There’s so much to love about Pitbulls, from their sweet smiles to big strong bodies, big goofy heads, the list goes on. These are some of the most loyal, loving, courageous, and good-natured dogs you will ever come across. Because of these and more amazing traits, Pitbulls are becoming more and more popular in homes worldwide. They are often stereotyped as aggressive but having a well-behaved dog has a lot to do with how well trained and socialized they are and not the breed itself.
Most people overlook one crucial thing when adopting a new pup: the amount of shedding they produce. No matter how much you love your furry friend, finding fur all over your house can be frustrating. And for allergy sufferers, living with certain breeds can be life-threatening.
So, do Pitbulls shed? Yes, they do. These dogs are low to moderate shedders and shed more during seasonal shedding, which occurs in fall and spring. You’ll notice that these dogs don’t have much fur, so you don’t have to worry about finding a lot of fur on you and every corner of the house. Thanks to their short, thin coats, their shedding isn’t as noticeable as dogs with long hair strands.
Pitbulls are some of the most adopted dogs at rescue centers and from breeders. But some owners are often surprised at how much fur they leave behind. This guide will take you through this breed’s shedding tendencies, including how much they shed, when they shed, and what you can do to manage and reduce shedding.
But before we get into that, I need to clarify that Pitbulls are a group of dogs that includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. Luckily, these dogs have similar coats, so they shed roughly the same.
How Much Do Pitbulls Shed?
Whenever you decide to bring a dog home, you should be prepared to deal with a certain amount of shedding. With Pitbulls, expect minimal to moderate shedding throughout most of the year. The reason why these dogs shed less is they are single-coated. Unlike double-coated dogs with two layers of fur, Pitbulls have one layer of fur, thus less fur to shed. Another reason they might look like they shed less is they have short fur, which is less noticeable than long hair.
Some owners claim that their Pitbulls shed much. The variance is usually due to the color of their coats. Lighter fur will typically be more noticeable than darker colors, but the reality is all Pitbulls shed the same amount.
Why Do Pitbulls Shed?
We know that all dogs shed to some degree, but why do they lose their fur in the first place? Shedding is a natural process in which canines get rid of old or damaged hairs to regrow new and healthier ones. Your Pitbull’s fur will go through a natural growth cycle consisting of the growth stage, resting, and shedding phase.
You may notice increased shedding during certain times of the year. This is to grow coats that are better suited for the upcoming season (more on seasonal shedding later).
Unfortunately, not all shedding in Pitbulls is a natural occurrence. There are a number of underlying conditions that can cause your furry friend to lose more hair than normal. This includes poor diet, illnesses, dehydration, hormonal imbalances, and much more, as you will see later on.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do Pitbulls shed? These dogs shed consistently throughout most of the year. But like all dogs, they increase the amount of shedding during certain times of the year. Dogs tend to grow heavier coats towards winter to help keep them warm. And come springtime, they no longer need the heavy coats, so they shed them off to grow something lighter that will help keep them cool.
That being said, Pitbulls lack an undercoat that double-coated dogs have. So, while they may shed more during seasonal shedding, it’s nothing too drastic as you would experience with other dogs. If shedding is too much, go to the section on reasons for excessive shedding, or better yet, schedule a trip to the vet.
Some shedding is to be expected when living with any dog. But there can be too much shedding, and it’s important to know when that is the case.
If you are worried that your Pitbull is shedding more than usual, look for other signs on your pup. Bald spots, shedding in clumps, excessive licking, skin irritation, dull fur, and dry skin are some tell-tale signs of unhealthy shedding. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to bring your pet to the vet for a consultation.
Many things could lead to unhealthy shedding, including stress and anxiety, a poor diet, allergies, skin conditions, and parasitic infection. There are also illnesses with hair loss as one of their symptoms, such as cancer, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, etc.
What Type of Coat Does a Pitbull Have?
Pitbulls are single-coated dogs with one layer of fur that’s relatively the same length. The lack of an undercoat means they cannot regulate their body temperatures and may need some help during winter and hot summers. On the bright side, a single layer of fur means less shedding than double-coated breeds.
Pitbulls generally have low-maintenance coats. And, compared to other single-coated breeds, they have less hair overall per square inch. The hairs are extremely short, hence less noticeable on your furniture and floors than when you have dogs with long coats.
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of Pitbulls and while they may shed more or less the same, do they have the same coat? First off, the American Pitbull Terrier has a nicely cropped, firm coat that hugs its body. Their coats also come in a wide range of colors. The American Staffordshire Terrier is similar to the one above and has a short, smooth, stiff coat.
The next Pitbull is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and it’s much smaller than the two above. Their coats are pretty similar, except that they are a little less stiff. Last but not least is the American Bully. You can expect the same shortness and stiffness, although their fur has a smoother, wavy quality than the other three.
How to Manage and Reduce Pitbulls Shedding?
Just because Pitbulls are not heavy shedders doesn’t mean you ignore their shedding. In fact, you need to find ways to maintain their coats to keep them healthy and shedding to an absolute minimum. This is especially true during seasonal shedding when dogs experience increased shedding. Managing and reducing your Pitbull’s shedding is relatively easy as it mainly involves grooming and providing a proper diet.
One of the essential grooming needs to help manage shedding is brushing. It allows you to capture loose hair strands before they are shed and spread all over your home. Additionally, during brushing, you can spread the skin’s natural oils all over, thus encouraging healthy fur that sheds healthily. As mentioned earlier, Pitbulls have short, smooth, low, maintenance coats, so brushing them 2-3 times a week should be enough to keep their coats clean and healthy. However, you may need to increase the frequency during seasonal shedding to keep up with the increased shedding.
Pitbulls have sensitive skin and are vulnerable to skin conditions. For this reason, consider using a gentle slicker brush and be careful while brushing to avoid potentially cutting their skin.
Like humans, what dogs put in their bodies will show on the outside. They need proper nutrition to keep their coat in optimal condition, so it only sheds when necessary. There’s no special diet for minimizing shedding, but it’s definitely worth selecting high-quality dog food with the required nutrients to ensure overall health. Proteins are one of the most important nutrients for your Pitbull, including meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Omega fatty acids are also known to encourage healthy fur.
Dogs can be allergic to certain foods, causing itchiness and scratching. This will, in turn, lead to unnecessary shedding. So, watch what your Pitbull eats, and if you have to introduce a new food, do it individually and watch their reaction. Common allergens for dogs like Pitbulls include wheat, corn, and potatoes.
There’s no set rule for bathing your Pitbull, but doing it every one to two months is enough to remove loose hairs and debris. Of course, if they roll in mud or something smelly you can’t leave them like that. Be sure to use a good quality dog shampoo to avoid irritating your pet’s skin or drying it out. This mater because dry, irritated skin is prone to shedding.
Proper nutrition is vital for healthy fur, but sometimes your canine may not be getting enough nutrients from their current diet. This is quite common in pregnant bitches or sick dogs. In that case, supplements can be a great addition to their diet to help provide the necessary nutrients needed to create new, healthy hair. There are several options, but perhaps fish oil supplements are the most recommended. Dogs have different nutritional needs, so talk with your vet first before changing your Pitbull’s diet.
Are Pitbulls Hypoallergenic?
The question do Pitbull’s shed often goes hand in hand with are they hypoallergenic? Most people think that fur causes allergies, but the truth is a protein present in the dog’s dander, saliva, and urine is responsible for canine allergies. But all these elements attach to fur and are released into the environment during shedding. With this logic, low shedders are believed to carry fewer allergens compared to heavy shedders, thus making them friendlier to people with canine allergies.
Pitbulls are not considered hypoallergenic because they shed a significant amount of fur and dander, especially during seasonal shedding. If you have severe allergies, you may want to consider more allergy-friendly breeds like the Maltese, Poodle, Afghan Hound, American Hairless Terrier, Basenji, Bichon Frise, and Schnauzer, to name a few.
On the bright side, Pitbulls shed far less than some dogs, such as the double-coated large breeds. This means that people with mild allergies can live with them if they follow the following guidelines:
- Regularly groom your Pitbull and provide a proper diet to help reduce shedding
- When brushing, do it outside so hairs don’t blow everywhere in the house
- Regularly vacuum your home and invest in a HEPA air filter to help remove allergens in your environment
- Keep your dog out of your bedroom
- Wash your hands after touching the dog to avoid transferring allergens to your eyes and nose
- Teach your pet to pee in a designated area