How to Measure a Dog for a Coat or Jacket: Measurements & Sizing Guide

Want to protect your pup against the cold, rain and snow? You’re going to need a dog coat. It’s simple to think that dog coats all come as standard – but to get the best fit for your pooch; you’ll need to know how to measure a dog for a coat beforehand.

Don’t worry – below, we take you through what you need to know, from measuring neck to tail and everything in between.

Some dog breeds need coats more than others – whether it’s fur length, attitude to changes in temperature – or just their attitude to rain! In our experience, keeping your pup safe, dry and warm is only ever a good thing. Otherwise, your pet will end up a soggy doggy, and they could develop all kinds of health problems.

Knowing how to measure for a dog coat will ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness – we’ll show you the way to get the right measurements.

Buying a coat for your dog is an act of love – you’re looking after their health. Regardless of dog breed or size, all pups are going to feel more than a bit chilly in the rain and snow, and for that reason, a waterproof and/or insulated coat is going to be a fantastic asset.

You should consider purchasing your dog a coat if you’re likely to walk them in all weathers – rain, snow, hail, wind, the works. What’s more, many dog coats offer high-vis in low light – so you can safely take your dogs on night time walks without worrying about losing track.

Buying a quality dog coat, and one that fits, is even more important – you want to ensure that your dog measures for a jacket or coat properly for means of safety, comfort and ease of use from day to day.

However, not all dogs necessarily need a coat – it might be that they have longer fur than most already and might be at risk of overheating with anything extra thrown on.

Therefore, keep reading and we’ll take you through which dogs are likely to benefit from the added support. It’s tempting to wrap them up in cotton wool – but not always healthy.

Dog Coat Sizing Guide

When you start looking at a dog coat sizing guide, you’ll likely find that they tend to be fairly generic. Many popular dog coat ranges offer these options:

  • extra small
  • small
  • medium
  • large
  • extra large

but these sizes aren’t particularly clear when it comes to different breeds.

That’s why it’s so important to take into account your dog’s own measurements and girth. The smallest sizes of dog coats might fit measurements for chihuahuas, dachshunds and bichon frises – but every dog is different when it comes to precise measurements. Your beagle might have a broad chest, or your Jack Russell might be on the portly side!

It’s tempting to follow ‘simple’ sizing charts on Amazon and to assume that you’ll buy the right chest size for your dog. However, get a size too small and your pup will feel restricted – so you’d better get those measurements down pat pretty fast with a measuring tape.

Dog Coat Measurements

How Should a Dog Coat or Jacket Fit?

Measuring a dog for a coat is simple enough. The whole length measurement of a dog coat should run from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. This tends to be the main measurement that sets dog coats apart, but you also need to consider their neck circumference, as well as their girth.

Firstly, measure the length of your dog from the base of their neck to the base of their tail, and take down the measurement in cm and inches (just in case). You’ll need to keep these measurements to hand when you consult any sizing guide or chart.

Your dog’s neck measurement is important as this is where your dog might feel restricted with a small size of coat. So, once you have your back length, measure the circumference around your dog’s neck.

Then, you’ll need to measure the girth of your dog. To do this, you need to measure your dog’s chest at its widest. You’ll find this easy to do just behind their front legs.


How Tight Should a Dog Coat Be?

You need to be able to fit at least two fingers between your dog and its coat – both comfortably around your dogs chest and neck.

What Size is a Large Coat?

Length measurement on big coats may vary depending on the size guide, but it’s generally 50cm (20 inches) or larger.

The Last Word

We’ve all seen a size guide or length guide for dog coats online, and some are simpler than others. To avoid all doubt, you really need to make sure you grab that tape measure and know your exact coat size – that’s step 1. Step 2, of course, is looking for a great quality jacket from a brand you trust and of a type/fit your pooch will benefit from.

In this guide, we’ve taken a look at plenty of different coats and breeds that will benefit from a good quality jacket. However, getting that coat size right will make all the difference when it comes to comfort, safety and security, as well as all added benefits. Always measure from the base of their neck to the base of the tail – at the very least, get the measurement for back length! Remember, UK sizes differ from European and US measurements.

Sometimes, a collar isn’t enough – your dogs might need extra help on your part to fight against the weather. If you’re unsure what, size coat will work best for your pup, make sure you get your measurements straight – that’s length, circumference, chest size. Don’t forget to view all of the dog fitness equipment posts to ensure you have everything you need whilst owning your breed.

John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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