How to Measure a Dog (Height, Girth, and Weight)

Did you know that clothing for dogs could be disastrous if it doesn’t fit properly? Too loose clothing items pose the risk of choking or getting caught on something, which may result in your dog injuring herself. If clothing is too tight, your dog may chafe, leading to lacerations on the skin. That’s why it’s important to know how to measure a dog properly.

Ill-fitting collars are also easy for dogs to slip out and can be a health hazard if your dog accidentally gets into trouble. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to measure a dog to enable buying items that fit your dog properly and apply even pressure to the dog’s body.


Measuring a Dog’s Height

Besides when you’re looking to buy some clothes for your dog, measuring a dog’s height is necessary when you want to buy a doggy door, when planning to enroll your dog in some sort of sport or activity, and more.

Measuring your dog’s weight is so straightforward, but when it comes to length, things get a little complicated. In humans, height is measured by simply standing against a wall and marking the point on top of your head using a tape measure. However, things are different when it comes to dogs. So the trivia question is, how do you measure a dog’s height?

To measure your dog’s height, you need your dog, of course, and a measuring tape or a yardstick.


Follow these 3 easy steps:

Ensure the dog is standing straight; no leaning or shrinking to the ground. Your dog should be on even ground with its head carried in a normal position. Small breeds and puppies can be measured standing on a table.

Run the measuring tape parallel to your dog’s front legs starting from the top of the withers to the ground. Withers are the highest point of your dog’s shoulders—the area where the dog’s shoulder and neck meet.

Record the measurement for future reference. That’s your dog’s height.

Bonus Point: Some breeds such as Poodle, Maltese, and Boxer are squarely built dogs. This means that their height from the withers to the ground measures the same as the length from the withers to the base of the tail.


Measuring Dog’s Neck and Body Length

Measure Dog's Height

Measuring a dog’s neck can be easily done whether your dog is sitting, lying down, or standing. To take measurement of the length around your dog’s neck, wrap the tape measure around the neck where a collar would sit, and ensure it’s not too tight or too loose.

Typically, your pooch needs to be standing on all four to enable measuring of body length. Run the tape measure from the withers all the way to the base of your dog’s tail (where the tail connects to the hindquarters). That’s how long that cute shirt or jacket you’re planning to buy for your canine friend must be to cover its entire body.


Measuring Dog’s Chest Girth

Your dog’s girth is the widest point of its chest and rib cage area and is usually right behind their front legs, depending on the breed. Taking measurement of this area -measuring the dog’s circumference (all the way around) is vital, especially when you want to purchase a properly fitting harness that will ensure your dog’s comfort at all times.

Typically, measuring your dog’s girth needs to be done when your dog is standing. Simply place one end of the tape measure on your dog’s spine, slightly above the broadest area of its rib cage. Then wrap the tape measure behind the dog’s front legs and all around its body, going beneath the widest area of its rib cage. Place your thumb on the point that meets with the beginning of the tape measure, and record down the measurement.


Measuring Dog’s Leg Length

Taking your dog’s leg measurement isn’t often required, but we’ll take you through it anyway. Run the tape measure from where the dog’s leg joins the body (from its armpits if you like) straight down to its paw. Unless you really have to, it’s not necessary to run the tape to the ground; just to the ankles is fine if you are taking measurements for clothing purposes.


Measuring Dog’s weight

How to Measure a Dog's weight

Are you wondering if your dog is the right weight?

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for your dog’s overall wellbeing. As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog’s weight in check, and the very first step is knowing how to measure its weight.


Small sized-dogs

You can lift a small dog in your arms and weigh it with a standard bathroom scale. Simply hold the pup still, so it doesn’t wiggle around or fall/jump to the ground. Get on the scale and wait for the scale to register the weight. That’s the total weight of you and your dog.

Then measure your weight without the dog, and subtract it from the total weight (you plus the dog). The answer is your dog’s weight.


Large breeds

If your dog is heavy for you to pick, you can still measure its weight with a home scale, but with a little preparation. Put a large, stable container on the weighing scale—ensure it sits in a way that the scale supports the entire container. Help your dog sit down steadily in the container and record the weight that’s displayed on the scale.

Alternatively, you can take your dog’s weight in a bus station if you don’t have a scale at home, or you can’t seem to get your dog to sit in the container. These stations have large scales to weigh language, but you’ll need to sweet talk the employee at the counter to get the favor.

Above all, you can take your furry friend to a vet for weighing and professional tips on how to keep your dogs weight in check.

Your veterinarian can also help you with taking all the measurements you need, examine your dog, calculate its BMI, and make the necessary recommendations. You can find a handful of advice for each breed online, but the information given is not always accurate and can be a little confusing, especially if your dog is a mixed breed.