No matter what kind of clothing or costume you buy for your dog, or how much money you spend, it won’t look good unless you buy the right size. But how are you supposed to know your dog’s size? Especially when it comes to a costume? Afterall, if you’re buying a hotdog costume for your dog, who knows what size hotdog will fit your dog, right?

 

Measuring Your Dog

No matter what kind of clothes or costume you are thinking of buying, you usually need the same basic measurements from of your dog: the neck, chest, ribcage, and body length. The easiest way to measure your dog is with a measuring tape – the same kind that dressmakers use. You can find them at the drugstore or sometimes in the grocery store with the sewing things. If you don’t have a measuring tape you can also use a tape measure such as you would use for measuring a home project. As a last resort you can take a piece of string and use it to get your dog’s measurements and then use a ruler to measure the string.

You should allow plenty of space around the neck so the clothes or costume won’t be too tight. Then measure the other areas. Measure the chest from side to side at the wides points. Measure your dog’s ribcage just behind the elbows. To measure your dog’s body length you can measure from the back of your dog’s neck, where the neck joins the back, to the root of the tail – where the tail rises up from the body.

Buy Larger When In Doubt

Once you have all the measurements you can compare them with the sizes available for the clothing or costume you are considering. If there is any conflict in the measurements, you should always choose a larger size. For example, if your dog’s chest and body length suggest he should have a medium size costume, but his neck is larger, you should get the larger sized costume. If the clothes or costume are too small for your dog in any way, he may rip them or tear them either accidentally or by trying to make himself more comfortable. Always go larger if you have any doubts.

You should also keep in mind that it’s possible some clothes and costumes can shrink a little when you wash them. It can also be hard to predict how some clothes and costumes are cut or made. If your dog is borderline between small and medium or medium and large, getting the larger size will give him plenty of room in case the outfit runs small. You can always take the outfit in a little if necessary.

Accessories

When it comes to accessories like bows, hats, and other things, you can usually rely on the sizes given. Most of these items fit directly on your dog so there is less variation in how they are made for dogs.

If you’re buying a costume for your dog that is made of a stretch material, then it’s not as important to get bigger sizes since the costume is more forgiving. However, you should always keep your dog’s comfort in mind. Don’t try to wedge him into a tight costume or he’ll be uncomfortable.

Masks

Dogs often don’t appreciate masks and other accessories that go over their faces, even when they fit well, so if you need your dog to wear a mask for a photo, it’s a good idea to get the picture snapped quickly and then do away with the mask or face gear if your dog doesn’t like it.

Buy Early

Clothes for dogs can be found online and in pet stores. Costumes tend to be more seasonal, especially for holidays like Halloween. If you’re planning to have your dog wear a Halloween or other costume, it’s a good idea to buy the costume ahead of time and let your dog try it on so you can make sure it fits properly.

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