Many paw-parents think that clothing and footwear are just accessories for your pet, but their purposes go beyond getting double-tapped hearts for your furry Instagram star. Choosing the right dog apparel can have real health applications, as it can keep your pooch warm and snug during the colder seasons and can even be used relieve anxiety!
Small and short-haired breeds need an extra layer of protection once winter hits, while long-haired dogs can protect their paws from extreme heat or cold with the right footwear.
Whatever reason you have for glowing up your fur-baby, keep in mind that your choice of apparel should be comfortable and functional as much as it is fashionable. Therefore, you should consider the following factors when shopping for clothing your dog:
Achieving The Perfect Fit
When buying dog apparel, it’s important to measure your dog beforehand to ensure you achieve the best fit possible and avoid impeding your dog's physical movement. Of course, the correct size will vary depending on the size, weight, and breed of your dog. With that in mind, to measure accurately you should consider the following elements:
Neck: You want to make sure you accurately measure the upper and lower circumference of your dogs neck. Use the upper measurement for fitting collars and bandanas and the lower circumference for fitting harnesses and coats. For a comfortable fit you should be able to slide two fingers between the collar or harness and your dog’s neck.
Length: When measuring for jackets and clothes, make sure to measure the length of the dog’s back by starting from the base of the neck to the tail. It’s best to go up one size if your dog is overweight, has a thick coat, or a deep chest. This will ensure that the jacket or coat achieves a high amount of coverage of your dog's body.
- Chest: One of the most overlooked elements that you need to consider in your dog’s sizing is their chest measurement. This can be easily measured by wrapping a piece of string around the widest part of your dog's torso, just behind their front legs. Again, if they are between two sizes it’s best to choose the larger size to provide maximum comfort for your pets.
Consider Your Weather Conditions
When choosing apparel for your dog, you should consider the types of weather conditions that they are exposed to most often. For colder climates, you should consider thicker coats and sweaters that will provide a high degree of warmth and protection. A quilted coat or puffer jacket are both great options for cold conditions. If you live in a wet climate, then a thin, breathable raincoat may be a better solution as it will keep your dog dry but will also allow them to regulate their body temperature correctly. Finally if you live in a hot climate, then you may consider clothing that helps cool your dog down, such as a cooling vest or bandana. To ensure you're covered for all conditions we recommend building up a selection of apparel for your dog that you can choose from based on the days weather.
Don't Block Urination
Aside from choosing a comfortable fit, another significant factor to consider is a design that caters too easy urination and defecation for your dog. Apparel that compromise your pet’s ability to relieve themselves will only cause discomfort along with the fact that it will only add to your emergency laundry list.
That’s why you should pick clothes that have higher cutouts, especially for male dogs. This allows a comfortable spacing between the belly and the groin area, which enables them to answer the call of nature without the risk of staining their clothing!
Choose Fabrics Wisely
The type and quality of fabric play a pivotal role in the mobility of your dog, so it’s best to choose stretchy materials that can cater to free-ranging movement for your happy companions. Cotton and spandex fabrics are one of the go-to choices for active dogs. Thinner fabrics like mesh are also an excellent option for its breathable property. When choosing the type of fabric, you may also want to consider whether your dog has any skin allergies or not, as synthetic materials may irritate their skin.
There you have it, our guide on How To Choose The Best Clothes For Your Dog. If you have some further suggestions or ideas, let us know in the comments below!
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