How to Buy the Correct Size Clothing for your Dog

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How to Buy the Correct Size Clothing for your Dog

With the very large range of accessories and clothing for dogs available on eBay, it can be daunting trying to find the item required at the right size. All too often an eBay item is ordered and then found not to fit the pet, not because of a problem with the item but because the dog had not been properly measured up in the first place.

When selecting an item of clothing, the most important aspect is a correct fit, regardless of the appearance. Dogs naturally go around naked, and wearing clothing is an altogether alien concept for them. So it will be bad enough for them to get used to wearing clothes at all, but even more so if they do not fit properly. The clothes must not hinder their free use of limbs or easy breathing, and if they do then you will soon find out about it.

More seriously, dog clothes that are too tight can restrict the dog’s blood circulation. Equally, if the clothing is too loose it can get tangled up in legs or drop over the eyes, which will have their own dangers.

Dogs differ widely in size and physique just like their owners, and there is a lot of variation even within breeds. Bear in mind when choosing dog clothes on eBay that a description such as small, medium and large is only general and can often bear little resemblance to actual measurements.

The tape measure must be used when measuring a dog for dog clothes from eBay so that the clothes will fit properly and look great, as well as being comfortable and practical for the animal. The majority of dog clothes manufacturers require one accurate measurement at least in order to provide a suitable item, but knowing more than just the one measurement will ensure that the perfect fit is achieved in most cases.

Basic Dog Measurements

The three basic measurements of a dog for getting the right size in clothes are:


The length of a dog’s back, from the top of the spine to the point where the tail meets the body.


The dog’s chest measurement, measured around the biggest section of the ribcage just behind the front legs.


This is essentially where the collar would naturally fit, from just above the withers to the top of the chest.

Other Measurements That Might be Required

  • If the head measurement is needed, this is taken from the ears then around the jaw and so back up. Some types of eBay headgear will need this measurement to be provided or chosen, such as hoods and Snoods.
  • For snoods, the ‘back of the neck’ measurement is taken from the neck at collar level to just above the ears.
  • The ‘under the chest measurement’ is from the chest at collar level downwards beneath the dog and then between the legs at the front to the rear of the last rib. This measurement is frequently needed to get the best fit in belly protectors and chest warmers from eBay.
  • The ‘waist ‘measurement is often referred to as the ‘girth’ measurement, but is not the same as the chest girth. It is a measurement all around the dog from just behind the final rib, a measurement used for a range of ‘shorty’ garments sold on eBay, such as shorts and pants.
  • The ‘belly girth’ is frequently used in conjunction with belly band sizing and is a measure of the thinnest point of the dog’s body. The tape is wrapped around the dog from just in front of its rear legs, usually passing over its genitals. This can be a slightly tighter fit than the other measurements to ensure that the Belly Band from eBay will remain snugly in place.

Materials Needed

  • The main piece of equipment is a flexible measuring tool such as a sailor’s or seamstress’ tape. If this is not available, a piece of string or a ribbon will do, marked against a ruler.
  • A flat surface is needed for the dog to be stood on. A tabletop is ideal for smaller dogs.
  • A piece of paper is used for noting down the measurements.
  • A human assistant to help keep the dog still.

When doing the actual measurements, make sure that the dog is standing perfectly still and straight, rather than slouching. Have a treat to hand if necessary to keep it compliant. The head and tail should be up and the stance square and normal.

Each of the measurements should be taken a bit on the loose side so that when the clothing is eventually fitted the animal will be able to breathe and move freely. On the other hand, clothing that is too loose can create its own problems as brushed on above.

Extra inches for overlaps and enclosures should not be included, as these are taken into account when the dog clothing is manufactured. What is being measured here are the body measurements of the animal rather than measurements for the finished clothing.

Each of the measurements as it is taken should also be noted down, and then taken again just to be on the safe side. This can save a lot of fuss in the long run as some dog clothing sold on eBay may not be returnable because using it again would run the danger of passing on any fleas or other infections to other dogs.

Determining Clothing Sizes

The manufacturer, designer and types of dog clothing can all have parts to play in determining the size arrived at from the raw measurements. The most ‘fitted’ part of the garment should play the most significant part here, as this will provide the single most important measurement required, although the other measurements will be helpful too. For some styles of dog clothing sold on eBay several of the other measurements are absolutely necessary to ensure a good, comfortable fit.

If when looking through the eBay listings there are two sizes between which the measurements fall, always opt for the larger size jacket or dress. This is true also if the sizes approach the upper limit of the smaller size, because the dog’s fur and extra growth should also be allowed for.

With collar sizes, the general rule should be that the actual neck measurement of the dog is taken and then about two inches added to that to arrive at the appropriate collar size. This, however, like everything else is open to variation according to the manufacturer and to the type of collar that is being considered.

All instructions accompanying the item’s listing on eBay should be read carefully. When a collar is perfectly fitted it should be possible for the owner to easily insert two fingers between it and the dog’s neck. Incidentally, this should be checked on a fairly regular basis as the dog grows and puts on bulk. Even when a dog has reached its final adult size there may be seasonal changes in the thickness of its coat that may make for a collar’s looser or tighter fit.

In addition, collars that are made out of leather and a few other materials will change their consistency over time, and can shrink when in the rain or in a lake or river.  

How to Buy the Correct Size Clothing for Your Dog on ebay

Buying the correct size clothing for your dog on eBay is simplicity itself. Simply visit the eBay site and go to the drop-down menu of sub-categories at the top of the page. Select Pet Supplies and then Dog Supplies on the next page from the links on the left. Clicking on Clothing & Shoes will then bring up the full listings for these items on eBay.

Alternatively, enter the name of a desired item into the search box at the top of any eBay page to be taken straight to it. For help on doing eBay searches see the Search Tips page.


There are numerous different types of dog clothing available from eBay, and whether you are looking for dog shoes, jackets, hoods or scarves you are sure to find what you are after at a competitive price.

The only thing to remember with choosing clothes for your dog on eBay is that the measurements must be absolutely right to avoid disappointment. One accurate measurement at least will be needed, although two or three will be better, and these should be taken from the animal itself instead of from the proposed clothes.

The clothing for dogs available on eBay will not only make a dog look smart and chic, but also protect it from things like bad weather conditions and harmful chemicals when out walking in parks or on city streets.

If buying dog clothes from eBay as a gift, remember to take into account the tastes of the owner and the actual measurements of the dog. Guessing at a dog’s size will only lead to disappointment when the clothing arrives, and it often cannot be returned due to the danger of passing on infections.

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