How to Make a Dog Balloon: In 9 Steps or Less

Image showing a Bookend Dog Balloon
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Balloons these days can be turned into almost anything, so why not animal-shaped balloons? People simply adore animal-shaped balloons, and if you are a dog lover, you’ll definitely appreciate having a balloon shaped like your beloved canine companion at you or your kid’s party. But this task is easier said than done. Many people do not really know how to make a dog balloon, or even what type of balloon to purchase so they can freely shape it. Worry not, because you have us and this step by step guide.

Making a dog-shaped balloon can be frustrating, but only the first time you do it. After you’ve gotten the hang of it, it won’t take you long to make a party’s worth of doggie balloons. They are exciting, colorful, and they can bring joy into our lives. They are the perfect decoration for any birthday party, yours, your kid’s, or even your puppy’s!

Image showing a person holding a dog balloon

We decided to help you make any birthday or celebration more fun, therefore, in this article, we will explain step-by-step how you can easily make a balloon dog at home. Before we move on to the explanation, though, we will first list the things you need to prepare beforehand to get the project started.

The Things You Need to Make a Dog Balloon

Fortunately, for ventures like this one, the material can be found at a relatively low cost, and you will be able to craft your perfect dog balloon decorations without breaking the bank. What you are going to need for this project is:

A Balloon

Not any balloon will do for this kind of craftsmanship. The first thing that comes to your mind might be those long, thin balloons you can purchase at the drugstore. Unfortunately, those are not meant for twisting and squeezing and thus are likely to pop if you try to shape them.

Image showing twisty ballons in a persons hands

There are balloons specially made to handle all that stress, and this is the one that you want to purchase. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but the most popular and the most widely used kind is known simply as «260’s.» If you are a beginner in balloon twisting, this type of balloon is perfect for you.

There are, of course, other types of specially made balloons available, like the “160s,” which are thinner and generally used by twisters that have smaller hands. Besides these two types, you can purchase the “360s” that are thicker and tend to be fatter than 160s and 260s when pumped full of air. 360s are typically used by more experienced twisters.

A Balloon Pump

A balloon pump is a device that helps you fill your balloons with air without having to huff and puff. It is easy to use, and if you want to inflate more than just one balloon, it is the way to go.

Image showing ballon pumps with different colors

The currently available types of balloon pumps include:

  • Manual Hand Pump: A manual hand pump is probably the best option if you plan to pump balloons often since it is sturdy and simple to use, but it is not the greatest if you need to pump a great number of balloons all at the same time because your hands will quickly get tired.
  • Manual Foot Pedal Operated Balloon Pumps: These pumps are a great option because they will prevent your arms from getting tired. However, bear in mind that a pump of this kind will take up more space than a manual hand pump.
  • Electric Balloon Pumps: Electric balloon pumps are a great option if you wish to inflate a larger number of balloons in a short amount of time. Electric pumps use pressure to inflate balloons, and most of them have a cooling system so as not to overheat. The majority of them are small and thus easy to carry around, and they usually come in a variety of colors. They are, however, a bit pricey, coming at around $200. But they do come with warranties.
  • Battery Operated Pumps: If you will be working at a location where you have access to power outlets, then you should consider getting a battery operated pump. This pump will inflate your balloons quickly, and it is easy to use. On the downside, battery replacements are on the costly side.

Now that you have prepared your balloon and balloon pump, it is time to move on to the core of the article: how to make a dog balloon that will surely brighten up any party.

Simple Steps to Making a Dog Balloon

If you think that this process will be challenging for you, don’t worry because it’s really simple. Even the young ones could do it easily once they have tried their hands at it several times. Making dog balloons with your kid can be a fun, educational pastime. With that in mind, we have divided this how-to guide into nine simple steps that are easy to follow. Make sure to consider all the details in this tutorial if you want your balloon dog to look perfect.

Step 1

Place the balloon on the pump and fill half of it with air. Make sure to leave the other half empty. It is essential that you do not fill the balloon up completely because if you do, it will be more likely to pop as you are squeezing and twisting it.

Image showing how to fill a balloon wiht air

If you are unsure where the middle is, you can take your balloon and fold it in half while it is still deflated so you can see approximately how far you will need to fill it.

Step 2

Let a tiny bit of air out of the balloon and tie it at the end. Letting the air out is a clever little trick that will prevent your balloon from popping since it will release the pressure at the end of the balloon before you tie it.

Step 3

Now, it is time to start shaping the balloon. The first thing you are going to make is the dog’s muzzle. Grab your balloon about 1.5 to 2 inches from the bottom.

Image showing a woman shapping a balloon

Squeeze it a bit then twist it around itself. The part that pops out looks like a dog’s muzzle, doesn’t it?

Step 4

Now let’s move on to making the ears. Counting from where you made the muzzle, go about half an inch up. Gently squeeze the balloon then twist it once and repeat the same process once more. The ears don’t have to be identical but try to make them as close in size as you can. Now for the final touch, bring the muzzle you made down, so it is flush with the body of the balloon, then grab the two ears and twist them together. And that’s it for the head! Simple, isn’t it? Moving on to making the body of the dog.

Step 5

Now it’s time to make your dog’s neck. Measure about 1.5 to 2 inches down from the head, then twist. Measuring down around 1.5 to 2 inches from the neck, you should twist the balloon again—twice this time to make the dog’s front legs.

Image showing a complet twisted dog balllon

Then repeat what you did with the ears in step 4 and twist the legs together. With this, you have successfully made the front part of your balloon dog’s body.

Step 6

Now for the hindquarters, make the dog’s back about 3 inches long, gently press on the ballon, and twist it. Proceed to make the hind legs in the same way you made the front. Measure roughly 1.5 to 2 inches from the dog’s body, twist, rinse and repeat for the second leg. Then twist the back legs together the same way you did the front. Make your dog’s tail by lightly pressing and twisting about half an inch from the legs.

Step 7

Gently push the air towards the back part of the balloon that you left without air in the beginning. If you do it too quickly, the balloon might pop, so be careful! Tightly squeeze the balloon above the tail and use your teeth to cut through the balloon and remove the excess that was left. Tie the balloon there. Be sure the balloon doesn’t slip between your fingers before you manage to tie it.

Image showing two dog balloons sharing a bone

Now, you’ve got your balloon dog! If you want to make it look even better and more polished, you can do something called “the pinch twist,” which will be explained in the optional step below.

Step 8

Grab the dog’s tail with your index or middle finger and your thumb. Pull it out just a tiny bit and twist it around itself two or three times. Make sure you are extra gentle because the balloon is stretched thin in this part and can easily pop. Stop when you see that the excess that was left when you made the tail is between the dog’s legs. You can hide it there so it isn’t visible.

If it is your first time making a dog balloon, we recommend you skip this step. It is a more advanced technique that may require a bit of practice. Pinch twists aren’t easy since there is a lot of friction between the part you are twisting and the section of the balloon it is touching, so if you aren’t gentle enough, you could end up popping the whole thing and erasing the fruits of your labor.

Step 9

Now it’s time to decorate the balloon. You can exercise your creativity. To start with, you can take a thick, black marker pen and draw eyes on your pooch. You can also draw some patterns and shapes on your dog to make it look more alive, fun, and interesting. Avoid using pens or anything with a pointy tip for obvious reasons.

Close-up image of dog balloons

That wasn’t so hard, was it? There is a lot of measuring, squeezing, and twisting involved in this creative process, but you can always go back and re-read a step if you are having doubts about what to do next and how to go about it. Continue to read this article to learn some useful tips which will make crafting your balloon masterpieces even easier.

Tips and Tricks on Balloon Twisting

As with any craft, there is quite a number of tricks, tips, and hints that more experienced twisters have come up with. Here, we would like to share some of them with you to make your balloon twisting experience even easier and thus more fun than usual.

  • Make sure your fingernails are nice and short before twisting, so you don’t accidentally tear the balloon.
  • Choose which hand you want to use to hold the balloon and twist it with the other.
  • Always twist from the tied end.
  • Always twist in the same direction
  • If your balloon seems sticky, you can lightly sprinkle it with baby powder. This will even help buffer the noisy, squeaky sound. But be careful not to overdo it because it could result in the balloon untwisting itself.
  • Underinflate your balloon if you want to practice. It is usually easier to work with a softer balloon when you are trying out something new.

This last suggestion that we have for you is completely optional, but we do feel that the balloon twisting experience is at its best when you are doing it together with friends and family.

It wouldn’t take more than twisting around three balloons to get you used to the process. After that, the task could become repetitive. But if you have someone else to chat with as you work, balloon twisting time can even be as fun as the party itself.

Wrap Up

We hope you found this step-by-step explanation useful and that you will decorate your party with dog-shaped balloons the next time you want to entertain your kids and their friends, celebrate your puppy’s birthday, or maybe even just to show off your newly acquired balloon twisting skills in front of a crowd.

Image showing two dog balloons sitting face to face

How did your dog balloon turn out after you’ve followed our step by step guide? Let us know in the comment section! We will also love to learn from you if you have any tips and tricks of your own.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.