Dog Vest Tip – Getting a Custom Fit

Dog Vest Tip – Getting a Custom Fit

Sugar's favorite dog vest

Sugar Baby’s favorite dog vest

With winter approaching, you might want to get your four-legged companion a nice cozy dog vest. Not only do they keep your doggy warm, but they’re fashionable, too!

When I make vests for the adoption center, I have five sizes that I use. Because you don’t know how big the dog is that will wear it, the sizes are kind of generic.

However, when I’m making a dog vest for a client’s puppy, we make sure that it’s a great fit. And while the client can bring their animal to me for a fitting, it’s also possible to get the measurements at home.

Why should you measure for a dog vest?

Part of the reason is that people may look at their pet differently. For example, what I might call a medium-sized dog might look like a large one to its owner.

To get an accurate fit, three simple measurements should be taken. You’ll need a flexible tape measure to do this, preferably a seamstress tape.

Measure the dog’s neckline first

dog vest neckline

Dog Vest Neckline – click for larger image

Getting the neckline measurement makes certain that your dog will feel comfortable. It shouldn’t be so tight as to choke the animal; but it shouldn’t be too loose either. The neck strap can be made adjustable as well. I normally use Velcro® to make the attachment for most doggie vests.

Using a seamstress tape, measure around the dog’s neck. The tape should rest where the neck meets the body and go around similar to the dog’s collar. If you need to, remove the collar to measure.  You’ll want to make sure that the veterinary or license tags will ride comfortably above or under the dog vest collar.

Our dog, Sugar Baby, calls them her “jingles,” and she loves to hear them clink when she walks.

Measuring the girth for the dog vest

dog vest girth

Dog vest girth – click for larger image

The next measurement will be around the dog’s girth. This strap is also made adjustable, so it doesn’t have to be a really close fit. In fact, we’ll leave some room in the adjustment for the dog to grow.

Take the measurement around the body, about where the bottom of the rib cage rests. This will keep the dog vest from riding up as the dog moves around the yard.

The combination of the neck strap and the belly strap will make sure your puppy looks good whenever it’s wearing the vest.

The length is the final measurement

dog vest length

Dog Vest Length – click for larger image

This measurement may be a matter of taste, depending on how much back coverage you want. But the best seems to be a length from the base of the neck, where you measured for the collar strap, to the base of the tail bone.

This allows the dog to wag its tail easily. Sugar Baby like her tail free to wag, even though she doesn’t have much of one to begin with!

Once you have those measurements, you’re ready for a custom-sized dog vest. All you have left is to pick out the material and color. I use polar fleece for winter vests and for spring or fall vests, I choose a lighter-weight fabric.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a fitting, feel free to call or contact me!

Have a “Sew Great” day!

Mary Maurer

About Mary Maurer

I'm an experienced seamstress in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Along with mending and alterations, I design and make quilts, doggie vests and clothing for all occasions. I work with clients in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and all over Northwest Arkansas

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