterinary Formula Medicated Dog Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Pitbull Overall: Fast acting and gentle healing shampoo with antifungal, antiseborrheic, and antiparasitic

PROS

  • Treats a variety of skin conditions 
  • Has both moisturizing and hydrating properties
  • Paraben, dye, and soap-free 
  • pH balanced shampoo

Veterinary Formula Medicated Dog Shampoo is a vet recommended dog shampoo which can treat a variety of skin conditions while keeping your Pitbull clean and deodorized. 

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Sensitive Skin Shampoo for Pitbull Dogs 

This dog shampoo is antiparasitic, antiseborrheic, and antifungal – all these properties make this shampoo a great solution to whatever skin problem your dog may have.  

It can be used to reduce itchiness, moisturize the skin and coats with mange, and heal fungal and bacterial infections. It can also soothe dry and flaky skin which is caused by seborrhea, yeast infections, and allergies.

2. Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Best Anti-Itch Shampoo: Made from all-natural ingredients that relieve itch and helps to heal dry, flaky skin

PROS

  • 2-in-1 cleaning and conditioning formula 
  • Hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin
  • Refreshing oatmeal cookie scent 
  • Amazing Anti-fungal properties

This dog shampoo is made to relieve itching caused by dry and flaky skin. If your Pitbull is constantly scratching, Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Dog Shampoo may have the key ingredient that’s right for them. 

It’s hypoallergenic, anti-fungal, and soap-free, so you can guarantee it doesn’t have any substance that could aggravate your dog’s skin and coat.

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Plant-Derived Ingredients Soothe Irritated Skin 

Itchy skin can be a result of irritations, infections, or a medical condition. This high-quality natural pet shampoo uses plant-based ingredients like baking soda, oatmeal, and aloe vera which work together to combat those issues

These healthy ingredients nourish the natural oils of your dog’s coat, alleviating itchy skin. We recommend this shampoo for your Pitbull if they struggle with hot spots and itchy skin. 

3. Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo

Best Value for Money: Affordable dog shampoo that has buttermilk for soothing and softening your dog’s skin and coat

PROS

  • Gentle puppy formula that’s easy on all skin types 
  • Made with nourishing buttermilk and moisturizing linseed oil 
  • pH balanced and mild on the skin
  • No sulfates, fragrances, or colorants

Burt's Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo is a puppy-specific shampoo but it’s suitable for all Pitbulls, especially dogs with sensitive skin. It’s all-natural, tearless formula is safe and soft on the skin. 

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A puppy formula is made to be gentle on the skin and coat. That makes this quite suitable for a Pitbull puppy and older dogs to use. This is Burt’s Bees’ combination of shampoo and conditioner, and is a tear-free formula containing useful natural ingredients. 

It includes buttermilk, which nourishes both the coat and the skin. It also has linseed oil, which moisturizes and conditions the coat. Honey has antibacterial and antibiotic properties which make it a great inclusion in a grooming shampoo.

4. Veterinary Formula Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo

Best for Extra Sensitive Pitbulls: Mild, tearless, hypoallergenic formula that gently heals and soothes your dog’s irritated skin

PROS

  • Reduces risk of skin allergies
  • Added vitamin E for skin and coat health 
  • pH balanced formula
  • Can be used with flea and tick treatment

This hypoallergenic dog shampoo is intended for Pitties who have sensitive skin and tend to struggle with allergies. 

It’s a vet recommended shampoo that addresses most dermatological concerns in dogs and it’s great for all dog breeds – even the most skin-sensitive ones!

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Hypoallergenic Formula 

This dog shampoo is filled with natural ingredients that are gentle on the body. There are no harsh chemicals, dyes, parabens, or artificial fragrances in it that could aggravate your Pitbull’s skin. 

It contains helpful ingredients like vitamin E, which is a great nourishing and moisturizing ingredient. Allantoin is an effective moisturizer, and the addition of lactic acid helps to kill bacteria.

5. Honeydew Natural Dog Shampoo

Best Deodorizing Shampoo: Combines the fragrant and soothing powers of lavander and oatmeal in one shampoo bottle

PROS

  • Colloidal oatmeal formula 
  • Cleansing and moisturizing shampoo 
  • Eliminates odor and adds refreshing scent that lasts
  • Safe and gentle natural ingredients 

Honeydew Natural Dog Shampoo is a great deodorizing shampoo for Pitbulls because of its all-natural ingredient formulation, moisturizing properties, and pleasant scent.

It’s gentle enough to use on puppies (over 12 weeks), adults, and senior Pitbulls. 

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Moisturizing and Deodorizing 

This dog shampoo is formulated using all-natural ingredients which are gentle on your Pitbull’s skin, coat, and natural oils. Oatmeal, one of its major ingredients, is a great cleansing agent.

Plus, the addition of lavender essential oils makes this both a cleansing and moisturizing shampoo. Lavender essential oils help to break down dirt and remove odor-causing bacteria.

It’s cruelty-free, vegan, and suitable for all dogs and all ages, which is perfect if you’re a multi-dog family.

6. K9 Pro Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Best Tear-free Shampoo: Hydrates, moisturizes, and relieves itchy skin without irritating your dog’s eyes

PROS

  • Contains natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and cucumber 
  • Hypoallergenic and soap-free 
  • Has a pleasant, refreshing scent 
  • Contains Nano Liposome particles to facilitate absorption

K9 Pro Oatmeal Dog Shampoo cleans, moisturizes, and conditions your dog’s skin and coat without causing discomfort in the eyes.

Also, your dog will have a subtle scent of cucumber and melon every after bath – something you and your pet will both love.

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Shampoo for Sensitive Skin 

Pitties have thin fur. Their skin is more exposed to the elements and they can be a little more sensitive compared to other dogs. 

This shampoo is hypoallergenic, natural, and free from dangerous ingredients like chemicals, soap, and dyes. The oatmeal aloe shampoo recipe cleanses, reduces itching, and gives the coat a shine. 

7. Healthy Breeds Dog Shampoo for Pitbull

Best Breed-specific Shampoo: Luxurious shampoo that is specifically formulated for Pitbull skin and coat

PROS

  • Made specifically for the Pitbull breed 
  • Oatmeal and aloe shampoo with added healthy ingredients 
  • No harsh chemicals added 
  • Can be used full-strength or diluted 

If you’re looking for a shampoo specifically formulated for a pitbull’s skin and coat, this high-quality Healthy Breeds Dog Shampoo for Pitbull should soothe irritated skin and nourish fur. 

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Targeted Pitbull Shampoo 

Healthy Breeds has created this oatmeal shampoo for Pitbulls specifically. The natural ingredients include calendula, cactus, chamomile, oatmeal, and aloe vera. 

It’s formulated to soothe and heal your dog’s coat and dry skin. You can use this Healthy Breeds oatmeal shampoo on your Pitbull without worrying about ruining topical flea and tick treatments.


5 Tips for Bathing a Pitbull 

1. Tire Him Out Before Bathing 

There’s nothing harder than trying to bathe a hyperactive dog! Pitbulls are known to be bouncy, so if you have the time, it’s advisable to try and tire him out before bath time. Take a quick romp around the yard, take him for a run, or battle over his favorite chew toy

When he’s good and worn out, that’s when you can take him in for his bath. Chances are he’ll be happier to sit and relax and let you wash him without fighting with you or getting boisterous. We recommend choosing a bath time that allows you some time beforehand to do this. 

2. Brush Before Bathing 

Even though a Pitbull doesn’t have long fur that can get matted or knotted, brushing him before bathing him can get rid of loose hair that would otherwise fall off and lie around the house or gather on your furniture. 

You don’t need to spend 30 minutes vigorously brushing before you get to the bath. Just a quick but thorough brush can make sure that all loose hair ends up going down the drain instead of floating around the house! 

3. Wet Him Properly Before Applying Shampoo 

Don’t do half a job of getting your Pitbull wet before you lather him in shampoo. If he isn’t properly wet, there’s a chance that the shampoo may aggravate dry patches or hot spots. 

Make sure that your dog is well and truly wet before getting shampoo on him. If there are particular patches that are more dry or itchy than others, wet them extra before rubbing shampoo on them. 

If you want to use a dry shampoo, you don’t need your dog to be wet. But they’re a very specifically created formula, and they’re usually only recommended for emergencies. 

4. Dry Sensitive Skin Carefully 

If your dog has dry patches, itchy areas, or hot spots, you’ll need to be extra careful when drying them off. Use a soft towel if possible, and try not to rub too vigorously, otherwise you may aggravate sore and itchy areas. 

There’s no use using the best shampoo for sensitive dogs if you’re going to go and cause discomfort by rubbing him hard with a rough towel! In the same vein, be careful using a blow dryer on dogs who have dry or sore patches, especially if they’ve suffered from sunburn in the past. 

5. Bathe Once Every Two Months Only! 

There is absolutely no need to bathe your dog more than once every two months. If bathed too often, their natural oils can be thrown out of whack, leaving them open to developing allergies or itchy conditions. 

It’s a good idea to keep a dry shampoo around the house in case your dog rolls in something and needs a quick clean. But give him or her a full bath every two months or so.


Questions & Answers

Q: Can I Use My Own Shampoo and Conditioner On My Pitbull?

A: No. Human shampoo is not formulated to be suitable for a dog’s body to absorb, so it’s best to stick to natural, cleansing canine products, like oatmeal  dog shampoo. 

Your dog has different oils, germs, and bacteria on their body than you do. Human products cater for us, and while you can always use it once or twice when there’s a shampoo emergency, we recommend you make sure there’s proper dog shampoo in the house at all  times. 

For dogs as sensitive as Pitbulls, using human products can aggravate allergies and cause worse problems.

Q: How Can I Make My Pitbull Smell Better? 

A: One way to make your dog smell better is to use a deodorized shampoo. These shampoos have a pleasant but not overpowering scent to them. Many shampoos are scented naturally, and that’s the way we prefer it. 

Ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera are common in shampoos but don’t necessarily have a scent. You may find ingredients such as lavender, chamomile, or almond oil have a slight scent to them, but most often the shampoo bottle will indicate if the shampoo is scented. 

For emergencies, we suggest buying a dry shampoo that you can use when your dog needs a quick clean. Try to find a dry shampoo that also contains great ingredients, though! Oatmeal is very cleansing, and aloe vera is soothing and hydrating.

Q: How Can I Make My Pitbull’s Coat Shiny? 

A: One of the most important things for a shiny coat is making sure your dog is eating a dog food rich in Omega fatty acids. But in terms of shampoo, ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil, and other healthy oils or fats do wonders for the coat.

There are pros and cons to feeding your dog a diet high in Omegas. Too much of it can cause diarrhea, so you’ll need to strike the perfect balance, otherwise you won’t see a change in their coat.

If you don’t want to change your dog’s food, you can buy a fish oil or Omega fatty acid supplement to feed them between meals. 

If you’ve tried everything and your dog’s coat is still dull and brittle, it may be worth visiting the vet for a checkup. It’s possible that there’s an underlying condition that a bottle of oatmeal or aloe shampoo can’t fix!

The best way to make your Pitbull’s coat look shiny is to take great care of him or her! The right food and shampoo are essential, but remember, he or she needs plenty of love too!

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.