Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DoggyStyle: How to Find Coats for Pit Bulls and Large Dogs

One thing I never expected when adopting a pit bull-type dog was that they would need to wear a coat in the winter.
The second thing I never expected was that it would be so hard to find a coat that fit.
Pitbull-type dogs tend to be ultra chesty, so it's always been hard finding coats that can fit their chests without being too long. Finding a coat that fits tends to be one of the biggest questions among pit bull-type dog owners.
Here are some things that have worked for us:

Stick with What Fits
It's hard finding anything in size large, but once you find a brand that fits, we make it our 'go-to' brand. We like Ruff Wear brand which has been able to accommodate the pooches' large chests without being too long on their bodies. The coats also have straps which are somewhat adjustable.
When I first got Miss M, I was originally put off by the price, but I soon realized I would rather buy one   durable coat that lasts for several years then to keep buying cheaper coats that will need replacing and eventually end up costing the same.
Our pooches have had their coats for the past 4 years. The only thing is that it seems that the new coats have a bit of vanity sizing. Now our pups would take a size medium in the Ruffwear coats (they used to be a large). You can read more about how we tried on the new Ruffwear coats by clicking here.
We did have luck once finding a pink puffy coat at Old Navy that fashionista Miss M just had to have; she was part of their Old Navy Ski Team. It is more of a fun coat that she loves to wear with the hood and take funny photos, though we haven't seen any in the stores lately.
We are also curious to hear what other brands and style coats have worked for other people.

Going Custom
We realized that sometimes it's just easier to have things made to their exact measurements, plus with sites like Etsy, it's become easier to connect with people who make stuff. We had custom sweaters made for the pups from Our Waldo Bungie's sweater shop.  And of course our custom made snoods here and here.
Though one day we dream of being talented enough to make our own coats, like SociaBulls members Duke, Delilah, and Dixie. 


Alterations Needed
I have to do this a lot with my own clothes, but we learned to make some minor alterations. to give a better fit. These sweaters fit the pups in the chest, but they are so long they actually cover their bums, We have elaborately pinned the back to make them look like they fit. We have also needed to cut slits in armholes which aren't far enough apart, and E had to sew up the stomach area on Mr. B's jersey to make it higher so he wouldn't pee on himself.
Our Chicago SociaBulls friend Vegas also had to slit the armholes in his new sweater.
These are some things that have worked for us.
What are your recommendations for dog coats and cold weather gear that fits?

Also:
Boots!
Our current obsession.
Remember this??

12 comments:

Taylor G said...

I'd agree with Ruff Wear. When I was looking for a new harness for his I called Ruff Haus in Lincoln Square and gave them Mugsy's measurements. Ends up the big guy is a size small in Ruff Wear sizing, which I found amazing since he is a large/XL in everything else. We have bought other clothes for Mugsy but I will probably be sticking with Ruff Wear for future needs

adventuresofadogmom said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing!

Debra@Peaceabull said...

Ray is so picky about what he will wear. He doesn't like things that velcro and he doesn't like knitted things like sweaters, much to my chagrin. I can get him to wear things that are more like t-shirts or fleece as long as they are pull overs. I'd really like to get him more open to trying new clothes, though.

Sara @ LiteraryLima said...

We have the same problem, especially with Roxy who is a Pug/Boston mix, she's built like a tank! We stick with sweaters as we've had no luck with coats. You can cut slits for your leashes and easily shorten the back for Roxy's short-yet-robust figure. American Apparel also has zipper hoodies for dogs, they're superb.

BeBe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BeBe said...

Don't forget, they make mini horse blankets for dogs too, and they are just great!

http://www.weatherbeeta.com/for-dogs/blankets.html

Andrea said...

I love the RuffWear coats! We had one for our dog that lasted for several years and you can toss them right in the wash too. He even had the booties to match! Easy to slip on and off as well, no need to wrestle with the dog just to get a jacket on. :)

Tucker The Crestie said...

I also find it hard to get sweaters that fit even my little pups properly (Tucker doesn't weigh much but he is long and leggy for his weight), although here in Florida it isn't as much of an issue as it is in Chicago! Miss M and Mr. B always look amazing!

Jen said...

We have a hoodie for Elka (a Doberman) that is just too long, but I haven't done anything about it yet. The next size down? Far too tight across the front, but the right length. Sigh. I also bought her a fleece Gap vest at the Salvation Army for $3 that fits her reasonably well...it's a human Small, I think adult.

K-Koira said...

Zack and Zoey is still the brand that provides the best fit for Koira. The Ruffwear coats fit once they are on her, but the neck hole is so small it is hard to get them back over her head without hurting her, so I have never bought one. Koira has a few Zack and Zoey sweatshirts, and also has a coat from them which I love, that is a sheepskin type liner with a raincoat outer layer. My only problem is I can't find that style of coat anymore!

Emily said...

I bought a coat from Target for under $10 awhile back and believe it or not my dogs were too small for it! It was too big in the chest! That was a first. But I bet it would fit a Miss M or Mr. B. Anyway, sweaters are totally useless here, T-shirts definitely do the job. And I agree--find a brand and stick to it!
Bret Michaels has put out all these cute clothes through Petsmart and he has a german shepherd--the disappointing thing is all the clothes are teeny tiny- even the XLs are too small for my kiddos, though it seemed we found a T-shirt and tank top in the brand that did fit.

Swimflyaway said...

Thank you so much for saying "pee ON himself". It's a personal peeve of mine when people leave out the preposition.

I love the post too. It was very informative.

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