I have a dog clothes dilemma. Let me explain.
The pet clothing industry is a booming business and it is gaining in popularity every year. You can find incredible doggie duds from some famous designers. I love looking at dog clothes and I really want to buy some. Why don’t I? If you thought the sizes were wonky for women’s fashions, you should try to follow the sizes in canine couture.
The problem stems from the sizing standards. In order to get an accurate fit, you need to measure your pet’s neck, chest, and back. The neck and chest are self-explanatory. To measure the back, you begin at the nape of the neck and end at the base of the tail.
It seems that every website has a different size chart. You should always check the measurements of any clothing item that you purchase. Don’t assume a large at one site is the same large on another site. If possible, try the clothes on your dog.
This generic size chart is very popular in stores.
Size Neck Chest Back
XS 5.5” 12” 7”
S 6.5” 15” 9”
M 8” 19” 13”
L 10” 24” 17”
XL 13.5 29” 20”
These are the suggested breeds for each size:
XS will fit Chihuahuas and Toy Poodles. Average Chihuahua’s neck size is 8 – 14”
Small is recommended for Beagles and Cocker Spaniels. They both share an average neck size of 12 – 18”.
Medium should be perfect for a Pug or Dalmatian. Except most Pugs’ necks are 12-15” and a Dalmatian will nudge the tape measure to 14 – 20 inches.
Large dogs are about the size of a Boxer or German Shepherd. There is just one problem…Boxer’s neck 16 – 22” and a German Shepherd’s is 18 – 24”.
X-L would be a Mastiff and the popular Great Dane. These breeds are huge, but these measurements underestimate the Dane’s neck by almost 7”.
Bentley is a Basset Hound. He does not fit in any of these size categories. According to the standard measurements, his neck is 6.5” larger than a Mastiff, but they have the same chest size. I can find him something that fits his neck, but the rest looks like a car cover! Did I mention his short legs? Why does my dog have to go around looking like Vinnie Barbarino with his sleeves cut off? (No offense to the Sweathogs) It just doesn’t seem fair.
I don’t normally put clothes on my dog. Well, that’s not quite true. He gets
dressed-up for photo shoots and special occasions. This time of the year, we participate in the Barkus and Meoux Mardi Paw parade. We are talking a Mardi Gras for pets! There are dogs of every description dressed in gowns, suits, tuxedos, and every imaginable costume. You can tell which pet parents are awesome with a sewing machine and those lucky enough to be able to purchase off-the-rack. Bentley has worn a cape each year and looks very festive. I just wish that he had more options. There are designer sites that will custom tailor a design. There are even some that can make an outfit to fit Bentley perfectly. I only need to win the lottery and set up monthly payments.
I recently went to my favorite pet store and found an incredible sale. I’m talking major markdowns! We tried on L, XL, and XXL in several styles. I was able to find one tee shirt that he could wear. Why can’t clothing manufacturers make a standard size? An XL should be an XL no matter which company makes it.
People have tall and short stores. Why can’t pet clothiers throw those of us with non-standard shaped dogs a bone? Don’t make us beg. ☺
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