Choosing Dog Clothes


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Similar to people, clothing tailored for dogs is made for multiple reasons. Protection from hostile weather conditions is the primary one. Although most dogs possess coats given to them by mother nature, the majority of dogs of any breed will prefer to wear another layer during cold and windy conditions. The protective footwear shelters a dog's sensitive paws. Yes, dogs also like to get compliments. In fact, your dog understands what you say when you compliment it.

Companies sewing dog clothing make apparel made to fit for canines of all breeds, shapes, and sizes. These vary from the chic couture for the fashionable dog to premium quality outerwear for rugged terrain and any weather.

Function and comfort

Before you buy a set of clothes for your dog, it is important to look for comfort and function. The material from which they will be made must be of high quality. The stitching must be durable. The fit must be adjustable so that the dog enjoys complete freedom of movement. As an owner, you must be able to take it off and put it on easily. The fabric must be breathable and soft. The material must be stretchable and need minimum maintenance. It must also be stylish.

If you and your dog live in temperate climates, then a sweater during wintertime would be welcomed by your dog. Sweaters comprise essential components of a winter wardrobe. Dog sweaters provide the canine with comfortable warmth when the temperature slides down. A sweater is a must-have for short-haired breeds and small dogs. Senior dogs and arthritic canines also require a sweater which will help them to get benefits from another insulation layer. Dog owners can buy one or all from fleece hoodies to wool handknits. A few dogs look good and feel cozy in soft acrylic pullovers.

Foot and outerwear

If your love likes the outdoors, it is a good idea to present it with outerwear. The latter will protect the dog from hostile weather elements like rain and snow. Better-Designed outerwear for a dog will permit the canine to be on top of things with style and comfort. Search for waterproof rain slickers and puffy down parkas. It would be excellent if the jacket were a reversible one. A reflective trim with high visibility would be a bonus. It would help the dog to stay safe in conditions of low light. Footwear is important to protect your dog from snow, ice, mud, and even fire ants. Your dog should not touch pesticides, road salts, and many kinds of hazardous chemicals. Dog boots offer traction during wintry conditions while keeping the dog's foot comfortable and dry. Senior dogs would love the traction shoes that give them a better grip over treacherous frozen or slippery surfaces.

How to Measure Dogs for Clothes and Leashes

Every woman knows the fitting-room routine: Always take in three of everything. You bring in one in the size you think you wear, plus one size larger and one smaller. Despite years of attempts at standardizing clothing sizes for people, sizing has become as much about pandering to the ego as it is about measuring tapes. Doggie clothing has absolutely no standards, so, unless your local doggie couture has dressing rooms, fitting your dog can prove even more difficult than dressing yourself. Here's how to measure dogs for clothes and leashes.

Expect every doggie designer's line to differ on sizing methods. Some lines use weight as a guide, others generalize with S-M-L sizing, and yet others have numerical sizing -- but no two sizing charts are guaranteed to match up. The good news is that measuring tape can save you a lot of returns -- if you know how and where to measure. Three basic measurements will guide you through most doggie designs.

Three Measurements For your Dog

To measure around the neck, pick the spot where you expect a collar to ride, generally the narrowest point between shoulder and jaw. Leave a couple of fingers inside the tape when you measure. You donโ€™t want a collar too tight, and you want room for a well-fit collar to rest.

The next measurement youโ€™ll need is the โ€œgirth,โ€ the largest measurement around the chest. Youโ€™ll want clothing to fit closely to this measurement, especially if youโ€™re fitting a dog that travels low to the ground. A loose fit in the chest is not only uncomfortable for your dog but can be a tripping hazard. Measure the length of your dogโ€™s legs if you plan to include skirts or tutu styles in your canineโ€™s closet. Especially for small dogs, rear paws and claws can become entangled in skirts and netting.

The last measurement youโ€™ll want, the โ€œbackโ€ or โ€œlength,โ€ is the most complicated. A T-shirt should be longer than a crop shirt, but shorter than a dress or long coat. For most mid-length shirts, measure from the โ€œcollarโ€ to the point on the back where the ribs end. For a long coat, go to a point a little short of the tail. For a crop-top or bolero sweater, measure to just behind the front leg, making sure you leave room for free movement of the shoulder. Clothing that bunches in the armpit can produce painful chafing. 

Trim Excess

While ensuring doggie clothing matches up with those basic measurements can avoid most fashion faux pas, a couple more tips will make your doggie a diva. Some clothes feature โ€œcustomizableโ€ snaps, velcro tabs, and straps. These items can improve fit but are put to better use if you adjust them for your pet, then make the adjustments permanent. Removing extraneous buttons, getting rid of irritating extra velcro, and trimming off the ends of straps once fitted will all make clothes more comfortable. 

Consider Fabric

Canine clothes come in diverse fabrics, each of which has its plusses and minuses. Some are practical -- rain-wear is generally nylon or rubberized. Fashion clothing, however, comes in everything from silk to polyester. Stretchy fabrics -- and lots of materials that have some percentage of elasticized content -- have "give" on size. Cotton breathes well, making your dog cool and comfy, but provides no slack for sizing. Shopping in person provides an opportunity to touch fabrics and judge their stretch. Take that opportunity to judge comfort too. The best-fitting itchy fabric is still itchy, and your dog can't look gorgeous if they're scratching all day.

Boots and Footwear

When buying booties, your measuring tape will stand you in good stead once again. Have your pooch stand on a sheet of paper, then trace around the paw. Measure from front to back of the resulting oval, and measure shoes and booties against that length. If your canine friend has thick paws -- often true of Great Danes and Boxers -- a second measurement around the foot may come in handy. If youโ€™re purchasing products in person, put your hand in the bootie and measure in the round as well as for length.

Measuring for Leashes

One item that is often forgotten in the fitting room isnโ€™t strictly clothing, but also benefits from fitting your dog -- and you! A properly fitted leash allows you to show your pampered pooch to its best. Walking leashes typically come in two-, four-, and six-foot lengths. To prevent tugging but still give good control, your leash should let you put your hand on your hip comfortably.

A well-fit leash and comfortable clothing let you and your dog express yourselves however you like!

More on Pet Apparel and Supplies

How to Dress Your Dog for the Seasons
How to Make a Dog Bed at Home

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