Dog Clothing Tips

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What are your measurements?

When measuring your dog for new dog clothes or a dog coat, follow these guidelines:

* Measure your dog from the base of the collar to the spot where the tail joins the body.

* Make sure the dog is standing square, not sitting or slouching.

* Measure around the dog at the widest point, behind the front legs for the girth.

* Take the time to measure the dog; don't just guess at the size.


Giving dog clothes – a few simple rules

Dog clothes can make a great gift, highly appreciated by both pet and owner. But there are a few basic rules to follow:

* If the dog is an avid chewer, you should avoid buying dog clothes with anything tempting: shiny buttons, fringe or feathers. Any object that can be chewed off and swallowed is a choking hazard.

* Get dog clothes that fit. Ask the owner for measurements. If you want to make the dog clothes a surprise gift, offer to dog sit or to take the dog for a walk yourself. And bring a tape measure. Or enlist friends or family members to help get you the measurements for the dog clothes.

* Finally, make sure the gift of dog clothes is suitable for the dog and the owner. You might think the doggie polo shirt is cute, but it might not work for a big outdoor dog, like a Lab or German Shepherd. On the other hand, a backpack or doggles wouldn't work for a Toy Poodle. How does the owner like to dress or accessorize the dog? Does the dog normally wear dog clothes? Has the owner ever discussed his or her feelings about dog clothes with you? All good questions to ask and think about before going out to make a special purchase of dog clothes.


Treat dog clothes like kid clothes

General tips when buying dog clothes or dog coats:

* Dogs get wet and dirty. So will their dog clothes and dog coats. If you don't buy something machine washable, you're going to regret it.

* And if the dog clothes and dog coats are going to get lots of machine washing, make sure the fabric isn't shrinkable and stands up to repeated washings.

* Don't forget the slit in the back for the leash. This is especially important if you are making or buying custom clothes.

* Easy on, easy off and everyone's going to be happier.


Dog coats of many colors, styles

So you've decided your dog needs a winter coat. Dog coats are a smart choice. A winter dog coat can make outdoor walks with your best friend more fun for both of you. But what kind of dog coat to choose? With hundreds of styles of dog coats for all kinds of dogs, it's a personal choice. But you should probably approach buying a dog coat with the same plan as you do buying a coat for yourself. If you spend a lot of time outside in cold weather, you probably have a big, warm winter coat. Your dog needs an extra warm dog coat, too. If fashion is more important to you than warmth, you can purchase designer dog coats for you and your dog. Overall, you should make sure the dog coat is warm, fits well, is easy for you to put on and take off the dog, and hard for the dog to remove or squirm out of. If it fits well, your pet will find a dog coat comfortable and cozy! Also, make sure the dog coat is washable and won't shrink. Fleece is a good choice for light and flexible warmth in a dog coat, and so are wool blends. Other fabrics might look good, but won't be nearly as versatile.


Better than Prozac

If your dog is nervous or has severe separation anxiety, there are other solutions than anti-anxiety drugs. The answer may be as simple as a dog coat that is known as an anxiety wrap. The anxiety wrap is like a tight-fitting dog coat. It puts a slight pressure across the dog's body. The idea behind it is that it stimulates the skin, which aids in the transmission of messages to the brain and can give the dog a clearer awareness and focus. This specialized dog coat can be used as a training aid, or to help a dog through anxiety-causing events, like a thunderstorm. The specialized dog coat is available in black only, and can be found in sizes for small, medium and large dogs. It costs $60-$70 online, depending on the size.


Dog coats warm your furry friend

We all know dogs sport their own beautiful coats but winter sometimes calls for extra help. The answer: dog coats, expecially for short-haired dogs. When you put on a coat for a walk outdoors, put a dog coat on your pooch as well. Dog coats are especially comforting to short-haired and small dogs, especially breeds with short legs who are low to the ground. Dog coats may add extra protection for a Husky or Chow or other hearty dog with a lot of fur, if it is really, really cold outside. Dog coats are useful indoors for some small, hairless or short-haired dogs (Pugs, Chihuahuas.) They probably need to put on a dog coat or sweater inside, when the temperature is set below 70. If you're still not sure if your dog needs a winter dog coat, ask your vet, breeder or dog trainer. Remember, it's not embarrassing for your dog to wear a winter coat. After all, you do.


Clothes encounters for your pet

Some people refuse to wear coats and hats, even in the winter. Others sacrifice warmth for fashion. Whatever you decide for your dog when buying dog clothes or a dog coat, be practical. Make sure your dog clothes are appropriate for the dog. Put common sense before fashion sense. With new styles of dog clothes and dog coats, chances are you will find styles that please you and keep your dog warm and dry as well. When shopping for dog clothes, consider your pet's size and fur coat. Big dogs with lots of fur need different dog clothes and dog coats for protection from the elements than little dogs or hairless dogs. Some dogs probably shouldn't go out in very cold or wet weather, no matter how you clothe them. Remember the rule of thumb: Look at how you are dressed and see if the dog needs the same level of protection.


Dog coats come in Gore-Tex, too

While fleece and wool are the most popular fabrics for warm winter dog coats, materials to keep your pet warm have gone high-tech. Dog coats are now made of rugged materials like Gore-Tex that people also use for hiking and other outdoor recreation. Think about fabric for dog coats like you when choosing outerwear for yourself. You wear warm coats when it's cold and waterproof/windproof coats when it's wet, and windy weather. Dog coats come in the same styles and varieties. You can get a custom slicker for your dog that is made of waterproof nylon/polyester blend and even come with adjustable hoods. Just put your dog's front paws through the arm holes of the dog coat and strap it around underneath for full, 100 percent waterproof protection from the elements.


For you and your dog

There are plenty of dog clothes for humans, too. One favorite is the breed-specific T-shirt. Show your loyalty to your pet with a T-shirt with a large screened image of your favorite breed. Breeds from Australian Shepard to West Highland Terrier are available. Shirts come in all sizes and are machine washable. Find them online for under $20. Want something a little fancier? Get your favorite breed embroidered on anything from a jacket or sweatshirt to a tote bag, or get custom-made show clothes to match those on your winning pet. Again, you're only limited here by your imagination and pocketbook. If you want it, it's probably out there already or someone can make it for you.


How far can it go?

How far are fashonistas willing to go when buying dog clothes? Pretty far. Look around the online shopping world and you can find doggie polo shirts (for all those underdressed Goldens, Labs and Springers), dog dresses (formal and casual), shirts (tank tops to formalwear), sweaters, dog coats, shoes, boots and sunglasses. How about bathrobes, wedding dresses, or vintage clothing? And we're not even touching on what can me done by hiring a someone to tailor dog clothes to your specific vision and your dog's unique size. Suffice it to say, whatever you want is probably out there. And if it isn't there are people out there who will make something custom for you.

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Guru Spotlight
George Sayour