A Very Important Guide to Correctly Measuring Your Dog

A Very Important Guide to Correctly Measuring Your Dog

From collars to clothing, you need to know how to size your pupper.

By Kristyn Pomranz

Bravo's newest digital series, Furry, Fierce, and Fabulous stars the king of doggie couture Roberto Negrin as he works with everyday dogs to create runway-ready fashions inspired by their unique adoption stories.

Okay, so maybe you don’t have big plans to dress your dog in an elaborate couture ensemble like the subjects of Furry, Fierce, and Fabulous—but you are likely to need to take your pup’s measurements at one point or another. Whether you’re measuring for the correct collar size or a cold-weather coat, dog fashion designer Roberto Negrin explains how to take the correct measurements—and make sure your dog is always comfortable in his clothes.

“I remind people that not everything you see on one dog makes sense for any dog,” says Negrin. “You have to pay attention to size. If you have a bigger dog, you have to stay away from small pieces on the garment. And you can’t put loose outfits on smaller dogs like Chihuahuas. They’re so skinny and their chests are so big, you need to make sure you have a snug fit with elastic fabrics or they can get caught in them.”

While human measurements tend to be fairly exact, you want to give literal wiggle room to your pups because they’re so active. “I ask my clients to give me exact measurements but I always make the clothes a little bit bigger. My job is to make dogs look fabulous, but it is most important to keep them comfortable,” says Negrin.

According to Negrin, there are typically only four measurements you need:

The Neck

Especially when measuring your dog’s neck, “Always leave a few extra centimeters. You need to be sure that your dog can move freely,” advises Negrin.

The Body

Measuring along the top center of your dog, “Start at the beginning of the neck and go all the way down to the start of the tail.”

The Chest

Measure directly behind the two front legs (“I keep calling them arms,” laughs Negrin) to get the circumference of your dog’s chest.

The Waist

Locate the bottom bones of your dog’s ribcage, and that’s his “natural waist.”

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