Choosing the perfect garment

When choosing a new garment for your pup, know the problem or better yet the thermal issue you wish to solve. Are you looking for an indoor snuggly garment for the cosy winter months or a waterproof, windproof durable coat? Something light to battle the rain that you can throw in your bag in case of an emergency or heavy-duty armour so no cold air can even reach your pup? One piece can not grant all your wishes.  With the market offering anything you can and can’t imagine satisfying your needs choose a piece or a brand that offers long-lasting and high-quality products. The chosen clothing should serve you for a long time and should fit them nicely, not too loose, not too tight. Firstly, make sure that you have measured your dog correctly, that the measurements are fairly new, and that your dog hasn’t had any major weight fluctuations recently. We will explain how a well-fitted coat should be worn, take the instructions and recommendations, and adjust them to your chosen garment. This applies to made-to-measure garments as well as those that come in sizes. If the garment is way too big the purpose is lost as the cold air flows freely under the fabric. If the garment hugs the body too tightly it can cut off the circulation, cut into the skin, and bruise them. Choose wisely!

The coat meant as outerwear during colder months should always cover your dog’s kidneys and belly. That is important for all but especially for females. Most dogs have less fur in their belly area, which means they lose a lot of heat through their belly if not covered properly. A lot of conventionally bought clothes don’t cover the belly, which is the most exposed part of their bodies, which exudes heat the most. A lot of dogs’ outerwear is also fitted way too short and ends by their waist, exposing the kidneys which may lead to hurtful infection. Outerwear fastening at their chest is not useful as it can help expose them as the garment eventually moves far to the front. They can be protected with any garment that ends at their tail whether it be a sweater or a coat. Think of the way our mothers taught us to dress when we were children, dress as an onion, more thin layers work better than just one thick one. This principle applies to doggos as well. When choosing the right one usually you can choose between a one-piece and a two-piece with the coat and tummy warmer separate. In both cases, the fit should be close fitting, but absolutely not too tight, just snug enough, so they can move freely. You can check the tightness by fitting a few fingers between your dog and the fabric and see how much it stretches. It should not be to lose either and it should not be gaping, because the draft will come in and defeat the purpose of them wearing clothing.

Beware of cuts worn only on the front part of the body, fastened way too loosely or tightly. When fastened around their body you should still be able to put a hand in between and move it, illustrating movement. Since our dogs can be athletic superstars, the garments should be performance-oriented. They run much faster than us humans, sometimes even up to 7 times our speed and for that, the garments should absolutely not tug or squeeze or cut into the skin. Opt for more stretchy materials, hugging the body well but not cutting into it. Be careful of any ribbons or elastics in odd places which may cut into the skin, bruise, or even puncture it while moving. It is really important to know that while choosing the clothing to acknowledge they are dogs and their garments would be cut differently than our own, do use the same common sense as with your own clothing. But do think about which parts of the body you would cover first and how you wished it fitted you while moving.

Funny costumes or Halloween dresses are usually meant only to look cute and not to be functional. There is nothing wrong with cuteness, but if opting to keep them warm and comfortable, choose as you would your own clothing. It should be comfortable to dress, both the pup while putting it on and you, the owner, dressing them. The garments dressed over the head might be best for certain breeds while those wrapping around the body work best for others. If the dog is not used to wearing clothes, the wraparounds usually work best. The material should be nice to the touch, similar to choosing your own. Best made of natural materials if meant to be worn only inside, and durable and water repellent as outerwear. A great tip is to choose something that is easy to clean, either wiping it, scrubbing it, or simply machine washable. It is also very important to choose materials that do not get static while worn. It can get very uncomfortable with all that fur.

Sizing systems might be a bit more or less complex than our own, but they usually depend on the breed or body shape in combination with the back length. Some also add the circumference of the broadest part of the chest and neck. Finding the best fit might differ with different brands, as well as picking the perfect size. You might find the best results with made-to-measure clothing, as expected, but if choosing from a size chart, aim for brands that specialise in your breed of dog. They will be more familiar with the shape and size of the dog as well as how they move, evolving the garment in a way that would fit best the kind of anatomy this breed usually has. It would always work best also if choosing a garment specifically for the activity you have in mind, laying on the sofa will require different cuts, fabrics, and even additions as a raincoat.

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