SwankyPaws

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Best Way To Size A Dog Bandana (For All Size Dogs)

It certainly can be tough when sizing up your dog for a bandana for the very first time. I know I struggled! To help you avoid this struggle and make life easy the team have put together a guide to help show the best way to size a dog bandana!

The most important thing to remember when sizing your dog for a bandana is you want it to fit the dog with just a little bit of room to move but not too much. If you go too small it will irritate the dogs skin and possible even choke them! The flip side is too large and it will be floppy on the dogs chest. We recommend adding 5-6cm to the actual measurement of the dogs neck for the perfect fit! Simply run the soft tape around the base of the dogs neck starting at the back where the collar sits and go the whole way around in a circle. This will be your snug neck measurement, add 5-6cm to it for perfect fit.

The first time you do it can be super tricky so don’t be discouraged. Read on to see our tips for hyper dogs, measuring without a soft tape, etc.

Ruler Vs Metric Tape (The Soft Sewing One)

When you go to measure your dog for the first time you might be surprised that the hard ruler you use for everything else on in life doesn’t work for this. You are going to want something soft to pull around the area that conforms to the shape needed. While you can try and hold the hard ruler against their neck and keeping turning it around to get the measurement, more times than not it’s not accurate. It’s far easier to use a soft metric measuring tape which you can buy from places spotlight or your local fabric shop. They are only a few dollars.

 

To use the soft measuring tape you have the advantage of it being bendy and flexible. This allows you to hold one end of the tape at the start point of the measurement (in this case the back of the dogs neck) and go around in a circle.

Key Tip– If you can’t get your hands on a metric soft measuring tape why not just grab your dogs leash and use that to get the measurement! Simply wrap it around the neck and hold your fingers on the part that overlaps. Then hold it tight against a ruler and right down the number.

Get The Measurement Number Right

Once you have either your soft measuring tape or whatever you are using to wrap around the neck these are the steps to getting the measurement right.
1) The point you want to start is in between the shoulder blades on the dogs back, where the back meets the neck. You can feel this on the dog by running your fingers down the back of the neck until you feel two bones at the top of each of the front legs. These are the shoulder blades and directly between them is the perfect place to start the measurement. This is also where the collar would normally sit.
2) Start by holding the end of your tape at the base of the dogs neck at the back like we explained in point 1. This point can also be found by following the dogs neck down the back until it changes angle and crosses past the shoulder blades. 
Then run the tape the whole way around the dogs neck by coming under the chin above the chest and then back past the starting point. Where the tape meets write down the number you get.

 

How Tight Should It Be?

The first time you do this it can be scary but don’t worry that’s normal. Unlike measuring hard surfaces measuring soft things the number can change based off how hard you pull.
Its important when measuring the dogs neck that you allow the numbers to cross over by having the tape firm but do not put pressure on the dogs neck. Basically you want the tape to be snug against the dogs neck with no slack in it but not pull it tighter than that or else you can risk hurting the dog and also get the measurement wrong and end up with dog clothing that is too small.

 

Hairy & Fat Necks

If your dogs is mega hairy or has excess skin/fat on their neck there is just a few extra things to consider. With extra hair you want the bandana to sit on top of the fur and not be hidden under it. We recommend when measuring to pull the tape semi firm so it flattens the fur but not so hard it gets to the dogs skin. It’s also a good idea to brush the dog before measuring to flatten out the fur.

For dogs with rolls or fat on their necks its important when measuring not to let the tape go in between any of the rolls. This will cause you to measure a thinner part of the neck. It’s important when measuring to measure the widest part at the base of the neck. This is the best way to size a dog bandana when they are a hairy or fat neck breed.

Keep The Dog From Moving

This certainly can be tricky with some dogs. Whether your dog is super hypo or just really happy to see you it can be very hard to keep the dog still enough while you take measurements so we have some tips to help.
1) Have an assistant- Often it can be super helpful to have one person hold the dog while the other does the measuring.
2) Distraction- This is the best tool behind having an assistant. Some good ideas is things like putting dog friendly treats on a hard surface and while they lick it off you rush in to get it done. 
3) Do it when they are naturally calm- If your dog is hard to calm down why not do it when they are already going to be calm! We find the most relaxed times for your dog is when they first wake up & after a walk. Sometimes even while they are sleeping is great but be careful not to scare them.

Remember To Be Calm Even If They Are Not

Dogs are very good at picking up on your emotions. If you approach the dog and are very excited and speaking in a high pitch voice it will encourage the dog to be excited and want to play. Also the opposite is true in that if you approach and handle the dog being frustrated this will often make the dog want to run away and not stay still.

For the best results move nice and slow with the dog. Be calm the whole time. If the dog tries to play don’t give in and encourage the behaviour. Simply ignore the dog until they calm down and try speaking to them in a calm tone. If the dog doesn’t calm down after a few minutes of ignore it’s best to walk away and try again after 15mins of time to settle.

My Dog Wouldn’t Let Me Get It

If you are unable to get the measurement don’t stress its not the end of the world. Luckily there is a number of places you can get an average neck size for your breed. This should act well as a guide based off the breed and age of the dog. More times than not if its a pure breed you should be able to find out this number.

The last resort if you cannot find this number online is to join a group on Facebook for your breed. Someone on the group community will have the same age and same breed as you to help out.

What Size Do I Order?

This is different for every shop you buy from. For example our small is often a medium or even a large at some shops!
We have a size to fit any size dogs from the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane we have you covered. Our sizing chart shows the sizes we offer, where the snaps are placed on the bandana and also some recommended breeds as a guide. 
If you would like to order from another store we recommend you use the neck size for your dog and add 5-6cms to it for room to move. If this number lands on the highest number go the next size up. For example if your dogs neck is 42cm and you add 5cm you need 47cm for the bandana size. If the Medium =37-47cm go up to the Large 47-57cm to be safe.

Conclusion-

Whether you are buying a bandana from an online store or planning to make your own it’s always important to measure the dogs neck. Never forget to take care when measuring not to stress or hurt the dog and always remain calm. If you ever struggle to get the measurements there are charts with average neck sizes you can find across the internet and groups to join!

For more info or if you need help by an expert for sizing a dog bandana you wish to order always feel free to contact us by email at info@swankypaws.com.au.