Pit Bull shedding can leave many owners stumped, so how do you stop Pit Bull shedding? You might think that one bonus of owning a Pit Bull is that you don’t need to deal with the masses of dead hair that German Shepherd and Husky owners have to put up with, but that doesn’t mean that a house can’t quickly become covered in Pit Bull fur.
But how does one manage Pit Bull shedding to keep it minimal? Why do Pit Bulls shed and what can we do if they are shedding excessively?
Pit Bull Shedding: How much do Pit Bulls shed?
Pit Bulls shed moderately throughout the year, and may shed a bit more when the seasons change. Although they don’t shed as heavily as dogs with a double coat, they still do shed enough to be noticeable. It can even be problematic for those that hate having dog hair on their clothes or who happen to be allergic.
They tend to shed most from late winter to early spring and from late fall to early winter. At this stage, if left untouched, their short little hairs can get everywhere.
Why do Pit Bulls shed?
A Pit Bull will shed naturally throughout the year, however, excessive shedding can be a sign of something more serious going on.
Dogs from cold climates like Huskies usually have a thick undercoat for insulation, and an overcoat to keep themselves weatherproof. As the days get longer and the summer months start, their brains will secrete less melatonin and they will start to shed their undercoat to adjust to the warmer summer months.
However, Pit Bulls only have a single short coat, so they will not shed as much with the changing seasons. However, Pit Bulls shed constantly to remove damaged or dead hair from their coat, exactly like shedding dead skin cells.
Why is my Pit Bull shedding excessively?
Sometimes excessive shedding can be caused by underlying factors. For instance, a bad diet can mean that a dog doesn’t have healthy hair follicles, and so will shed more. A lot of commercial dog food is extremely highly-processed and contains fillers such as corn that are difficult for your Pit Bull to digest. This can cause dry skin and cause excessive shedding.
This is particularly true for dilute Pit Bulls, such as bluePitties, who are already prone to skin and food sensitivities. Allergies and conditions such as atopic dermatitis can exacerbate dry skin and shedding.
Dry dog food also contains less moisture than a nutritionally balanced raw meal, so it promotes dehydration. A dehydrated dog will always shed more than one that is properly hydrated, as moisture is essential for healthy skin and hair follicles.
Always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated. Older Pit Bulls will also shed more. As they age, the life-cycle of their hair follicles will shorten, so you can expect your senior Pit to shed about 10-20% more than your adult dog.
Parasites can also be to blame. Mites, fleas, and lice can all cause hair loss and will need treatment.
Health reasons your Pit Bull may be shedding more than usual
If you notice a change in your dog’s coat, such as it becoming dull and brittle, inflamed, itchy, or if there are bald patches, then shedding might be caused by one of the following:
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
- Medication side-effects
- Renal or kidney issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Liver problems
- Immune issues
- A response to a topical cream
So if the shedding is far more than usual and is accompanied by other symptoms, make sure you see a vet.
How to stop my Pit Bull shedding so much
Diet and Pit Bull Shedding
A bad diet is often the primary cause of excessive shedding in Pit Bulls. It’s particularly important to avoid allergens for dogs with sensitive skin. This is often the case for dilute-colors like blue Pit Bulls, or whites, creams, merles.
Allergens are often from an animal protein, such as chicken or egg, so it is important to determine exactly what causes your dog’s sensitivity, rather than assuming you know the cause. More often than not, allergens come from non-food causes, such as pollen.
Nevertheless, the right diet can reduce inflammation and improve the quality of the skin enough to reduce shedding. In fact, one study showed that puppies fed a nutritionally balanced raw diet developed fewer environmental allergies when they grew older.
Diets made up primarily of whole, lean animal protein are the best way to go. You can also add whole grains such as brown rice or oatmeal. Some vegetables, and a premix of essential nutrients, should be a good start for a healthy coat. Brands like Instinct Dog Food, or Honest Kitchen can help take some of the guesswork out of creating a nutritionally balanced raw diet.
If you are feeding dry kibble to your Pit Bull, look for a brand with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Avoid sodium selenite and BHA.
A whole, named meat should be the first ingredient. Be careful of ingredient splitting, such as “corn gluten meal” and “corn”. By splitting one ingredient into two, a manufacturer can push an animal protein further up the ingredient list.
In fact, avoid corn and other fillers altogether. Whole grains such as brown rice are fine, and there is no reason to go “grain-free,” as this often means that animal protein is replaced with legume and soy protein.
We recommend Victor dry dog food as a good choice for Pit Bulls.
Just like with humans, stress can cause our Pit Bulls to lose hair. Be sure your Pittie gets enough exercise and playtime to release feel good hormones that can undo stress and anxiety.
Try to manage your Pit Bull’s environment so that there are limited stressors, such as other aggressive dogs or loud children. Pit Bulls who are reactive and are easily triggered by strangers, bicycles, or other dogs, will need a behaviorist and trainer to bring down their reactivity and to teach them how to manage their triggers.
Bathing and deshedding your Pit Bull
Regular bathing is essential to minimize Pit Bull Shedding.as the water movement and scrubbing is a great way to dislodge loose hair. Unfortunately, Pit Bulls, English Bull Terriers, and Bully-type dogs often have sensitive skins, and so they should not be bathed too often. About once a month is usually the maximum.
- Rinse your Pit Bull, and use your fingertips to massage the shampoo into your pup’s skin. This massage should dislodge many loose hairs, so be thorough. Be careful when wetting your dog’s head. Water should never run down their ear canal or into their eyes, as this can both sting and cause ear infections.
- Rinse off the shampoo with lukewarm water. A relatively strong spray can also remove dead hairs. Follow this with a thorough towel dry.
- If you really want to help your Pit Bull deshed, you can invest in a pet groomer’s high velocity dryer. This does not have a heat setting that can burn your dog, but the strong gust of air does a great job of removing the most stubborn little loose hairs and dead undercoat. Remember that if you use a normal dryer, to never use a high heat setting as this can burn your dog.
- Always make sure that you completely dry your Pit Bull before you deshed them with a brush. Brushing a damp coat will not remove all of the loose hairs.
- Once dry, you can use the EquiGroomer Deshedding Brush for Dogs and Cats to really remove the dead coat.
As with any grooming session, be sure to finish off by cleaning their ears and clipping any long nails. A good tooth brushing with doggy toothpaste on a regular basis can also keep their teeth clean and reduce inflammation in the body. This can help prevent a host of canine diseases later on, including diabetes and heart problems, which in turn can reduce shedding as they age.
Grooming and Pit Bull shedding
Although a proper bath and a deshedding routine can go a long way to keeping your home free of millions of short Pit Bull hairs, regular grooming will really do the trick. Brushing your dog as often as possible not only clears away loose hairs, but also evens out the natural oils in their skin and coat, giving them a healthy shine.
Some Pit Bull owners prefer a daily brushing, while others brush two or three times. With heavy shedders, they more often you brush, the less hairs in the house you will need to deal with.
While you can still use your EquiGroomer to really deshed your Pitbull, you can also try going over your dog with the FURminator curry comb. By brushing in rigorous, circular motion, you can dislodge all the dust and loose hair. After that, you can use a soft-bristled brush such as the clumsy pets Bamboo Grooming Palm-Held Pets Brush to brush in the same direction that your dog’s coat grows.
This will remove all the dead hair that they curry comb loosened and smooth your dog’s natural oils throughout the coat. Doing this daily will keep your shedding problem to a minimum.
Supplements for shedding
Firstly, do not give your dog a human multivitamin to help their shedding. Too much of any given vitamin or mineral can lead to toxicosis and cause severe health issues and even death.
Still, there are supplements that you can add to your dog’s diet that can improve their skin and coat.
Some oils that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good for the skin. This includes a teaspoon of flaxseed or fish oil. Keep in mind that coconut oil has no known nutritional benefits for dogs. Also, AAFCO recommends that the amount of omega-6s a dog gets, stays proportional to their omega-3s. A ratio should be about 5:1.
Best Supplements for Pit Bull Shedding
Whether it’s a pill or a liquid, you can try one of these canine supplements to help ease your Pit Bull’s shedding.
Perhaps one of the best supplements available on the market for excess shedding, a few squirts of Shed-X can help provide the nutrients your Pit Bull needs to hang on to their hair. It constrains natural sources of fish oil from Norwegian anchovies and sardines, organic flax seed oil, natural wheat germ oil, Zinc and Biotin. ALl of this provides the essential nutrients for a healthy coat and strong hair follicles.
60 soft-chew pills packed with salmon oil is an excellent choice to boost your Pit Bull’s skin and coat condition.
While this contains the same EPA and DHA as in most canine skin supplements, it also contains prebiotics and probiotics that help gut health. A good microbiome in the gut affects how well your Pit Bull can absorb essential nutrients, and will therefore affect their skin and coat. Consider adding pre and probiotics to your dog’s daily diet. This supplement also contains amino acids, vitamins and zinc that boost the immune system and ward off allergies.
This supplement contains both fish oil and hemp oil as well as Vitamin E for a healthy coat. For an extra boost, it also contains joint support.
If your Pit Bull also has itchy paws and is often licking them, you can try CBD oil for atopic dermatitis as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
It is impossible to have a Pit Bull that never sheds. But if you hate having little hairs all over your new white pants, or if your couch if you feel like 90% of you sweeping is just dog hair, you may want to reduce shedding as much as possible.
Daily brushing with the right equipment and monthly baths can greatly decrease the amount of dead hair on your dog. By improving their diet and adding certain supplements, you can also help manage the condition of their skin and coat, reducing shedding.
Finally, always be sure that there is no underlying disease or health problem causing the shedding by consulting your vet.