Top 5 Best Shampoos for Pitbulls in 2023

Last Updated: May 9, 2023

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Pitbulls are surprisingly affectionate and thrive on the touch of their human family members. While that's all good and well, all that touching isn't great when your dog wreaks of that signature canine stench!

Pitties can be a bit high-strung sometimes. Once they get excited, they go all out! That can lead to some issues in the hygiene department! These dogs are notorious for getting into all kinds of stinky messes. Whether it's trash or mud outside, they love it all!

Needless to say, a high-quality shampoo is a must for any Pitbull owner! 

Pitbull getting dirty

The best shampoos for Pitbulls will keep them smelling fresh. But of course, no standard cleaning solution will do. Pitbulls have short hair and sensitive skin. They're also prone to experiencing some skin problems from time to time.

So when it comes time to shop for a shampoo for your canine companion, you need to find something that meets their unique needs. Luckily, we have you covered!

Here are some of the best shampoos for Pitbulls on the market.

Top 5 Best Shampoos for Pitbulls in 2023

1.Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

Earthbath is no stranger to creating nature-based products for dogs. The stars of the show for this shampoo are oatmeal and aloe vera. The two ingredients soothe the skin while giving it a much-needed kick of moisture.

The unique thing about this shampoo is that it's soap-free. There are no chemical-based soaps to strip the skin of its natural oils. Instead, it promotes healing and moisture. It has a lovely almond and vanilla scent and is gentle enough for Pitbulls. Plus, it neutralizes odors and doesn't wash away any topical flea medications or treatments.

2. Four-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Here's a hypoallergenic solution that can keep reactions to a minimum. The 4Legger shampoo uses USDA-certified organic oils and essential oils. They work to provide relief against itchiness without drying out the skin.

Made in small batches, the shampoo is heavily controlled. There are no artificial additives or chemical-based ingredients at all! The base is coconut oil. Meanwhile, additional vegan-friendly ingredients provide extra benefits. The shampoo naturally deters fleas while also minimizing the effects of harmful yeast and bacteria.

The shampoo is completely safe for both puppies and seniors.

3. Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

Have a Pitbull that can't stop itching? This shampoo from Vet's Best may be the solution you're looking for. It's an allergy itch relief formula that utilizes natural ingredients and essential oils. The oatmeal, d-limonene, and tea tree oil are particularly effective at soothing the skin and alleviate itchiness.

The formula is safe and can complement topical flea products. It does not wash away beneficial medications. But, it will rid the skin of potential allergens that irritate. Plus, it provides a fresh scent that's not overbearing.

4. Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

This 100-percent natural formula from Paws & Pals is a great choice for Pitbulls and other allergy-prone breeds. You won't find any harsh chemicals. In fact, the shampoo is soap-free and safe for allergy sufferers.

It has a premium blend of ingredients that help provide moisture and itch relief. You'll find things like soothing aloe, jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and more. It even contains rosemary extract tea tree oil.

Unlike other shampoos, this one won't irritate the eyes either. It's gentle and may show your dog that bath time is nothing to fear!

5. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo

From Veterinary Formula Clinical Care is this powerful medicated shampoo. It's a good option for dogs that regularly suffer from skin conditions. The shampoo is antiparasitic and antiseborrheic. So, it treats a wide range of problems.

Whether you're dealing with mange, skin infections, or dermatitis, it provides relief. The shampoo uses salicylic acid, sulfur, and coal tar to treat symptoms. Meanwhile, ingredients like oatmeal and allantoin provide moisture.

The shampoo treats conditions and promotes healing. You can use it frequently until symptoms become less severe. Then, it works great as a preventative measure to stop future problems from taking hold.

Best Shampoo for Pitbull Puppies

Burt's Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk

Here's a puppy-safe shampoo that's gentle enough to avoid irritation yet powerful enough to get your pooch fresh and clean! From Burt's Bees, the shampoo uses buttermilk as a base. The buttermilk provides some intense moisture that can keep the skin soft and soothe any existing irritation.

It also contains honey, which retains moisture in the follicle. The honey can also strengthen the follicles to promote healthy growth as your pup gets older.

This shampoo is 97 percent natural and doesn't contain any unnecessary sulfates or color additives. It's also pH balanced to prevent excessive drying of the skin.

Homemade Pitbull Shampoo

If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can make your Pitbull's shampoo yourself! This simple shampoo recipe contains only a few ingredients. It uses dish soap to cut through grease and grime as well as vinegar to kill bacteria neutralize odor.

All you'll need is:

  • Half a cup of white vinegar
  • Quarter cup of non-toxic dish soap
  • 2 cups of water


Mix all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and give it a good shake. To wash your dog, wet their fur and use the spray bottle to evenly distribute the shampoo.

Work it up to a lather and rinse! The basic recipe is easy on the skin and won't irritate.

About Pitbull Coats

So what is it about the coat of a Pitbull that requires special shampoo?

Well, these dogs have short, single coats. The short hairs offer a lot of benefits. For one, they shed much less often. Beyond the occasional stray hair here and there, Pitbulls don't shed excessively like other breeds.

They may experience seasonal shedding, but those periods are pretty easy to manage.

Another big perk is less maintenance. On a healthy Pittie, the coat is smooth and full of luster. There's no worry about mats, so you don't have to worry about regular brushing!

Now, onto the downsides!

With a short coat of fur, your pup's skin is getting a lot more exposure to the elements and environment. Dogs with thick coats of fur have tons of built-in insulation that protect them from heat, cold, pests, and everything else the world throws at them!

That's not the case with Pitbulls. As a result, they tend to experience a lot of skin conditions.

Common Skin Problems That Pitbulls Experience

Skin issues aren't a guarantee with Pitbulls. But, this breed does have a higher chance of experiencing them. As an owner, it's your job to do as much as you can to help avoid them or provide relief!

Here are some of the most common skin ailments that plague Pitbulls.

Allergic Reactions

Allergies are a very real problem with Pitbulls. They can react negatively to a wide range of irritants. Everything from the food they eat to the pollen in the air can cause a flare-up!

To make matters worse, scientists don't really know the root cause of allergies in Pitbulls just yet. There's ongoing research, but we still don't have an answer. Without an answer, we have no cure or remedy!

The best thing you can do is keep your dog's skin as clean and allergen-free as possible. Allergic reactions lead to intense scratching, which only puts your dog at a higher risk for open wounds, skin infections, and serious inflammation.

To combat allergies, it's best to stick to hypoallergenic formulas and those utilizing natural ingredients. This is especially important around shedding season!


Natural oils on the skin and hair follicles can help keep the skin moisturized. But even then, you have to be careful about excessive dryness.

Many dogs suffer from flaky skin and itchiness because their skin lacks the moisture to stay comfortable!

Avoid harsh chemical-laden formulas at all costs! Strong shampoos will just strip the fur of natural oils, making dryness problems even worse.

Hot Spots

Hot spots are those patches of hairless skin that form due to infection. Oftentimes, they are a result of folliculitis or dermatitis. Infections at the hair follicle can cause spots, too.

A hot spot is incredibly uncomfortable for your dog. Many will scratch it profusely or resort to chewing. This results in the spot spreading and worsening over time.

There are many medicated shampoos out there that can provide relief from hot spots.

Related: DIY Homemade Anti Itch Spray for your Pitbull


Believe it or not, Pitbulls can get sunburnt! Their short hair exposes more skin to the sun. As a result, hours of play can cause immense dryness, itchiness, and pain.

You have to be extra careful about sun exposure with Pitbulls. Soothing shampoos with high moisture content can provide relief. But, it's better to avoid sunburns altogether!

What Makes a Good Shampoo for Pitbulls

There's no shortage of dog shampoos out there. Take one look at the ingredient list and you'll quickly realize that not all products are made the same.

To find one that's suitable for your Pittie, keep an eye out for the following qualities.

Moisturizing Formulas

Moisture is a must for Pitbulls! A moisturizing shampoo will prevent the skin from drying out too fast. It keeps the skin cells full of moisture and prevents skin flakiness. Even after you get rid of all the gunk, your dog's skin will be much better off.

Hypoallergenic and Natural Ingredients

Hypoallergenic dog shampoo is tailor-made for pups that experience allergic reactions.

They typically contain fewer ingredients. Common irritants are also thrown out, resulting in a gentle cleanser that doesn't bother the skin. It's a win-win!

If you don't want to go the hypoallergenic route, you can also look for formulas that contain natural ingredients. Many harsh chemical cleaners are responsible for inflammation and skin irritants. Ditching all those chemicals will do wonders for your Pitbull's skin.

The Right pH Balance

You should never use a human-grade product on your dog. Your pooch's skin has a completely different pH balance than your own. Using a human shampoo on them will only cause imbalances that lead to flakiness!

Most shampoos that are formulated for dogs will have the right pH level. But, you can take things a step further and look for pH-balancing products.

These contain neutral or near-neutral pH levels that don't irritate the skin. They're neither too acidic nor too alkali, making them perfect for your dog.

Related: Baby Shampoo on Dogs? How Bad is It?

Easy and Dog-Friendly

Finally, go for something that's easy and convenient to use!

Dogs aren't super keen on getting a bath. With a rambunctious breed like the Pitbull, it can be a big ordeal! The faster you can get the job done, the better!

Easy-rinse formulas are ideal for Pitties. They have all the cleaning power you need. But, they work quickly and rinse out pretty easily, ensuring that you don't have to keep dousing your dog with water to remove the product.

About Targeted Formulas

Another thing you can look for is a specialty shampoo. General shampoos that cover the bases work fine for most dogs. But, targeted shampoos are formulated to address specific issues. They are particularly useful for breeds like the Pitbull.

Medicated Shampoos

Medicated shampoos contain extra ingredients, such as Benzoyl Peroxide, that provide relief from a wide range of skin issues. You can get antibacterial shampoos to address infections.

Antifungal products are also good for taking care of seborrheic conditions. Some even have skin healers to help your dog recover from intense bouts of scratching.

Flea and Pest Shampoos

Common pests like fleas, ticks, and mites are a nightmare for Pitbulls! Needless to say, getting rid of them is paramount. These types of shampoos can effectively kill pests.

Puppy Shampoos

Specifically formulated for young pups, these shampoos are typically gentler on the skin. Puppies don't have the strong immune system of adult dogs. So, they tend to be more sensitive.

Plus, harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on their young bodies. A puppy formula is gentle yet effective at getting rid of grime.


Pitbulls are a rambunctious breed with a lot of love to give. If you're tired of seeing your Pittie plagued by skin issues and irritations, consider upgrading their shampoo! You'll be surprised at what a difference the right shampoo can make.

This breed is already a handful! You don't need skin problems to worry about. The right shampoo will keep their skin in good shape, leaving them free to enjoy life like the lovable dogs they are!

Also Read:  What's the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls?


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About the author 


Steve is a writer with over 10 years of experience in dog training and nutritiion.

His goal is to educate dog owners about the ins and outs of canine behavior as well as keeping up with the latest scientific research in the field.