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Taking Measurements: A Comprehensive Guide to Fitting Dog Jackets

By Canada Pooch on Dec 11, 2023

Fitting your dog with the right jacket is important for their comfort and safety. An improperly fitted jacket can restrict movement or fall off completely, leaving your dog unprotected. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to take accurate measurements and find the perfect fitting jacket for your pup. 

The Importance of a Proper Fitting Dog Jacket 

A properly fitted dog jacket serves several purposes. It protects your dog from the elements like wind, rain, and cold. It also provides visibility with reflective strips for nighttime walks. Additionally, a well-fitted jacket allows for full range of motion so your dog can run, walk, and play comfortably. 

An ill-fitting jacket defeats these purposes. If too tight, it can restrict movement and cause chafing. If too loose, it can slide around and fall off. Taking accurate measurements ensures you find a jacket that is snug but not constricting. 

Steps to Finding the Right Fitting Jacket 

Follow these steps to find a properly fitting dog jacket: 

Supplies You'll Need to Measure Your Dog 

Gather these supplies before measuring your dog for a jacket: 

  • Fabric measuring tape 
  • Pen and paper to record measurements 
  • Treats or toys to keep your dog motivated 
  • Helper to keep your dog standing square 
  • Size chart for comparison 

Using a fabric measuring tape ensures accuracy. Avoid using a ruler or yardstick which can be inaccurate. Recording measurements will allow comparison to size charts. Treats will keep your dog focused during the process. A helper provides extra hands to keep your dog in position. 

How to Measure Your Dog for Clothes 

Follow these steps to accurately measure your dog: 

  1. Measure length from collar to base of tail. Stand your dog and extend the tape in a straight line from the collar where it sits at the base of the neck, along the back to the base of the tail. 
  2. Measure girth around the widest part of the chest/ribs. Position the tape around the ribcage, usually right behind the front legs.
  3. Measure girth around the neck. Place the measuring tape snugly around the neck. Make sure you can fit two fingers under the tape. 
  4. Record all measurements accurately for size chart comparison. Double check numbers and write neatly. 

Taking measurements straight along the back rather than following body contours gives the most accurate sizing result. Perform each measurement 2-3 times to ensure precision. 

Different Types of Dog Jackets 

There are several common types of dog jackets: 

Cold Weather Coats 

Designed to retain body heat. Choose water-resistant coated fabrics with insulation. Measure for room to layer underneath if needed. For very cold climates, look for coats with layered or insulated fabric. Hoods and extended neck coverage provide additional warmth. The True North Parka, or Waterproof Puffer at Canada Pooch are great options for winter weather walks. Taking a dog's temperature into account is key - smaller or short-haired breeds may need extra insulation. 

Lightweight Rain Jackets 

Made from waterproof, breathable fabrics. Ensure full coverage with a hood and hem that extends over the hips. Storage pockets allow you to stow treats and waste bags conveniently. Adjustable hoods and velcro closures enable a snug rain barrier. High-visibility colors or strips improve visibility on grey rainy days. Check out the Torrential Tracker dog raincoat at Canada Pooch, this water-resistant coat comes in a variety of colours to keep your dog looking stylish and dry on rainy walks.

When the Jacket Arrives, Verify Fit 

When you receive the jacket, test the fit: 

  • Use the "two finger" rule around the neck, chest, and waist. Two fingers should fit under. 
  • Check length extends over hips and provides full coverage. 
  • Ensure your dog has full range of motion without constriction. 
  • Make sure reflective strips are positioned properly. 
  • For life jackets, test flotation in water and check for slippage. 

If the fit is not right, exchange for a better size. Proper fit is essential. 

Taking accurate measurements is a key step in finding a properly fitting dog jacket. Follow this guide to gather supplies, take measurements correctly, and make sense of sizing charts. Investing time to find the right fit ensures your dog's comfort and safety while enjoying the benefits of a jacket designed just for them. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I know if a dog jacket fits properly? 

A properly fitted dog jacket allows room for two fingers under the straps, provides full coverage without restricting movement, stays in place when the dog is active, and has reflective elements positioned correctly. 

Should I measure my dog while they are standing or lying down? 

Standing. Measurements should be taken with the dog standing squarely with proper posture. Lying or sitting can distort the measurements. 

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