Best Friends 4ever? Dog Tattoo Ideas

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Last Updated: September 24th, 2023

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Our furry friends may not be with us forever, but we do want to remember them forever. We are giving you some heartfelt dog tattoo ideas to celebrate the eternal bond with your canine companion!


Man’s best friend is not just a pet, but a life companion. For those who have shared unforgettable moments with their canine buddies, imprinting this bond with a tattoo is a symbol of love and companionship they share with their dog. This article will give you great “Dog Tattoo Ideas” and recommend the best places to get one. Get ready to wear your heart on your sleeve!

Dog Tattoo Ideas

From simple paw prints to intricate portraits, here’s a list of six adorable yet meaningful dog tattoo ideas to inspire your next ink:

Paw Prints with a Twist

Rather than a generic paw print, why not personalize it? Incorporate your dog’s name or birthdate into the design, or even use their actual paw print! There are so many styles to choose from. Realistic tattoos, abstract, line tattoos…Do a research on your local tattoo artists and go with the one that resonates with your style best.

Dog tattoo ideas, dog paw line tattoo
Image from Instagram

Realistic Mini Dog Portraits

A mini dog portrait tattoo demands a second look. No bigger than a large coin, the level of detail within this modest size can be astonishing. The tattoo can showcase the up-close face of a beloved dog, with its eyes usually being the most compelling feature. Remember that it takes a skillful tattoo artist to make a detailed small tattoo, but if you can get to one, it will look amazing. You can add your dogs name, date of birth, or round their head with a heart.

The only issue with small detailed tattoos is that over time, they have a potential to spread a bit due to the natural breakdown of ink particles. This can lead to fine lines blurring together or losing clarity, causing the tattoo to appear smudged or less crisp than when it was first done. Your tattoo artist will let you know which parts of the body are appropriate for small detailed tattoos.

small realistic detailed tattoo of a bulldog
Image from Instagram

Minimalist Dog Portraits

Less can sometimes mean more. A minimalistic line drawing capturing the essence of your dog can be both stylish and meaningful. A popular choice is a line tattoo of your dogs ears. You can do the same with any part of your dogs body that reminds you of them the most.

Minimalistic line tattoo of dogs ears on ankle
Image from Instagram

Goofy Tattoo for a Goofy Dog

Dogs bring so much laughter into our lives with their quirky behavior. Their goofiness is sometimes what we want to remember most. A goofy tattoo can be a great personalized option, you can even think of a famous cartoon dog character that reminds you of your dog and go from there.

Funny goofy dog tattoo
Image from Instagram

Give Me Your Paw

This one might just be the cutest from this list. “Holding hands” with your dog is a symbol for unmatched loyalty and unconditional friendship that our furry friends offer us. If you want a more sentimental tattoo to remember your dog, this may be the one. The style can be realistic or more minimalistic line work. Make it your own.

Cute dog tattoo idea of holding paw in your hand
Image from Pinterest

Quotes and Symbols

This one is a classic. Pair a significant quote or symbol with your dog’s portrait or paw print. It can be an inside joke, a shared memory, or a testament to their loyalty. You can really make it your own by including your dogs name, the date you got them or their birthday.

Image from Pinterest

Best Places for a Dog Tattoo

Now that you’ve got an idea (or six!) in mind, where’s the best spot on your body to showcase this art? Let’s explore:


The wrist is a popular location for small to medium-sized tattoos, perfect for paw prints or minimalist portraits. It’s a spot you see all the time, keeping your furry friend close.


With ample space, the forearm can be an excellent canvas for intricate designs or quotes. Just make sure your profession doesn’t require tattoo-free arms.

Ankle or Calf

Much like the wrist, these areas are perfect for smaller designs and can be easily concealed if needed.

Tattoo of a dog paw and human hand holding
Image from Instagram


For a more intimate tattoo, the ribcage can be an ideal spot, especially for vertical designs or longer quotes. Remember, ribcage is a very sensitive area for getting a tattoo so make sure to consult your tattoo artist about the pain levels on that specific area.

Back or Shoulder

If you’re considering a larger artwork, the back offers the biggest canvas on ones body. A shoulder is a popular choice for dog tattoos because it can perfectly frame circular designs.

Behind the Ear

This is becoming a popular area for tattoos. This discreet location is a perfect choice for tiny tattoos or symbols. Tattoos here can be unique and charming.

Tattoo of two dog paws behind the ear
Image from Pinterest


“Dog Tattoo Ideas” aren’t just fashion statements—they’re a tribute to the best memories, love, and companionship we’ve shared with our four-legged friends. Whether it’s a minimalistic design or an elaborate piece of art, the essence remains the same: a heartfelt ode to our furry BFFs. We think that dog tattoos might be the ones that people very rarely regret, but If you are worried that you’ll regret yours some day, this article from Psychology Today will help you loose that fear!



Maja Sebenik is a proud owner of a Dachshund named Bimba. With three years of experience working as a researcher for a pet magazine, Maja's love for animals runs deep. Through her heartfelt writing, Maja shares practical tips, advice, and heartwarming anecdotes to inspire fellow pet lovers. Join her on a journey to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, one paw at a time.

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The information and resources provided by are for informational purposes only. We do not accept any liability, and strongly suggest you verify all information and resources with a professional.

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