How to Measure Your Dog Properly

As a dog owner, you will need to purchase several items for your dog including a collar, leash, lifejacket, raincoats, and other clothing. Therefore, it is important to take accurate measurements of your dog to help you buy the right clothing and harness for them. Below is a detailed guide for measuring your dog.

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How to Measure Dog Height

Height measurement for dogs is important especially when you are shopping for a carrier or just want to know how much they have grown over time. Measuring your dog’s height is done from the ground to the withers, which is a dog’s highest point on their shoulder blades and behind the base of their neck.

Kojirou Sasaki | Unsplash

Before you begin, ensure that you feel your dog’s withers. This is easier to find in dogs that have shorter coats. To get an accurate measurement, let your dog stand against a wall or door frame. Try to ensure that the dog is standing up straight with their feet width apart and their legs perpendicular to the floor.

Now, run a measuring tape from the floor to your dog’s withers and mark the point on the wall using a pencil. Alternatively, you can place a clear tape to mark the spot. Another way to measure a dog’s height is by placing a level across their withers and make sure that it touches the end of the wall and mark the point.

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How to Measure Dog Back Length

You need to make accurate measurements of your dog’s back length before shopping for their lifejackets, hoodies, or raincoats.

Chewy | Unsplash

To do this, run your tape measure on the base of your pet’s neck, where a collar is placed. Use one hand to hold the tape on the base of your dog’s neck and run it through their spine to the base of the tail using the other hand.

If you have a male dog, it is advisable not to run the tape too long. This is because boy dog clothes need to be slightly shorter in length to allow room for peeing.

How to Measure Dog Chest Girth

Measuring your dog’s chest girth is important when you want to wear a dog coat or harness. This involves measuring your dog’s largest part in their rib cage. This is located behind the front legs.

Chewy | Unsplash

Let your dog stand up and place one end of the measuring tape on their spine. Then wrap the tape behind the front legs going around your pup’s body till it reaches the beginning of the tape.

You want to ensure that you get the accurate measure while ensuring snugness. For this, you can use the two-finger rule where you place both your pointer and middle fingers between your dog and the measuring tape.

How to Measure Dog Neck Girth

You need to measure the circumference of your dog’s neck for purpose of wearing a collar or leash. To do this, use a soft measuring tape and run it around your dog’s neck. This should be between your dog’s top chest and shoulder blades.

Chewy | Unsplash

Make sure that the tape is snug so that it is neither too tight nor too big. You can use the two-finger rule just like measuring the chest girth.

Another tip is to add an inch when measuring a small breed (below 20 pounds), two inches if he is a medium breed (28 to 58 pounds), and three inches if he is a large to extra large breed (59-100 pounds).

How to Measure Dog Shoe Size

Usually, dog shoes come in various sizes ranging from XXX-Small (1.5 inches) to XXX-Large (3.5 inches). You should measure each paw differently and trim his toenails for accurate measurement.

Myriam Jessier | Unsplash

To measure, place the paw on a piece of paper and use your fingers to gently press it down. Use a pencil to mark the front and back of the paws and take the measurement of the distance between the lines.


These are some of the common measurements that you need to take for your dog. However, you may need to make other measurements depending on your dog’s breed and characteristics.

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