First, make sure you know your dog’s size before ordering or designing an ensemble. The American Kennel Club says the three primary measurements you need are the chest, neck and back.
- Chest: Measure around the largest part of your dog’s chest as he stands upright. Guide a cloth measuring tape around the rib cage and behind the front legs. Be sure to leave enough space so you can fit two fingers between the tape and your dog’s body.
- Neck: This measurement is pretty easy if your dog wears a collar (you can simply measure the length of the collar). You can also use a cloth measuring tape and wrap it around the neck, from the middle of the shoulder blades to the top of the chest and back up the other side.
- Back: Measure along the spine from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. Don’t lift the measuring tape in the air! Run it along the spine for a more accurate measurement.
- Head: Some of the costumes on our list are just hats or headpieces. For those measurements, start at the highest point on your dog’s head then move down under the chin.
When in doubt, choose a larger size. Your dog will thank you (and be able to move freely). These measurements are also helpful when choosing a harness or sweater for your dog.