There's nothing like the bond between humans and their pets. So what could be a better dedication to that love than getting a portrait of them inked into your skin?
Here's a round-up of some of the cutest and most sentimental pet tattoos, along with stories from the tattoo artists who love to create them and the owners who wear their pets forever on their skin.
Get your tissues at the ready as some of these tales (and tails) had us sobbing...
From left: by Chris Stockings, by Sam Read, by Chris Stockings
"First up is my pet tortoise, Flash, next to the tattoo of him – with strawberries because they’re his fave. There's also my dog, Margaret. I got her with knickers in her mouth because she’s forever stealing them out of the wash basket. She’s the reason I’m still here today as I got her when my little brother died and I needed a reason to laugh again. Then there's my second dog, Oreo. We got him through the Channel 4 show, The Dog House." Charlotte
Tattoo by Clara Welsh
"This is me and Patti Valentine – the Queen of my heart. She’s one and we got her at 8 weeks. It the best decision I ever made. We got her to make being at home easier when my partner is away working as a musician - I could cry just talking about her! How do pets do this to us? Animals are our greatest gift – we should cherish them." Wendy Watts
"I love being asked to do tattoos of people’s pets, because it feels like such an honour that they trust me with commemorating their fur babies! I think we have such a special relationship with our pets, and I love capturing their personality and character in my designs and I’ve had so many fun ideas. My favourite part about the whole process is being sent lots of cute photos to use as references, it melts my heart." Charlotte Lucyy, The Gilded Rook Tattoo Studio, Chesterfield
"I have a cat tattoo from Susa Konig (@suflanda). It's of my three girl cats; I adopted them all at around the same time and they all loved each other very much. When I got the tattoo in 2018, two of the girls had already died (the black cat Tink and the sphynx Connie) but I still have my tabby Jap who is now 17." Helen
Tattoos by Jak Goks
"This is my trusted border collie. Then there's my two other rescue dogs on my other side." Jonathan Green
Tattoo by Simon Blay
"This is Dave the cat (full name Cheeky Dave). I adopted him in 2019 after a bad break-up. He had been a stray – his previous ‘owners’ left him behind when they moved away. I was in love as soon as I saw him. He had contracted FIV during his time on the streets, and was 8 years old when he was put up for adoption. Because of this, they were struggling to find a home for him. I picked him up in 2019. Everyone who met him fell in love with him. My dad notoriously dislikes cats. But Dave changed his mind. They formed such a bond, and I loved seeing how everyone who met this chunky, slightly grumpy but lovable cat, fell head over heels in love with him. In March 2021, Dave's little heart finally gave out. I’ve not known grief like it. Although I only got to be his person for two years, he made such a profound impact on my life, it was like losing a close family member." Mary Holder
"A few years ago I lost my furry friend Prince. I decided I wanted to get a tattoo in his memory. I still can’t always look at photos of him without getting sad, so I didn’t want a portrait of Prince. Instead, I opted for a Fox – because we always used to joke that he looked like one, and kids would stop me when I walked him to ask if he was one! I’m so happy with how it turned out!" Beth Ashley
Tattoos by Chris Lambert
"Sasha (now in cat heaven) and Boris (still with us) on the back of my calves. Based on the traditional dragon tattoo as Sasha was always calm and gentle whereas Boris is aggressive and loud!" Lucy Walker-Collins
"This is my pet Chester. Unfortunately he died about 4 years ago. We had only had him for about 5 years. We re-homed him after the people who had him died. We know their daughter so we think he was about 40 something when we got him." Megan Marriott