Expert Tips for Finding Coats to Fit Your Dog

"You may also want to consider a garment with less structure, like a sweater or hoodie. These styles usually have fewer seams. Fewer seams make for a less fitted garment and fuller cut."

Photo courtesy of Cool Blue Dog Apparel

Q: What tips can you offer people shopping for a coat for their dog, whether it's a hard-to-fit breed or one that's typically easy to fit? Are there certain measurements they should have on hand?

A: "Always have these three measurements: neck, girth and length. You will need at least two of the three, or all three, depending on the style. An idea of weight [could be helpful], but it's not essential if you have the others.

"You should also look for the maximum amount of adjustability in the garment [like the aforementioned belly belt Cool Blue offers, which allows for an additional 1 to 2 inches on the underside of the jacket to help with fit]. It’s harder to manufacture a garment with full body coverage, but it’s the best for your dog. Anyone can make something that closes under the neck and under the belly, but that hinders the ability to keep the dog warm.

"Look for comfort, most importantly. Make sure the garment is a fabric that your dog will not want to rip off after a few minutes. Our jackets are made of cotton, some with a little stretch. Our linings are a soft fleece or mesh. Hoodies [are made of] a cotton/poly blend. Tank tops and dresses have 7 to 10 percent Lycra for stretch and comfort.

"Also make sure that the clothing fits correctly ... to make relieving themselves easy and comfortable. Make sure the dog fits in the garment to make sure nothing is in the way, if you know what I mean. We — or really Bruiser — learned that one the hard way when trying out our first sample!"

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