Pit bulls are often equal-parts playful and cuddly, so you always want yours to be clean and fresh. Fortunately, this breed doesn't require frequent baths. Your mileage may vary depending on what his lifestyle is like, but generally, daily brushing keeps his coat healthy and clean.
General Bathing Guideline
The average bathing frequency for a dog of any breed is about once a month, but that changes from breed to breed. Factors like natural oil production, shedding, and the length and type of fur all make a difference, and with a pit bull, it means that you don't have to bathe him as often as you might another breed. Pit bulls have short fur with relatively average shedding, and they're protected by natural oils that accumulate over time to coat and protect their fur and skin. While you can bathe your dog as often as necessary, with this breed it shouldn't be more than once a month, and you can go as long as six months between baths.
Cleaning the Ears
Remember, when you're bathing your pit bull and just in general, that a pit bull's ears need to be clean and dry. These dogs can be prone to ear infections, so it's crucial that you keep water, dirt and bacteria out of the ears. This means plugging them with cotton balls during bath time, and regularly wiping them clean with medicated dog ear wipes. Check them at least once every couple of days for dirt and bacteria buildup, and wipe them out according to the instructions on the wipes.
Pit bulls may not need to be bathed particularly often, but they do need to be brushed. Brushing is a form of maintenance that allows you to go so long between baths, so don't skip out on it. You should brush your pit bull's coat at least a few times per week, or even every day, using a firm, flexible bristle rubber brush. This is the best type for keeping his short coat clean, neat and free of dead fur.
Of course, as with any dog, there are exceptions to the rule. If your pit bull decides to do his best piglet impression by wallowing in the mud, or if he goes for a dip in some questionable water, don't hold off on bathing him just because he already got his monthly scrubdown. Allowing a dirty dog to remain dirty is much riskier than bathing a dog too often, so while it shouldn't be a daily thing, go ahead and clean him up when he needs it. If it's just a case of muddy paws, however, cleaning him up his feet with a warm, soapy washcloth is preferable to an unnecessary full-body bath.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.