Archive for July, 2012

Tips On Choosing Clothes for Your Dog

Dogs wear clothing for different reasons.  Some dogs need clothing such as sweaters or rain gear for functionality.  Toy breeds can become cold and need to wear extra cover to stay warm, or dogs might need  protection from the rain when you are walking them.  Other owners like to dress up their dogs for special occasions such as Halloween.  And some owners just like to have their dogs wear clothing because the dogs look cute and it’s fun.

 

There are lots of great outfits and costumes for dogs to wear.  You can usually find dog clothing available for sale in pet stores, from vendors online who sell dog supplies, and from some stores who specialize in selling dog clothing.

 

Tips for choosing your dog’s clothes

If you want to choose clothes for your dog, aside from the purpose of the clothes and your preferences about style, the most important consideration is getting the right size.  To get the right size clothes for you dog you will need to measure his length from neck to the base of the tail; his neck; and his chest circumference around his ribs (girth).  If you know these measurements you will be able to figure out the right size to get, no matter how the clothes are sized.

 

Your dog’s breed or weight measurements cannot give you enough detailed information to choose clothes, so knowing your dog’s actual measurements is always preferred.  Many dogs clothes come with the measurements of the clothes included so you should be able to tell if the clothes will fit your dog.

 

When choosing your dog’s clothes, the length is usually the most important measurement.  You will usually want the clothing to reach all the way to the base of your dog’s tail if you are selecting a sweater, coat, or dress for your dog.  If you are choosing a shirt, tee, or tank top, these items usually stop 2-3 inches before reaching the base of the tail for a proper fit.

 

If your dog’s measurements are between sizes, it’s generally best to choose a larger size.  This will give him more room inside the clothing and, if he should gain any weight, the clothes will still fit.  Some clothes can also shrink in the wash, especially if they are cotton.

 

When measuring your dog it’s best to use a fabric tape measure.  This is the same kind of tape measure a seamstress would use for measuring a person.  It is much easier to take your dog’s measurements with a fabric tape measure.  You can buy one at a hobby store or a fabric shop.  If you don’t have a fabric tape measure, you can use a piece of string or yard and measure it against a ruler.

 

Other tips

Most dogs don’t like clothes that are too confining or which have a lot of appendages or attachments.  This is particularly true of dogs who don’t wear clothing very often.  If you are choosing a Halloween costume for your dog, beware of costumes that have wings or other parts that flutter or flap.  They could frighten your dog or rip off.

 

And, of course, you should never allow your dog to chew on his clothing or accessories.  Keep a careful eye on your dog when he is wearing dog clothes, especially if the clothes have buttons, bows, hats, or other accessories that your dog might be tempted to eat.

 

Conclusion

Dogs can look incredibly cute when they wear dog clothes, and some dogs definitely need to wear clothes for practical reasons.  Keep these tips in mind and your dog’s clothes will always fit and look great.

 

Article by Nancy Cope – owner of the online dog boutique PamperedDogGifts.com where you can find all kinds of gifts for your pampered pup including designer dog apparel, bath and grooming supplies, gift baskets, toys, jewelry, gourmet treats and much more.

Finding A Good Dog Crate

Dog crates have many good uses.  If you have a medium or large dog and you plan to fly with your pet, you will need a crate for the flight.  Crates can be used for house training.  They are great for traveling with your dog in your vehicle and will protect him in case of an accident.  And, many dogs like to sleep and hang out in their crate at home.

 

Crate differences

There are two basic kinds of dog crates:  wire crates and hard plastic crates.  Both kinds of crates can be good choices, depending on why you need a crate for your dog.  The cost of the crates is similar, so that will probably not be a deciding factor for you.  Both kinds of crates can be broken down or taken apart and put together rather easily, so that, too, will probably not be too influential, although wire crates are usually more portable if you are going to training classes or taking your dog someplace local.

 

Hard plastic crates

If you will be flying with your dog on a plane, you will need to get a hard plastic, airline-approved crate.  Airlines are very picky about the crates they allow on planes, for the safety of the dogs, and they do not accept wire crates because they can be bent during a flight, which could crush a dog.  Most hard plastic crates are airline-approved but you should look for this label or statement to make sure.  Hard plastic crates have ventilation holes so air can circulate and they have a wire grill for a door so your dog can see out and have more air.  Under ordinary circumstances a dog is safe in one of these crates and will not escape.

 

They come in two pieces (a top and a bottom) and are put together with screws and knobs around the sides.  They are easily assembled in just a few minutes.  Hard plastic crates have the added bonus of being a good way to travel with your pet in your personal vehicle.  If you should have an accident, the hard plastic will provide some protection for your dog and prevent him from being tossed around the vehicle or thrown out on the road.

 

Wire crates

Wire crates are a good choice for your dog if you go to training classes, dog events such as agility or obedience trials where the dog might have to wait around at the site for a few hours, or if you prefer your dog to be able to see more outside the crate.  Wire crates are more open than hard plastic crates and the dog can feel like he is part of what is going on.

 

They will also work as a way to confine your dog in your personal vehicle but they do not provide as much protection as hard plastic crates.  If you are in an accident, a wire crate can be crushed more easily and your dog could escape.  However, many people who go to lots of dog events with their dogs like wire crates because they are easier to carry than hard plastic crates and more portable.  They are relatively easy to fold up and set up quickly and they collapse into a much smaller space than hard plastic crates.

 

Both kinds of crates are equally good if you will be using a crate at home to help with house training or as a place for your dog to sleep and hang out.

 

Finding a good crate

You can find good crates at your local pet store, online from vendors who sell dog products, and even at your local discount stores and building supply stores.  They are not hard to find.

 

Most crate manufacturers provide a guide that suggests the correct size crate to get for each breed or size of dog.  These guides are usually very accurate and you should follow their recommendations.  It is generally best to get the correct size crate for your dog and not get a crate that is too large.  Crates that are too big for your dog are not safe if your dog is flying or traveling in your car.  The more space there is in the crate, the more your dog can be thrown around in case of a turbulence or an accident, possibly causing injury.  If you will be using the crate for house training, extra space would allow the dog to poop in his crate which would defeat the purpose of using the crate for house training.  However, if your  dog will simply be sleeping in the crate, you can get a crate as big as you like.

 

Conclusion

Crates are great for dogs and most dogs like them once they have been introduced to them.  Which kind of crate you get for you dog is really a matter of personal preference, unless you will be flying on a plane with your pet.  In that case you will need to get a hard plastic, airline-approved crate.  Happy crate training!