Large Breed Dog Clothes

Atlas in Sweater

I was at Petco this past weekend, and I was with Atlas, my Pocket Bully. I met a woman that had never seen a Pocket Bully before, and of course, Atlas was confused as a Pit Bull, like usual. Petco was just putting up their new clothing line for the fall and winter in Alaska, so of course I was admiring all the large breed dog clothes.

The woman was very nice, but had assumed that Atlas was a super beefed up version of a Pit Bull. Of course, I went in to the history of the American Bully, or specifically, the Pocket Bully as Atlas is classified. A comprehensive history can be found here.

Speaking with the woman, she started asking me what I do for clothing for Atlas because of her girth. While Atlas isn’t the largest Pocket Bully out there, she is still wide in stature as most of her breed are.

Shopping for large dogs can be hard, so how do I do it?

Shopping for Large Dogs.

When it comes to dog clothing, most retailers only offer a limited number of sizes for dogs. Especially the big box stores. They offer sizes like XX Small to XX Large. The problem with these sizes, is that sometimes dogs don’t fit into the standard categories.

The woman at the pet store asked me how I shop for Atlas because she looked like a size large, but her stature is so short and squat. I let her know that she is accurate in that is can be hard to shop for dogs when their girth is wider than the average dog.

When it comes to ordering clothes, especially online, it often helps to measure your dog in person first. Meaning, go to a local pet store and start trying on clothes for your dog and see what fits the best. From there, you can pretty much shop online for that size and it will usually be accurate.

Where Do I Find Clothes For Wide Dogs?

Wide dogs can be a little more difficult. Often what happens is you’ll order the right size for your dog based on the measurements the online site gives you. Then, once the clothing comes in the mail, and you attempt to put it on your dog, it’s too tight.

This is why I recommend shopping in person if your dog is very wide. Maybe your dog simply eats too much and they’ve gotten fat. While they may have been a medium before, now those clothes don’t fit.

Most online stores will offer measurements for the length of the dog and some will even include the girth. The good ones will offer both for you so you can accurately measure.

But what happens if the clothes are too long and their body is too wide?

Clothes I Find For Atlas.

There have been times when I tried to shop locally for Atlas, and the clothes are too long for her. She has very wide shoulders, so not all clothes will even go on her shoulders. Even shopping for the size up doesn’t always work either.

See, when dogs wear clothing, especially outdoors, they like to pee, regardless of what they’re wearing. Dogs don’t know that something might be in the way, so if they have to go, they have to go. There have been times when I’ve found something for Atlas that was too long. Unfortunately, she will pee on the garment.

It’s happened with my other dogs as well if the clothing isn’t fit right.

So, the woman in the pet store asked me, how to you shop for her? I told her, sometimes I have to shop for human clothes. I’ve even put Atlas in kid clothing because the shoulders are the right width, and the shirts are short. I can’t say how many times I’ve shopped for her in a size 5T for kids and the shirts fit. Even the vests.

I still try for dog clothes because most of them are cut just right for the stomach so that they don’t accidentally pee on the shirts, but in some cases, I’ve had bad luck with that.

Dogs That Are Difficult To Shop For – Options.

I have found over the years that some clothing simply doesn’t work well for all sizes of dogs. I often look for clothing made with cotton only and is a stretchy cotton.

Some online retailers will also cater to specific dog breeds. I’ve found Bully Breed shirts, and coats. Frenchies, Pugs, etc. If you have a specific breed of dog and you’ve found that the standard clothing doesn’t work, search for that breed’s clothing. Sites will usually pop up on Google that will state they cater to the more difficult breeds to clothe.

You can also contact some retailers and order custom fit clothing. If you have a very odd size dog, simply call or email the pet store you’re ordering from and ask if they can make a shirt to fit such-and-such size. You’ll be surprised that most of them will.

Final Thoughts On Large Breed Dog Clothes.

Regardless of the size of your dog, you can always find clothes for them. Take them with you to the local pet store and start trying random clothes on. See what fits best, what works best, what do they like?

Especially if you live in a cold climate and you know your dog needs clothing for the cold weather. I’ve even seen some pet forums where people talk about where they shop for clothes for their dogs, or shoes, etc. Facebook usually has pet groups where people from all over the world talk about their specific pet’s needs.

Even if you’ve exhausted your options, you can also contact me and I can direct you to places that I know personally. Even if you’ve tried every avenue, I can help.

Some large breeds can be difficult. Same with people, one size does not fit all. We’re all unique, and dogs are no different.

If you have a very large dog, where have you shopped in the past? What worked best for your dog?

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4 thoughts on “Large Breed Dog Clothes

  1. I’m sure having a large dog can be an issue so taking it with you as to be a priority.

    Clothing for dogs in the UK is not that popular as the weather doesn’t really get that extreme.

    However, I have noticed a few sites specializing in that area so some people are obviously using them but mainly for the smaller dogs.

    Saying that though, my brother-in-law as a small dog and in winter the dog always wears a coat of some description.

    Thank you for sharing

    1. Mick,

      I always think of cold weather, but that’s probably because it’s cold where I live. My big dog has even started getting more cold lately; winter’s really just around the corner for us. This morning I let her out in the early AM like she normally needs, and when she crawled back into bed with me, she was shivering like crazy, so I had to snuggle her up next to me under the blankets to warm her. It took her a really long time to get warm again, but she’s very short haired and naked on the stomach. Poor girl.

      My small dogs are ALWAYS cold, they always shiver, so they usually sleep under the blankets anyways. But in the winter, they have lots of sweaters that I put on them. Just my male hates clothes, so he stays home most of the time and just sleeps completely covered in blankets.

      It’s cute though, how much my dogs love clothes. I pulled their tote out yesterday to get a coat for my smallest and they both heard it and ran in there. It’s like they were saying, “Where are we going?”

      My females love clothes, so it’s cute!



  2. We used to have German Sheppard’s when I was growing up. But they were outside dogs with great and warm houses. I haven’t shopped for a dog in a while but I think when I go to Petco on Friday, I will check out the types and sizes of dog clothes they have.

    1. Hi John,

      German Sheppard’s are usually pretty warm dogs. They have nice thick coats that keep them pretty warm in most climates. I will say though, depending on the climate you live in, booties might be reqquired. That’s the one place they’re not protected like most dogs, and I’ve have German’s before. Since their paws are large, I usually opt for size large when fitting them. You can find more information on booties here

      Hope you find some great stuff at Petco this weekend though!!


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