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Dog clothing and fashions are popular and are quite affordable nowadays. If you are thinking of purchasing some “dressing up” garments for your furball, here are some tips and pointers on the measurements you need to take before shopping. Be sure to write them down.
Getting the right size is important since our pets should be safe and comfortable. If you’re shopping at a local store, then this is not quite as critical as shopping online, because you can take your pooch along and make sure the fit is correct.
However, roughly 25-35% of online sales are returned or exchanged due to improper sizing, so get the measurements right and save yourself possible hassle.
The main places you must measure are:
Chest (circumference) measurements must be made at the largest area around the chest, which is usually just back of the front legs. This measurement is the most important of all. Do not either pull the tape tight or let it hang too loose. It should be a close fit, but not so tight to prevent you from easily scooting the tape around the chest.
Length from neck to tail. Start where the neck joins the body, along the spine to where the tail meets the body. This length is less important than chest circumference, and you may vary it according to whether you like long or short fits.
Neck circumference: make the measurement near the base of the neck.
Leg length: only if you want your dog wearing sleeved garments. Measure the front legs from the “armpit” to the top of the ankle. Err on the side of too short — otherwise your dog may trip and have potentially serious accidents wearing sleeves that are too long.
For the short-legged breeds, you probably should just go with “sleeveless” garments.
Each garment manufacturer has their own charts, so study them carefully, and make your measurements according to what they recommend if different from what we said above.
Just remember: the chest measurement is critical. Get that right and things will work out from there.
Dressing up your buddy can be fun, particularly for special occasions. Just make sure the dog is comfortable and gets lots of love and attention (rewards), especially the first time. Otherwise your best friend may go running in pure terror at any future “dress-up” attempts!