How to Fit a Boston Terrier for Clothing
A proper fitting dog coat for this Boston terrier.
The Importance of Pet Fashions That Fit Well
When choosing a new coat for your Boston Terrier it is important that the coat or other pet fashion clothing item fit properly in order for your pet to stay comfortable, look cute, and for the clothing to carry out the intended function.
Buying clothes for pets and dressing them up can be a fun experience for both the pet owner as well as the pet. Because dogs such as the Boston terrier are especially active, it is very important to make sure that the coats or other types of clothing that you purchase for them fit properly and are comfortable for the dog to wear.
When pet coats do not fit properly, the clothing item may restrict breathing, movement, or create sore spots on your dog's skin. In addition to those troubling circumstances, purchasing off the rack pet clothing only to find that it does not fit properly can become very expensive, not to mention frustrating for both you and your dog.
Dog Clothing Size Chart
Dog Weight In Pounds
3 to 7 pounds
7 to 15 pounds
15 to 25 pounds
25 to 35 pounds
35 pounds and up
Boston Terrier Loves Comfort
Why You Should Measure Your Boston Terrier
Juneau will be the model for this article. She is a very small dog who weighs just 12 pounds. As you'll see from the pictures, this breed of dog is highly muscled through the neck and shoulders. Her waist is very trim and her hindquarters are well muscled.
Because Juneau lives in a rainy climate, she needed a raincoat that fit her properly. The pink, hounds tooth checked coat she is wearing is reminiscent of the women's clothing styles made popular by Jackie Kennedy, when her husband, John, was in office years ago.
This rain coat features a collar that can be turned up to protect the neck and head from the elements, or turned down as needed. The coat also features a belt with a Velcro fastener that is adjustable and a belt loop to tuck in the end. The coat covers her hindquarters and bottom, which helps to keep her dry.
Common problems in fitting pet clothing to dogs like Juneau include the neck being too tight, resulting in restricted breathing and movement, sizing issues which resulted in the off the rack clothing being too long for the length of the dog's back, and being too big in the waist area.
So before going out to purchase new clothing for this type of dog it is a good idea to take some measurements. As you can see from the sizing chart at the left, most dog sizes are based on the weight of the dog. This can be problematic when you have a dog such as a Boston terrier, that is compact, yet muscular.
Here we will show you how to measure your dog to get the best fit.
In this picture Juneau is modeling a pink, hounds tooth checked raincoat. This coat fits Juneau perfectly. As you can see from the picture, this coat gives Juneau plenty of room in the neck. It fits snugly across her shoulders in the waist is neither too tight nor to loose. This coat has a collar that turns up to help to keep the rain off of her head and ears and the length down her back covers her hindquarters and tail so that the rain stays off her bottom as well. Juneau is able to move freely in this coat and does not experience any painful rubbing from the material.
What You Will Need
To measure your dog, it is best to use an inexpensive cloth or plastic tape measure. These tape measures can be found in the fabric department of almost any department store. You may also find them in the weight loss section of a sporting goods store, as they are used for taking measurements when going on a reducing diet as well.
Measure Your Dog's Neck
Measure Your Dog's Length
Measure the Chest Girth
Measure the Breadth of the Dog's Chest
Measure the Waist, or Flank Circumference of the Dog
How to Measure Your Dog
Measure the Circumference of the Dog's Neck
The first measurement we will take is around her neck. As you look at the picture to your right you will see arrows indicating where you should measure your dog. It is important to measure your dog's neck at the widest part of its neck. Be sure to keep the measuring tape snug, but loose enough that you can fit a finger between the tape measure and the dog's neck. When you measure the neck, place your dog on a flat surface, and have the dog stand up, looking straight ahead. It may help to have another person stand in front of the dog while you are doing the measuring.
Measure the Length of the Boston Terrier's Spine
The second measurement we will take is the length of Juneau's spine from the base of her neck to the back of her haunch. As you can see, Juneau's rain coat is long enough that it fully covers her haunches. This length allows her to have full freedom of movement, and does not interfere with potty time. However, it provides complete coverage of her hind quarters so that the rain does not get her bottom wet.
Again, while taking this measurement, make sure he or she is standing up and looking straight ahead. Measure from just ahead of the point of the shoulders, to an inch or so past the dock of the tail.
Measure the Chest Girth of the Boston
The third measuremeant we will take is that of Juneau's chest. As you will see, the arrows indicate that you should measure your dog's chest in the largest area of girth, or the thickest part of their chest. When doing this, be sure to measure the circumference of their chest while they are standing up and relaxed. Do not pull the tape measure too tight. You want the tape measure to be a little snug but loose enough that you can easily fit a finger between your dog and the tape measure.
Measure the Breadth of the Dog's Chest
The fourth measurement we will take is the breadth of your dog's chest, which means that you will place the tape measure from the point of your dog's shoulder on your left and span the width across your dog's chest at the widest part. When measuring the dog's chest width, be sure to account for the extra width these dog's powerful shoulder muscles add to the width of their chest.
Measure the Dog's Flank, or Waistline
The last measurement we will take is that of your dog's waistline. Measuring the waistline is different for male dogs than it is for female dogs.
To measure a female you will want to measure her at the narrowest part of her waist. Again, it is important to keep the tape measure snug, but not too tight.
When measuring a male dog, you will want to measure his waste an inch or so in front of his sheath. It is important when fitting male dogs that any waistband does not interfere with their potty routine, or rub against the sheath area causing soreness.
Now that you have measured your dog, you have the information you need to help you to find better fitting off-the-rack clothing for you dog. In addition, you may want to think about having clothing altered by someone you know who is handy with a sewing machine, or better yet, find patterns and have some items made up especially for your treasured pet.
Having the right fit will ensure warmth and comfort for your Boston terrier for many years to come.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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© 2013 Nancy Owens