dog lover tattoo ideas

101 Best Dog Tattoo Ideas That Show Your Dog Love

Thinking of inking a dog tattoo on your skin? If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas, you’ve landed on the right page. If you want to know what body parts hurt more and which hurt less for your new dog tattoo, we’ve got you covered.

I have five tattoos to date and three of them are dog themed. My sixth tattoo takes place in September of 2019, and I will add the finished product to this post.

best dog tattoo ideas

Do Dog Tattoos Hurt

“The physical pain is really more temporary and passes much quicker than the pain of losing your companion,” tattoo artist Andrea X. Tasha told me when I visited the Mooncusser Tattoo shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts for my first dog tattoo back in 2008. 

I completely agree with that sentiment. However, it seems that where you have the tattoo placed has a lot to do with the pain factor. 

According to Fredrik Glimskär, founder and CEO of online tattoo marketplace Inkbay, “There’s no place on your body where you won’t feel the scratch of the needle to some extent, but there are certain places that hurt more than others.”

tattoo pain chart
Source: Cosmopolitan

Pain is subjective to the individual and it also matters who is doing the inking. Therefore, a skilled tattoo artist knows their stuff and will do their very best to inform you of the pain level expected. Of course, the amount of work, the detail and coloring all contribute to pain or the lack thereof. There are a surprising number of nerve endings in the inside of the wrist, so keep that in mind. 

Location of My Tattoos

Here are the locations of my five tattoos to date:

  • Upper outer left arm
  • Upper outer right arm
  • Two on the top of right thigh
  • Side of lower right calfDog pawprint tattoos
my heart beats dog trademarked
I own this trademark and had it forever marked on my skin.
wonder woman tattoo
I wanted a Wonder Woman tattoo, so even though not dog related, showing this so you can see all my tats.
Darlene butterfly tattoo
My wife’s name with rainbow colors.

The most pain I felt during an inking session was with my large Wonder Woman piece on the side of my lower right calf. It felt like hot metal digging into my lowest layers of skin. I did not look, and my leg was elevated so the tattoo artist could work his magic. 

The least painful dog tattoos are located on the top of my outer right thigh. They both felt like cat scratches and then a bit like sunburn. I do agree with Andrea X, for instance, in that the pain of losing a dog is nothing compared to the pain of a tattoo. Over on Cosmopolitan, they shared a general tattoo chart indicating the most painful areas, as shown below. Some areas of the body have more nerve endings than others, which you can see above. 

The woman who does my nails at a local salon has tattoos on the outer portions of both hands. She tells me the pain was so intense she actually passed out. Here are a few photos of me at my very first tattoo session 10 years ago as of this writing:

does a tattoo hurt
My face says it all. It really wasn’t that bad, this area.

tattoo time

Is A Dog Tattoo Safe?

Over at WebMD, they say, “The FDA regulates the inks in tattoos, but the actual practice of tattooing is regulated by local jurisdictions, such as cities and counties. That means there is no standardized certification for those doing the tattooing or an overall governing body supervising the health and safety of tattoo parlors.”

In consideration of a tattoo location and size, attention to detail is achieved on a larger area of skin, such as the deltoid or shoulder region.  The tattoo artist should be experienced, clean, and meet the FDA guidelines for intradermal tattoos. 

When searching for a tattoo artist, I read online reviews, called and asked a ton of questions of the tattoo parlor, and felt confident in my final selection. A good artist will tell you how to care for the wound after completion of the work. Pay a visit to the parlor if you can to book the appointment and ask questions. I like to look around, see what the place looks like, and if possible, meet with the artist in advance if possible. 

I also look at photos of the artist’s work on social media and what customers have to say. 

In conclusion, remember too, that removing a tattoo is a painstaking process, and complete removal without scarring may be nearly impossible. 

How Much Does A Dog Tattoo Cost?

Medium sized tattoos like my Wonder Woman clocked in around the $350 range. Most tattoo parlors require a non-refundable deposit to book an appointment. That deposit should be applied toward the overall cost of the work. 

Smaller pieces like my dog pawprints cost me around $200 each. 

Larger, more detailed pieces go upward in price from $300 on. Sometimes the artist can finish the work in one sitting. Other times, you will need to book multiple appointments. Detailed lengthy work can take a lot longer. Some artists charge by the hour.

Always ask for an estimate and give a good tip at the end. Here’s what one source says about tipping your tattoo artist.

Now the good stuff: Ideas of what type of dog tattoo to get on your skin. Hopefully, you’ll get some ideas from this collection that includes everything from remembrance to pawprints, tattoos for men, and more. 

In Remembrance

tattoos in remembrance

tattoos in remembrance

dog angel tattoo

dog memorial paw print

angel wings dog tattoo

dog tennis ball tattoo

dog tattoo rainbow bridge

dog remembrance tattoo


Pawprint Dog Tattoo Ideas

pawprint tattoo

pawprint tattoo

Pawprint dog tattoos

Pawprint dog tattoos

Pawprint dog tattoos

Pawprint dog tattoos

Pawprint dog tattoos


Dog Portrait Tattoos

dog portrait tattoos

dog portrait tattoos

french bulldog dog tattoo

line of dog tattoos

dog portrait tattoos

colorful dog portrait tattoos

hand dog portrait tattoos


Me And You Dog Tattoos

dog love ink

dog mom pencil art

best friends dogs

mommy and me

touching paws


Floral Dog Tattoo Ideas

true to life dogs

dogs in flowers

flower dogs

floral dog


Clever Dog Themed Tattoos

dog collar ink

art with heart

realistic tattoos of animals

pack of dogs

cute pug ink

pencil art


Cocker Spaniel Tattoo

cocker spaniel faces
Photos: Chantelle Howorth
cocker spaniel designs
Photo right: Mike Davis

cocker spaniel tattoo

different cocker dog work
Photo: Becky Corwin Adams

brown cocker spaniel

cocker spaniel inspiration

cocker spaniel ink


Dog Tattoo Ideas For Guys

dogs in rockets tattoos

dog lovers tattoo

clever tattoo for guys

extreme detail tattoo

image heavy tattoo of canines

scruffy tattoo of dog

animal tattoo for guys


Completely Different Dog Tattoo Designs

beautiful art tattoos

hand to paw tattoo

freeform tattoo

unique tattoo designs

dog back tattoo

pencil art tattoo


Dog Name Tattoo Inspiration

hearts of dogs

collar with names for dogs

fading pawprints

dog memorial

dog names

dog name tattoo ideas


Dog Quote Tattoo Ideas

dog quotes tattoo

dog quotes tattoo ideas

dog quotes tattoo ideas


Extreme Dog Themed Tattoo Art

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers

extreme tattoos for dog lovers


So there you have it: At least 101 ideas for dog tattoos. Do you have any? Would you get one (or more)?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Links to the art above may be found in the section below.

Links To Dog Tattoos Featured Above

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  1. Wow some of these tattoos are absolutely amazing and I really like some of these ideas for my own tattoo one day of Coco!! Some of them are so detailed they had to be painful and take hours! Wow! Amazing!

  2. These are all amazing! I have one on my left inner wrist. It’s my Delias’ pawprint. I plan on getting one for my Chewy, too.

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