Many pit bull owners have complained of frequent skin problems that occur more so in pit bulls than numerous other breeds. Several complaints range from itching, scratching, hives, rashes and inflammation.
Below we have listed some of the most common issues that can be the cause of your pit bull’s skin problems. If you are not necessarily looking for the cause and just looking for relief, jump down below.
For other health issues search our health problems page.
Allergies – It can be difficult to assess what allergy is causing your pit bull to develop skin problems. Airborne allergens can affect your pit bull just as it affects us. If its allergy season and you see your pit bull scratching has increased, you can try to limit outdoor activity until pollen counts have gone down.
If it’s warm out, keep the air conditioning running and if not, try to run a dehumidifier. Do your best to keep dust in the home at a minimum. If the itching and scratching persists worsening the condition, a trip to the vet will be necessary.
This is a great video on how to inspect your pit bull for skin irritations. Highly recommend viewing. The second part of the video is further down the page with a link to the remedies.
Environmental Changes – Take notice if you have seen the frequency of your pit bull licking or scratching change, especially in seasons typically not known as allergy season. It can be due to a recent change in the home such as a new dog food or possible table food, new shampoos, different medications, supplements, plants or flowers.
This can possibly be a good thing if you can narrow down the culprit. Hopefully you can eliminate the cause and minimize any future skin problems. Allergy treatments for dogs can be tricky. If you’re not sure of the cause, you would have to eliminate each one by one to drill down the offender.
Genetics – A pit bull’s hair is short and thick can easily become dry or cracked. This will irritate your pit bull and lead to scratching which can invite parasites and cause infections. You may have to change soaps several times to find one that won’t dry your pit bull’s skin so much. Skin softeners are also recommended but test in a small area first to be sure it doesn’t worsen the condition.
If the problem with your pit bull’s skin seems to be a minor irritation or dry skin then you can treat that rather easily. When it a pit bull is frequently licking himself it can cause the skin to dry or crack. Many other factors can be the cause as we mentioned above. You will want to keep his skin and coat moisturized. In areas prone to licking you will want to use something that will keep the skin moist and deter him from licking it. We’ll provide a link below.
Supplements - Many people praise the use of added supplements to your pit bull’s diet. We have used them for years and have never had any adverse reactions. Omega-3 fatty acids increases the amount of healthy fats in your pit bull’s diet which promote healthy coat and skin, reduce inflammation, maintains cellular health and supports their cardiovascular system among other benefits.
We recommend using one of the Wild Alaskan salmon oils available. Please do make sure you buy one that uses “wild” salmon. Farm-raised salmon oil is cheaper but will end up doing more harm than good so we do not recommend it.
Sprays - A quick fix is to keep some type of hydrocortisone spray on hand. If your pit bull is itching and scratching excessively, this will provide some relief. If the rash subsides with the reduced scratching then you he should be ok. If not then you will have to drill-down the irritant.
If this sounds like something that may help you, follow this link for dog skin & coat care and look for something like bitter apple spray or an alternative. These will provide itching relief and deter your pit from licking the treated area.
Moisturizers – If dry or cracked skin is the main area of concern then it would be a good idea to go with the supplements mentioned above along with a moisturizer to keep your pit bull’s skin nice and healthy. You should be able to find a good one at a good price using the link for the salmon oil.
Some of the big-box retailers have more of the commercial type products. If you find one that works, great. Otherwise you would be better off getting a higher quality one that many only be an additional few dollars.
One method we like to use is “the can’t beat ‘em join ‘em method.” Meaning, if we’re going to keep moisturizing our pit bull’s skin and he’s just going to keep licking it off, let him lick something that is good for him!
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for the skin and a great healthy fat that is great for his skin among a host of other things we touched on. So when we use it on our pit bulls we laugh and say “go ahead and lick it off! Your skin is going to be looking great one way or another!”
Coconut oil seems like it can be a tad expensive but it lasts forever. We have had ours for over a year and still plenty left.
This is the second part of the video with links to the medications used. We used our price scraper to search our database of top pet stores including big discounters like Amazon, Walmart etc. Often the big stores don’t carry these items and it is the specialty pet shops selling them in their marketplace. Links are below the video. Best of luck!
Nolvasan Otic (4 oz) on Amazon
Clotrimazole Solution USP 1% on VetRxDirect
Maximum Chlorhexidine Shampoo on Pet Health Market with free shipping!
Davis Miconazole Pet Shampoo, 12-Ounce on Amazon. Eligible for free shipping and Prime.
Cephalexin 500mg on 1-800-Pet-Meds (prescription only)
Hydroxyzine 50mg on 1-800-Pet-Meds (prescription only)
Fish Flex Forte (Cephalexin 500mg) on Pet Health Market with free shipping! – was cheaper than Jeffers
If your pit bull has irritated paws like in the video you can prevent him licking or chewing his paws while they heal with some booties!
A pit bull rash if left untreated can lead to severe problems and even surgery. For more tips and invaluable information on how to prevent this and other issues, please sign-up for our free newsletter and we will include a FREE eBook – The Alpha Dog Report ($27 value).