How to Measure a Dog for Clothes

Spring has finally sprung, and with it comes more opportunities to help your pup strut their stuff in style. Whether you’re searching for cute puppy hoodies to keep the spring chill at bay or hoping to stock up on dog bandanas in preparation for the upcoming spring and summer holidays, you can find the best dog gear for your trend-setting pooch at Beast & Buckle.

Before you click the “buy” button, though, it’s essential that you take your pup’s measurements. Like humans, dogs come in all different shapes and sizes (indeed, they’re one of the most varied species on the planet). Adding to the confusion, dog clothing sizes often differ from brand to brand, so your pooch could be a size S at one store and a size M or even a size L at another. 

a person using a fabric measuring tape to measure their dachsund for clothes

Source: Masarik/

Unsure how to measure a dog for clothes? Don’t worry — it’s easy! Read on for a simple guide on how to measure a dog for clothing, harnesses and more.

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Gather Your Supplies

You really only need one thing to measure your dog successfully, and that’s a soft tape measure (aka a seamstress’s tape measure). A soft tape measure is ideal because it will take the most accurate measurement of your pet’s chest and neck. If you don’t have a soft tape measure, you can also take your dog’s measurements with a long piece of string and then measure the string itself with a hard tape measure or a ruler.

Pick a Time When Your Dog Is Calm

If you search for “how to measure a dog” on YouTube, you’ll likely find a bunch of cute videos featuring calm, well-behaved pups getting their measurements taken by their owners. But in reality, you’ll probably be dealing with a wiggly pup who can’t figure out why you’re so intent on wrapping a piece of string around their belly. To make things easier, consider tiring your pup out beforehand with a walk, a game of fetch or a training session.

How to Measure a Dog Correctly

Whether you’re fitting your dog for a cute dog harness, a stylish rain jacket or a simple bandana, knowing your dog’s measurements is key to getting the right fit. Below are the three most common types of measurements you’ll encounter on dog sizing charts and how to measure them accurately.

1. Back Length

Nothing is worse than buying a cute dog hoodie for your pooch, only to find that it’s too long or too short. To ensure a proper fit, you need to know your dog’s back length measurement. With your pup standing up straight, measure from the base of your dog’s neck (generally, where the collar sits) to the base of the tail.

2. Neck Girth

A neck measurement is the circumference of your pup’s neck where the collar usually sits. To take your pup’s neck measurement, wrap the soft tape measure around your dog’s neck. When fitting your pup for a dog collar or a harness, a good rule of thumb is to leave enough room for two fingers between your dog’s body and the strap.

3. Chest Girth

The chest girth refers to the girth or circumference of your dog’s chest. For this measurement, you’ll want to measure the widest part of your dog’s chest, which is generally right behind the front legs. Start with your dog in a standing position and measure right behind the front legs. Use the “two-finger rule” to ensure that your dog’s clothing isn’t too snug.

Additional Tips for Measuring Your Dog

  • Have a pen and paper handy. That way, you can jot down your pet’s measurements as soon as you measure them.
  • If your dog is in between sizes, size up! Too-large dog clothes are generally an easy fix. Plus, your dog will be more comfortable.
  • Pay attention to the brand’s sizing guide. Not only do dog clothing sizes differ from brand to brand, but they can also differ from product to product. For instance, our no-pull dog harnesses have unique sizing that is different from our other harness lines.
  • Keep your dog’s measurement information on your phone. You never know when you’ll be out and about and spot a cute dog bandana or hoodie for your furry friend! 
a small dog wearing a sweater

Gear Up in Style with Beast & Buckle

There you have it! A no-fuss guide on how to measure your dog correctly. Now that you have your pup’s measurements, it’s time to shop for cute dog bandanas, hoodies, harnesses and other gear that will nab your precious pup a spot on the Best Dressed list. Shop the entire collection of dog clothes and gear at Beast & Buckle today!

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