Dog clothing buying guide

Dog clothing buying guide

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

107 guides

Dog clothing comes in all sizes and forms these days from coats and jumpers to boots and bandanas! Whether you're looking for a sensible waterproof or a costume for a special occasion, there are plenty of dog clothes and accessories to choose from. Read on to find the right clothing for your dog!

Important features

  • Dog size
  • Body type
  • Fastening
  • Material
  • Accessories
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Dog coats and waterproofs


Dog coats are designed to protect rain-hating pups or those whose thin coat doesn't quite cut it when it's cold out. Some coats feature elastic around the legs or under the tail while others feature buttons and holes for slotting through legs.

It's easy enough to find the perfect coat for your dog: you basically need to find the right style for their size and body type and be sure to choose a coat that allows them to move around freely. Of course, your dog will make most use of their coat when out and about so it is imperative that they be comfortable enough to go about their business unencumbered.

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Dog coats

Dog jumpers


Dog jumpers are designed to keep your dog cosy over the cold winter months and, unlike dog coats, can be worn indoors and outdoors. Jumpers designed for dogs are usually made of the following materials:

  • wool;
  • acrylic;
  • cotton.

Most manufacturers will provide size references based on breed. For example, toy breeds are usually referenced by 'chihuahua' while clothing for a large dog will be marked with something like 'German shepherd'.

Want to knit something yourself? Simply measure your dog for a custom fit! Just check that the jumper is easy enough to put on (you'll need to use a fairly elastic material.)

It's worth noting that your dog regulates their temperature by panting; if they are panting excessively or shedding a lot in the middle of winter they are too hot.

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Dog jumpers

Dog paw protectors and boots

You might be asking yourself: why on earth does a dog need paw protectors or boots? Well, there are a few specific situations where they might be required:

  • to stop your dog licking a rash or injury;
  • to stop your dog from sliding on certain surfaces;
  • to protect your dog's paws from extreme temperatures;
  • to protect their paw pads from abrasive surfaces.

Quick tip: non-slip paw protectors can provide extra grip and may be a good idea for an older dog that has trouble walking.

Finding clothing to fit your dog


It can be tricky to find the right size of dog clothing but you can make an educated guess using the sizing references provided by the manufacturer. Most dog clothing will come in about 6 different sizes:

  • XS: toy breeds such as miniature pinschers;
  • S: small breeds like Jack Russell terriers;
  • M: medium-sized breeds like beagles or spaniels;
  • L: large breeds like German shepherds or boxers;
  • XL: very large breeds like Rottweilers;
  • XXL: giant breeds like Bernese mountain dogs or Scottish deerhounds.

That said, you will have some trouble trying to find clothing or accessories for super-sized dogs, but most are fairly hardy!

Choosing the right dog boots or paw protectors


If you want to find the right boots or paw protectors for your dog, you'll need to think about the following factors:

  • are they machine washable?;
  • do they offer Velcro fastenings and easy adjustments?;
  • what material are they made from? (e.g. neoprene, fabric, leather);
  • what will they be used for? (e.g. sports or just extra grip).

Do you and your dog do a lot of running or walking around the city? You might want to invest in some paw protectors with faux leather soles to protect your pal's paw pads from rough ground.

Quick tip: fitting paw protectors is a great time to check your dogs claws and dew claws and give them a snip if needed!

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Dog boots

Dog dress-up costumes

From Halloween to Christmas or even just a family get together, there are many different occasions when you might want to dress up your dog. Dog costumes can incorporate a number of accessories from full suits to headwear or bandanas. But bear in mind that most dogs will draw the line at one accessory!

Dog costumes


Looking for a dog costume? Consider the following when making your choice:

  • type of event;
  • size of your dog;
  • type of activities planned (if you're looking for a show costume, for example);
  • time of year (don't dress up your dog in summer!);
  • most importantly, what your dog is happy wearing (your dog needs to be comfortable!).

Please remember that a lot of dogs don't enjoy being dressed up; do not force your dog to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.  Finally, do not dress up a dog that is likely to eat parts of the costume!

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Dog costumes

Dog bags and backpacks

You might be able to convince your dog to carry a small saddle bag on walks to hold essentials like poo bags. Alternatively, a dog backpack can be used to carry a small dog that tires quickly. These bags are made of fabric and mesh with removable parts to allow your dog to breathe easily and enjoy the view on a long hike.

How to choose a hiking bag


Looking for a hiking bag for your dog?  Here are a few features to look out for:

  • strengthened straps and an extra front strap for support;
  • strong and easy-to-use fastenings;
  • wide openings to let your dog see outside;
  • washable;
  • a comfortable compartment for your dog.

Dog accessories


Depending on the temperament of your dog, you can choose from a range of other accessories (to be worn for a limited time only!):

  • headwear;
  • ties;
  • bandanas;
  • bags.

The best way to choose the right clothing and accessories for your dog is to try them on first. There's no other way to check that the products fits properly and will be comfortable around sensitive areas such as the ears or tail.

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Dog backpacks

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Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds, 107 guides

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

With a handyman-father, I grew up with the soft sound of the sander and hammer on weekends. I am both manual and cerebral (yes, it is possible.), I learned the basics of DIY and the customization of furniture because I was passionate. The salvage mentality is a true way of life that allowed me to know how to use all the tools and products needed to give something a second life, from sander to varnish. I have two favorite activities: the transformation of old furniture and decoration tips. I am always ready to lend a helping hand to revamp a table or to restore a mirror that was intended for the trash that will become a friend’s centerpiece. I’m convinced that it’s possible to reinvent an interior by small, regular modifications, I constantly research low-cost, test ideas.

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