Much of the U.S. is going to be getting snow soon, or already has their first dusting this winter. With more snow in the forecast, you likely won’t be able to avoid it.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a place that’ll be getting a White Christmas, try something new this year when you head out to play and build your very own snow cat or dog!
Form Your Snow Pet’s Body
Your first step will be to build a body for your snow dog or cat. Think about how you’d like the snow pet to look, and tightly pack snow to match that position. Sitting or lying down are the easiest and sturdiest options, but if you’re adventurous and willing to experiment, you can probably build your snow cat or dog standing on snow legs.
For a snow pet in the sitting position, pile snow into a slender mound, periodically packing it down so it’s strong and sturdy. This will be a taller snow pet than one that is lying down, so you’ll want this snow packed well enough to support the weight of the head. From there, make two long slender cylinders of snow that go about halfway up the length of the body. This will be the front legs.
If you want an easier base, start with your pet lying down. To build a pet in this position, make a long, slender snowball and set it long-side down. You can add the slender snow cylinders stretched out in front of the body or along the front third of the body’s sides. Feel free to get extra creative and add paws to the ends of the legs.
Shape the Snow Pet’s Head
Take a moment to consider the type of cat or dog you are going to build. Cats and dogs with short noses, like Pugs, will have a round face. Build a snowball that is about 1/3 the size of the body you created.
If you are working on a dog with a long snout, or want a more realistic face, pack the snow in the shape of a butternut squash. The longer you make the nose, the more you’ll need to pack it together to make sure the snow sticks and doesn’t fall apart.
When you place the head on the body, balance to ensure stability. Too far forward and it will likely roll off the top, and too far back will make your snow animal look odd. Depending on the body shape you went with, you may want to add a layer of snow for the neck to give the head something to set easily into.
Add the Ears and Tail
Here is where you’ll differentiate between a snow dog and snow cat. Pack your snow into the shape of the ears of your animal. Dogs like Beagles will have long, flat discs attached to the side of their head, while dogs like Doberman Pinschers and American Staffordshire Terriers may have tall, cropped ears, so shape the snow into tall, slender triangles and set them on the top of each side of the head. You can play with ear shapes and sizes to give your snow dog a unique personality.
If you are building a snow cat, your ears should be triangular and much smaller than the dog’s ears. Use your thumbs and forefingers in a triangle shape to pack the snow before placing it on the head, with the flat of the triangles facing forward. If you want to take your snow cat to the next level, lay the ears flat to match a cat’s unique way of looking annoyed.
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Don’t forget to add a tail! The shape of your tail will be based on the overall look you’re going for, but a slender snow snake is the easiest shape to make and placing it along the back of the body or on and ground beside your snow pet is simple. Instead of packing the snow separately and placing it on the body, you may find it easier to shape the tail where you want it to lay, adding snow to the form as you shape the tail in different directions. If you’re an expert snow sculptor, consider making the tail stand independent of the body for a more natural look.
Accessories Make the Look
Add eyes and a nose to give your snow dog an upgraded look. Or take it to another level with a scarf, leash, or even collar to really show off your snow sculpting skills.
You can build a snow pet no matter your skill level, so grab your gloves and head out into the wintery wonderland for some fun. Don’t forget to snap a side-by-side of your furry friend and your new snow buddy!
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