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How to Measure a Dog for Clothing

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Did you know that dog clothing can be dangerous for dogs to wear if it doesn’t fit properly? Items that are too loose pose a chocking hazard, and can get caught on something causing an injury when your dog is running around. If dog clothes are too tight, they’ll chafe and could lead to lacerations on the skin. It’s so important to know how to measure a dog for clothing properly.

First of all, let me just start out by saying that pet clothing is not a necessity for every dog. Our dogs have their own fur coats for a reason. Their fur protects them from sun exposure and inclement weather. However, the right dog clothes can benefit hairless and very small breeds, senior pets and dogs with certain health conditions.

If you believe that your dog needs to wear clothing, even if it’s just a cute dog t-shirt, it’s important that you measure him correctly. The four measurements that I demonstrate in the video guide above are the most common required when ordering canine clothing.

You’ll likely need to know your dog’s length, neck size and girth (chest measurement). For some articles of clothing, including snow and rain suits, you may also need to know how long your dog’s legs are.

Follow these health tips for picking the best dog clothes if you’re going to be dressing your Fido or Fefe on a regular basis.

MORE TIPS: How-to Videos for Dog Owners

How to Measure a Dog for Clothing

How To Measure A Dog For Clothing

You’ll need to use a fabric tape measure when learning how to measure a dog for clothing. First, you’ll need to measure his neck size. This can be easily done whether your dog is sitting, standing or lying down. Simply wrap the fabric tape measure around his neck where a collar would sit.

Next, you can get his length measurement. You’ll need to do this when your dog is standing. Place the start of the tape measure where a collar would sit on your dog’s neck, and then stretch it down to the base of his tail. This will tell you how long a shirt or jacket must be to cover his entire body.

How To Measure A Dog For ClothingNow, let’s talk about girth. This is the term used for your pet’s chest measurement. Many owners are confused by what this measurement actually means.

If you’re confused, just watch my quick video above for a demonstration on exactly how to measure your dog’s chest girth.

You need to measure the deepest part of his chest. Again, this needs to be done when your dog is standing up. Begin by placing the start of the tape measure on the lowest point of his chest. Wrap the tape up around his back, and then bring it back to the starting point. (See the photo to the right)

As I mentioned, it’s important to learn how to measure a dog for clothing to include his legs. You won’t see this measurement required often, but I wanted to include it anyway. Some snowsuits and rain gear for dogs do require the leg length measurement.

This one is simple. Starting where the leg joins the body, the dog’s armpit if you will, measure straight down the leg to his paw. You don’t need to measure all the way to the ground. Just to the spot where his ‘ankle’ is.

When the paw begins to extend outward, that’s where you can stop, as you don’t want the legs of your dog’s clothes to drag on the ground. And you’re done!

Measuring for some functional dog supplies may be different, such as measuring for a dog harness, so make sure you know how to do that as well.

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