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I consider myself very lucky that my sisters are my best friends, and two of them live in town. My sister, Alice, is a talented photographer, and when she has an all-day shoot, I give her dogs a mid-day break.
Her dogs, Darla and Franny, are two of the friendliest dogs you could hope to meet! I love her dogs, and I want to treat them to be happy this holiday season. Her girls definitely expect me to give them a treat every time I see them.
Alice takes them on walks, weather permitting, but I wanted to give them some things to keep them entertained when the weather isn’t cooperative. Winters can be pretty harsh around here, so keeping dogs entertained and busy inside is important. A tired dog is a happy dog!
I made these cute snowman toys for dogs with a few simple items that most dog lovers have around the house. Never leave your dog unattended with homemade toys. This toy is not intended for strong chewers! For a more durable DIY toy, check out our DIY t-shirt chew toy.
white sock (tube or crew)
tennis balls (squeaky ones are more fun)
scissors or cutting utensil
optional: shoestring or ribbon (for the scarf)
First, put a tennis ball in the sock and push it down to the bottom of the sock.
Add the second tennis ball, then tie a string around the sock just above the first ball. Cut off the excess line.
Tie above the second tennis ball, don’t worry if the heel is showing.
Fold sock over itself, then tie.
If using long socks, you may need to repeat this process again.
Tie top of the sock with string. It should resemble a peanut.
Next, fold the top of the sock over to make a cap.
Now tie a scarf, and voilà it is a snowman!
Finally, draw a snowman face with a permanent marker. I considered using felt for the facial features, but worried dogs would ingest or choke on the felt pieces.
Franny and Darla appreciated the snowmen, but their eyes really lit up when they saw the other treats I brought.
I picked up treats at Walmart in the Pet Care aisle and made the tug toy.
The PEDIGREE® Marrobone® Mini Beef Flavor Dog Snacks are a perfect size to put in a rubber food puzzle toy. You can also hide one under the snowman’s hat. I like that they are made in the USA and Canada.
I also picked up a special treat for Franny: a large PEDIGREE® JUMBONE™.
Franny was so excited, and she didn’t even wait for the okay to start chewing. Darla, however, worked really hard and maintained self-control.
Franny loved her decadent treat!
I’d love to know what you’re giving your dog for the holidays or “just because!”
Thanks to Alice for the great photos!
About Alice G Patterson Photography: Based in Syracuse, New York, Alice specializes in dog photography, senior portraits, as well as business profiles and product photography.
Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) says
Wow! What a fun idea! I bet my dogs would love this!
Kelly Denton says
I love this DIY. Such a fun way to get the pets in on the season. #client
What a clever DIY toy and so cute too!
Rebecca at MattieDog says
What a clever DIY craft idea – we will do this!!
This is a great DIY project! And I know a dog who would love these snowmen, too.
Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential says
What a great DYI idea! I don’t have a dog, but I’m pretty sure my cat would also love to play with this toy. He sometimes behaves and plays like a dog 🙂
That is my kind of cat! I bet he’s adorable!
Tonya Wilhelm says
These are really cute! They would make great gifts.
What a fun idea – and something that you can do with kids too! They are adorable.
Amy Shojai says
Great idea! Magic would love this! He’s a fetching-ball-terror.
Jennifer Ostroski says
This is seriously the cutest stinkin thing I’ve ever seen! How genius, tennis ball in a sock… it’s like all the best things in life come together.
My dog Theo couldn’t agree more! Thank you!
I can’t tell you what Miss Edie is getting for Christmas in case she’s reading over my shoulder 😉 But what a super idea of making a snowman with a sock and tennis balls! Edie loves socks so the combination would be pawfect.
I hope she loves whatever she gets!
Dash Kitten Crew says
This is Brilliant, we are sharing. We love snow and snowmen (we don’t get snow in our part of the world!)
Thanks so much for sharing!
Montecristo Travels (Sonja) says
trying to figure out how to miniature this!
Denise Gruzensky says
Yeah, Shasta is a bit of a food mongrel and would be more interested in the treats too. But those snowmen are SOOOOO cute! You got terrific photos too!
Ruth Epstein says
I just love this idea thanks for sharing
Carol Bryant says
Totally clever and totally fun. I think next year I am going to do some homemade toys like this for our local dog shelter. Dex sez pass those marrow bones over here, too!
Paul Kirhagis says
All 4 off mine are super chewers, but I think replacing the sock with firehose would work great, plus I could make a super cute snowman face on it still 🙂
Let me know if you do it, I’d love to see how it turns out!
The Daily Pip says
These are super duper cute! Ruby has already received many of her holiday gifts a new coat and lots of treats.
FiveSibesMom Dorothy says
The snowman toy is such a great idea! One of my Huskies l-o-v-e-s tennis balls and this will be so much fun to make and play with her with. Thanks for sharing! I Pinned it, too!
Sarcastic Dog says
These are so cute!! I have “elite level” chewers at my house so these snowmen might have to be holiday decorations. However, your DIY T-shirt chew toy looks both durable AND like something I could do given my limited DIY talents 😉
The DIY t-shirt toy is a lot more durable.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
This is a great idea! Easy and fun. Mr. N will not play with toys unless they’re soft but I know some dogs who would love this.
You could always make the snowballs out of rolled up socks.
Kelsie | It's Dog or Nothing says
These are so cute! I honestly don’t think Mauja and Atka would know what to do with them. Atka would probably try to “free” the tennis balls 😉
I would not leave Mauja and Atka alone with these snowmen!
Sweet Purrfections says
What a great idea. I could see my mom’s dog chewing off the string within minutes.
Keating | Why Hello Lovely says
These are so cute!! I would totally make this for my dog, but he’s a 95 pound German Shepard so it wouldn’t last long in my house haha
This is such a cute idea!!! I love this so much!
Princely Paws says
This is so cute love the snowman and your DIY explains it in such easy steps cannot wait to get started on it. I love making toys for my pets
Oh is brilliant idea, thanks to share it.