One of the most important aspects of dog ownership is knowing how to groom your dog properly.
A small dog can have close to 2 million hair follicles whereas bigger dog breeds can hit the 8 million mark.
These numbers alone should tell you that not all dog breeds should be groomed the same way.
If you have a pitbull, would it be a good idea to shave your dog?
You can shave your pitbull if you choose to as it’s a dog breed with a single coat. However, you need to be careful to not shave down your dog’s fur too short. Dog hair is there to prevent your dog’s skin from harm. The fur of pit bulls is already very short so there’s not much room for error.
In this article, we will be discussing about the type of fur coat that your pitty has as well as the pros and cons of shaving your dog.
What Type Of A Coat Do Pitbulls Have?
All dogs have coats, some more than others. Your dog’s coat can be considered clothing for your dog as it helps to keep the dog cool or warm according to the ambient temperature.
When it comes to pitbulls, this dog breed has a single coat.
Single coat dogs only have one layer of fur as compared to dogs with a double coat. It doesn’t always mean that dogs with single coats have fur that is short.
They can have long hair too, even curly ones.
But they just lack the second layer or undercoat that a double coated dog would have.
Why Do You Want To Shave Your Pitbull?
I am just going to lay it out here.
If you are looking to shave your dog to give it a lion cut, please don’t.
I would be embarrassed to be seen in public in that hairdo if I were the dog. However, there can legit reasons for many dog owners who are looking to shave their dogs.
Before you grab a pair of dog clippers and make your pitbull look like ‘The Rock’, let us go through the common reasons and see if that applies to your pitbull.
Helps To Keep The Dog Cool
Imagine wearing a thick and heavy fur coat when the weather is hot and sweltering.
I doubt many of us will last that long in that outfit before passing out.
A dog with a double coat can feel that way in the heat especially if there’s a lot of matted dead hair. Shaving such a dog will definitely do it some good.
But your pitbull with its short coat has a much cooler time in the heat.
Let’s look at how a dog regulates its body temperature.
A dog loses excess heat by:
- Sending more blood to the ears
- Lying down on cooler surfaces
Many dog owners seem to think that dogs only sweat via their paw pads. But that’s not entirely true.
Our dogs have sweat glands situated at the bottom of each hair follicle. That means that your dog can lose heat by sweating via its skin.
It is hard to see the sweat as it’s covered by all the fur but maybe that explains the stinky dog smell when the weather is warm.
It might make sense to shave down the fur of a double coated dog to enable the sweat on its body to evaporate easier which cools down the dog faster.
The fur of your pitbull is already very short and they don’t grow past a certain length. You won’t see long hair on a pitbull unless it is crossed with a long haired dog like a Husky or German Shepherd.
It’s not very possible to shave down your pitbull’s fur without exposing your dog’s skin.
Exposing your dog’s body to the elements isn’t a good idea as they have very thin skin.
3x thinner than that of humans!
In fact, the skin on the belly of some pit bulls is thin enough for you to see the dog’s abs.
This makes dogs more susceptible to sunburn which can irritate their sensitive skin. It also puts them at a higher risk of getting bitten by bugs.
If you live in a country with cold weather, a shaved down pitbull won’t be able to keep warm properly and can suffer from hypothermia.
Their fur coat helps act as a ‘shield’ to prevent such incidents from happening to them.
Helps The Dog To Shed Less
You should be happy that your pitty has only a single coat as that means it sheds a lot lesser than other dog breeds with double coats.
My neighbor has a Samoyed but as cute as that dog is, it is one shedding monster. Whenever I’m over to let our dogs play, I see tuffs of fur stuck on everything and tumbling everywhere.
And that’s just normal day shedding.
It gets a lot worse when summer or winter comes around.
Dogs with single coats shed a lot lesser due to the slower growth cycle of the fur. The longer it takes the fur to reach its full length, the lesser the dog will shed.
Helps With Allergies
If you have some sort of an allergy to your dog, shaving your pitbull isn’t really going to help. In fact, having a dog like a pit will help a lot more with your allergy problems.
When someone is allergic to dogs, it is a certain protein in your dog’s saliva and dead skin that is the culprit.
This protein can trigger your allergy when your dog licks you or when it sheds its dander and you breathe in the allergens.
The common symptoms of a dog allergy include:
- Watery eyes
- Low grade fever
The best way to help keep your allergy to a minimum is to:
- Wipe down your dog regularly
- Brushing away the loose fur
- Vacuuming your home often
- Not allowing your dog in your bedroom
I know it can be difficult at times to live with a pet that you are allergic to. I developed an allergy to my cat after having him for a few years but that doesn’t stop me from kissing and smelling him.
Thankfully my allergic reactions aren’t that serious and can be managed with the occasional antihistamine.
Are Pitbulls Hypoallergenic?
First of all, there isn’t such a thing as a dog or cat for that matter which is hypoallergenic. You won’t ever find a dog that will not trigger your allergy problems.
That is because all dogs have the IgE-binding protein that causes the allergy.
The best way to keep a dog with an allergy is to get one that doesn’t shed a lot of fur like your pitbull.
Can I Use The Furminator On My Pitty?
You might have seen the Furminator commercial on TV at least once or twice.
It is the one where someone was brushing the dog with a Furminator and it removed so much hair that everyone was surprised that the dog didn’t go bald.
I wouldn’t recommend that you use the Furminator on your pitbull at all. Your dog will be in a lot of discomfort if you do.
The purpose of the Furminator is to remove all the dead and loose hair from the soft undercoat which your dog doesn’t have.
The bristles are made of metal and are spaced very closely together to get rid of as much fur as possible. This makes it look like the furminator is actually cutting the dog’s hair.
This is more suited for double coated dogs.
You should be brushing your pit bull with a brush with softer bristles so that they don’t irritate the sensitive skin of your dog.