Amazing Tattoos for Pet Parents

A sugar skull-style tattoo of a dog

tattooer_nicky / Instagram

When you're a pet parent, there's no such thing as going too far for your beloved pet — feeding your dog super expensive, all-natural, totally organic, gluten-free kibble? Yup. Brushing your cat's coat with a high-end boar's hairbrush, while you comb your own hair with the free one you got from the barber? Sure. Dropping a ton of dough on new toys for your bird, only to watch her destroy each one after a few minutes? You bet. 

The love (and patience) we pet owners have for our pets truly knows no bounds. So, it should come as no surprise that these days many pet parents are immortalizing their bond with their pets with indelible ink. The unconditional love, endless loyalty, and adorable antics our pets provide on the regular pales in comparison to a little bit of pain, right?

From simple and modern to colorful and traditional, there are so many ways to honor your pet with an amazing and meaningful tattoo. Check out these seriously creative pet tattoos to inspire your own tribute. 

(Psst! Before you get a tattoo, be sure to research the artists and shops in your area. Read reviews, check out their Instagram, and visit the shop for a consultation before the big day. A little bit of research can be the difference between a bad tattoo and a gorgeous tribute to your best friend.)

  • 01 of 11

    The American-Style Dog

    A colorful, American-style tattoo of a dog.

    @linnaasne / Instagram

    If you're more of a traditionalist, a traditional-style (otherwise known as American-style or western-style) portrait of your doggo might be what you're looking for. Characterized by bold, black lines and somewhat limited color palettes, traditional-style tattoos have been around since the American Revolution—but we think it's safe to assume that they probably weren't as cute as this guy from ​linnaasne on Instagram. 

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    The Hyperrealistic Cat

    A black and white fine line tattoo of a cat.

    @rociadatattoo / Instagram

    When you're truly bonded with your cat, being away for more than a few hours can feel like an eternity. And that's where hyperrealistic tattoos come in. An extremely detailed tattoo like this one from rociadatattoo on Instagram can make it feel like your kitty is hanging out with you anytime. It's a win-win all around.

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    The Fine Line, Hyperrealistic Pig

    A fine line tattoo of a pig with flowers.

    @foxx.teeth_ / Instagram

    It's no secret: Caring for a pet pig is a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, it is incredibly rewarding. Not only are pet pigs super-intelligent, playful, and affectionate, but hello—they're ridiculously cute, too. If you want to capture all of the character in your pet pig's face, you might want to consider a hyperrealistic tattoo. They're done with super fine lines, sometimes using only a single needle. With this technique, you won't miss a hair from your piggy's visage. Just take a look at this adorable pig from foxx.teeth_ on Instagram.

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    The Traditional, American-Style Parrot

    A traditional American-style tattoo of a parrot.

    @missquartz / Instagram

    It's probably pretty hard to keep your parrot on your shoulder while you're doing chores around the house or presenting in a big meeting at work. A solid solution? A tattoo of your avian friend. Plus, what better way to capture your pet parrot's colorful feathers and equally colorful personality than a bold, bright, American-style tattoo? This vibrant tattoo from missquartz on Instagram is all the inspiration you'll need.

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    The Fine Line Fluffy Cat

    A gray and white tattoo of a cat.

    @erkantattooart / Instagram

    It can be hard to capture your kitty's true fluffiness in photos adequately, and sometimes, the fluffiness is the cutest part. Tattoo artists who specialize in hyperrealism and single-needle tattooing, however, are pros at capturing every single detail that contributes to your cat's fluff. The proof is in this tattoo's super puffy tail from erkantattooart on Instagram.

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  • 06 of 11

    The Fine Line Dog Ears

    A fine line tattoo of dogs' ears.

    @jesvalentinetattoos / Instagram

    If you're a puppy parent, you know there's no better feeling than your doggy's soft, silky ears. So, why not immortalize that feeling? A sweet, finely detailed tattoo of your dog's ears, like this one from jesvalentinetattoos on Instagram, lets you give him a head rub even when you're stuck in a boring meeting or running errands. 

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    The Gray and White Dog

    A realistic-style tattoo of a German Shepherd.

    @georgitattoo / Instagram

    Realistic gray and white tattoos do an amazing job of capturing the details, shadows, and other fine characteristics that other tattoo styles might leave out like this tattoo from georgitattoo on Instagram. Our advice? Bring your favorite photo of your dog to your tattoo artist for the most accurate depiction of your pooch. 

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  • 08 of 11

    The Traditional-Style Cat

    A traditional-style tattoo of a cat.

    @mickgore / Instagram

    Cats have long been the subject of tattoos. Everything from traditional, American-style pieces to Japanese monmon cats have been inked on skin. Combining a traditional type tattoo with modern, muted colors makes this old-school-style ink feel super fresh. And let's not forget, absolutely adorable like this one from mickgore on Instagram.

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  • 09 of 11

    The Sugar Skull Dog

    A sugar skull-style tattoo of a dog.

    @tattooer_nicky / Instagram

    Bold, bright, and super colorful, sugar skulls—otherwise known as Calaveras—have become popular tattoos in the last several years. But have you ever seen a sugar skull rendition of a doggy? This tattoo from tattooer_nicky on Instagram combines a traditional symbol with modern abstract, gray and white, and geometric tattooing for a totally unique—and gorgeous—ode to the owner's dog. 

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  • 10 of 11

    The Gray and White Rabbit

    A black and white realistic tattoo of a rabbit.

    @bythestrange / Instagram

    Have you ever seen a more regal rabbit? Combining portraiture with super detailed gray and white tattooing, this beautiful bunny from bythestrange on Instagram looks straight out of a Victorian portrait. If you want to capture all of your rabbit's cute characteristics, consider a gray and white tattoo. Frame her portrait with your favorite blooms for a personal, feminine vibe.  

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    The Super Realistic Parrot

    A colorful, realistic tattoo of a parrot.

    @meagma / Instagram

    Realistic and hyperrealistic tattoos are meant to capture every detail of its subject—and this tattoo from meagma on Instagram definitely gets the job done. If you want an almost photo-like depiction of your parrot, opt for super bright colors and lots of fine detailing. It doesn't hurt to throw in your favorite tropical flowers either.