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17 Dog Tattoo Ideas for Pet Parents (With Pictures)

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

man with paw tattoo hugging his dog

17 Dog Tattoo Ideas for Pet Parents (With Pictures)

Our dogs aren’t merely “pets”, they’re members of our family and always hold a special place in our hearts. It’s for this reason that many opt to immortalize and honor their much-loved pooches by getting a tattoo.

Dog tattoos come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors, and each one is designed to be personal to you—not an exact copy of someone else’s tattoo. This is the whole point, but the innumerable tattoo idea possibilities can make it tricky to choose which style is best for you. Fortunately, a reputable tattoo artist will work with you to ensure your tattoo is the best it can be.

If you’re in the budding ideas stage of getting a new tattoo, here are some of our favorite designs, and we hope they help you get inspiration for your own unique design.

The 17 Dog Tattoo Ideas for Pet Parents


If you’re looking for inspiration for something cute, original, and brightly-colored, you may just get it from this gorgeous design by We love the contrast between the thickly lined, shaded edges and the bold bursts of color that accentuate the motifs within the tattoo itself.

The artist appears to specialize in bold, quirky, bright pieces often featuring animals—another thing to consider when it comes to choosing who does your tattoo. It’s always a good idea to research artists who specialize in the type of style you’re looking for.

2. julianmtattoo

The great thing about tattoos is that they can express something about the subject’s personality and soul, and for those who wish to commemorate a dog, they can bring comfort and remind us of the good times. Whether you simply want an image of your dog that makes you smile or you wish to remember a faithful friend as they truly were, we think this design is a wonderful example.

This adorable tattoo captures a dog at their happiest, which is how we most like to think of and remember them. It’s the perfect inspiration for those who want something that truly does their joyful pooch justice and can get them to crack a smile in difficult times.

3. olivia_tattooart & tattoartist_olivia

Just like a human fingerprint, every dog’s paw is unique, and it is this individuality that makes your dog’s paw a fantastic tattoo idea. What’s more, the idea behind every paw print tattoo is unique to every person.

For example, someone might choose to get a paw tattoo around the area of their heart while another may get it on their hand to signify the high fives their dog gives. For someone else, the tattoo may be placed where their dog most likes or liked to snuggle up and sleep.

We love this realistic paw tattoo by olivia_tattooart because it’s a great example of how a real dog paw looks when tattooed, but there are so many styles and designs to gain inspiration from.

4. tattooist-scarlet

The Dachshund’s body shape makes for a cool tattoo that can fit well on various areas of the body. If you’re a Dachshund aficionado, you could go for something more traditional or something wonderfully quirky like this slinky Dachshund design by tattooist-scarlet.

We love the combination of the realistic Dachshund and the element of fantasy, and this tattoo style could appeal to those who can’t choose between a traditional design and something more contemporary.

5. sophiabrowntattoos

Stylish, whimsical, and stunningly beautiful are the terms we’d use to describe this dog tattoo by sophiabrowntattoos. We think this kind of design will appeal to those who want to pay testament to their dog’s beauty and grace with two starkly contrasting styles that complement one another perfectly to create something truly extraordinary.

Bear in mind that a tattoo this intricate will take some time to finish, and it may need to be completed over several sessions rather than all in one go.

6. mikestatuering

If you’d like a paw tattoo but also a tattoo of your dog’s face, this design by mikestatuering demonstrates how you can combine both in one design! We love the clever organization of the parts of the face into different parts of the paw to create a clean, compact, and eye-catching design that would fit nicely on various parts of the body. Better yet, the dog’s personality truly shines through the “window” of the paw.

7. studiodaveink

Here we have a small, neat, simple fine-line tattoo by studiodaveink. This style is ideal for those who want something subtle and a tad abstract—a design you have to look at closely to see what it really is. These kinds of smaller tattoos are a good choice for those who are getting their first tattoo as it helps you get an idea of the feeling and process without having to spend too long in the chair.

8. xiso_ink

This lovely tattoo by xiso_ink caught our eye because there’s a nice contrast of dark and light shades with little pops of color. The design captures the dog’s dignified air but also warm eyes and a slight smile that seems to give away a hint of mischief, so it could be the perfect inspiration for dogs with regal personalities but who are also playful and loving.

Does your dog have a favorite accessory like a bandana or funky collar? If so, just like in this example, these could be worked into the tattoo to add an extra personal touch.

9. goldy_z

We instantly fell in love with this cute and funny yet intricate tattoo, a design one commenter described as resembling a Dali painting. This design is special not only because it’s so beautifully done but also because it’s alive and captures a real moment, the kind of spontaneous moment we all experience with our dogs and remember distinctly, whether that be a funny facial expression, an unusual habit, or a reaction to something totally unexpected.

10. ziv_tattoer

Another fine line tattoo, this design by ziv_tattoer depicts a human hand and a dog’s paw bound together with the “red line of fate” as the tattoo artist describes it. Something similar to this could be great for someone who wants to honor the unbreakable bond they share with their canine companion and express that no matter what, they’ll always be a big part of us.

11. cien_ink

If you have multiple dogs you want to honor, why not work them all into one tattoo? This design by cien_ink is a perfect example of how you can do this and represent each dog’s individual personality. In this case, there’s a dog that gives off an air of calm confidence, a dog that looks joyful and exuberant, and a dog with an aura of gentleness and kindness.

We love that this design allows all three personalities to shine in their unique way.

12. amoebazoo

We find this adorable tattoo to be very moving as the dog looks like he or she is a children’s book character, and this captures the innocence and purity of our canine companions and the bond we build with them.

With a few simple shapes and lines, this dog’s expressive face and soft eyes are completely brought to life—it feels like the tattoo shows who the dog truly is and how we see them both physically and emotionally.

13. tattooist.kimria

If you’d like a neat, realistic tattoo with a contemporary touch, you might like a style similar to this tattoo. Partly contained within a diamond shape (very fitting!) is a gorgeous, longhaired Dachshund with bi-colored eyes, but you can experiment with various shapes, colors, and dog appearances to come up with something that looks just like your dog and in your preferred style.

If you want to show your world how precious your pup is to you, this might be the kind of style you lean toward.

14. rachaelsawtelltattoo

Here’s another amazing example of how to feature more than one dog within the same tattoo. This modern and edgy design comprises space-like elements with two halves of dog faces—both looking like rulers of the universe—on each side.

Designs in this style would look good with any type of dogs, but especially proud, noble-looking dogs like those featured in this design, as the whole effect is one of majesty and otherworldliness.

15. seventattoovegas & gionastaracetattoos

This stunning and captivating piece by Giona Starace has a wolfish, dream-like quality but is so realistic, that it’s hard to believe it’s not a photo! This kind of tattoo shows a dog in all their glory, and you might consider something in this style if you want your dog’s beauty to be front and center.

Even if you don’t have a dog yourself, you might be thinking of getting a tattoo of a magnificent or wolf-like dog for aesthetic or symbolic reasons.

16. susboom_tattoo

If you’d like a more colorful and abstract take on the traditional paw design, here’s a tattoo that’s as intriguing as it is beautiful. We love the elements of geometry and the watercolor effect and are curious to know what the meaning behind this design is. Perhaps the owner has a love of math, art, and dogs and wanted to combine them all into one?

We’ll never know, but we always love tattoos with the power to intrigue.

17. pisatche

For those with a love of all things fantasy, you might opt for something with an otherworldly, animated quality like the “Cute Destroyer” by pisatch, which was inspired by what appears to be a Bichon Frise and a Bolognese-type dog (though we could be wrong).

We’re seriously blown away by the individuality and cuteness of this design, and it’s sure to inspire others looking for something in a similar style with fantasy elements.

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Getting Your Dog Tattoo: Tips

  • Take all the time you need to decide on the style and design.
  • Communicate your idea to your artist and ask all the questions you need to.
  • Expect to pay more for quality. Tattooing is an art, and you’re paying for expertise and great service in addition to the tattoo itself.
  • Don’t expect an artist to copy someone else’s tattoo exactly. You can use images of others’ tattoos for reference and inspiration, but reputable artists want to produce original work.
  • Opt for a tattoo artist who specializes in the aesthetic you’re going for.

dogster paw divider


Tattoo art is a wonderful way to pay homage to the dogs that provide us with so much love and companionship, and we hope you’ve enjoyed perusing this selection of dog tattoos in diverse styles, colors, and sizes. If you’re ready to bite the bullet, communicate with your tattoo artist and work with them to create a design that you’ll be proud to carry.

Featured Image Credit: Cindy Hughes, Shutterstock

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