How to Measure a Dog for a Coat

As the weather turns colder, some dogs will benefit from a warm coat to keep them toasty. This isn’t the case for all breeds (take a look at our blog Should Dogs Wear A Coat for more on this), but plenty of pooches will appreciate a helping hand in the winter! You may also wish to protect them against the rain with a waterproof dog coat. Raincoats for dogs are a great way to minimise the dreaded drying session when you get home! So, if you’re looking to get your pup kitted out with a dog coat of any kind, it’s important to get the right fit. In this blog we’ll take you through the measurements you need, how to take them, and our top tips for doing so.

Dog Coat Measurements

There are three main measurements to take to ensure your dog coat is the right fit for your pet. Many dog coats are adjustable around the chest, but not along the back. Therefore, the most important measurement is the length.

How to measure a dog for a coat


This measurement is usually taken from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. In other words, you should measure from your dog’s collar to where their tail begins (not the tip).

Always check the brand’s measuring guide closely, as not all will use the same measurements. For example, some may measure from between the shoulder blades to the base of the tail.


Sometimes referred to as girth, you should measure the widest part of your dog’s chest here. This is usually just behind the elbows.


Measure around your dog’s neck where the collar sits. The tape measure should be snug but not too tight around their neck – you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably underneath.

Often retailers of dog coats will include a size guide to help you choose. Sometimes they will have breed-specific sizes too.

Tips for Measuring a Dog for a Coat

If you have one, use a fabric measuring tape. This is flexible enough to wrap around your dog, and will get the most accurate reading.

You can also use string if you don’t have a suitable measuring tape. Simply wrap the string around your dog for the chest and neck measurement, or hold it along their back for the length measurement. Then, pinch the point on the string where your dog reaches, and measure the string to your fingers.

Make sure your dog is standing, rather than sitting or laying down when you take their measurements. It will not only be much easier to do if they’re stood, but your measurements will be more accurate too.

If your dog is a bit of a fidgeter, it might be helpful to ask someone else to hold on to them, or distract them with a treat or toy while you take the measurements. It can also be helpful to get your dog to stand in front of a wall to keep them still.

Always round up with your measurements if you’re in between sizes. It’s always better to go too big than too small when it comes to dog coats. One that is too tight will be uncomfortable for your pet, especially as they will be wearing it while exercising. Dog coats shouldn’t restrict their movement.

Dog Coats at Animed Direct

Waterproof Dog Coat

This waterproof dog coat is padded for extra warmth, making it perfect for smaller breeds and those with a thinner fur coat.

Coats for Dogs with Legs

For real downpours, this dog raincoat is a great choice. It will protect your dog from head to toe with the leg coverings and adjustable tightening mechanisms.

Showerproof Raincoat for Dogs

If your dog already has a thick coat to keep them warm, but you want to keep them dry, this lighter, showerproof dog coat is perfect. It also folds away for easy storage.

Dog Coat with Harness Hole

For ultimate ease of use, this handy dog coat has a built-in opening so that you can attach a lead to your dog’s harness. It also boasts a 2-in-1 design where the inner fleece can be taken out for warmer weather, so that it acts as a light raincoat.

Wrapping Up

Dog coats can be very handy in the winter months, and it’s important to make sure you get a good fit. Most dog coats will require the length measurement as a minimum, but it’s always best to have the neck and chest measurements to hand too. We hope this blog has helped you to take your dog’s measurements accurately, and that you and your pup are now ready for some outdoor adventures together, come rain or shine!

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker