Let me start with the fact that I am not generally a tattoo fan, although intrigued by the stories and the art of tattoos, a picture will do me just fine to preserve memories of my pet. But . .
If one of my kids asked should I get a tattoo of my dog? (later in life hopefully!) my answer would be a resounding yes! Provided, of course, that they themselves thought long and hard and weighed the pros and cons of getting a dog tattoo.
Should You Get a Tattoo of Your Dog?
If you are thinking of getting your next tattoo of your dog or something else- YES! Tattoos are special and people like Deborah Davidson a Professor of Sociology at York University, have spent their careers understanding the sociology and psychology of getting a tattoo with the Tattoo Project. There is more to a Tattoo than meets the eye but according to Davidson, “[t]attoos can be understood as a form of public storytelling,” said Davidson. “Stories help us make sense and meaning out of things that happened to us.”
If you need a story tattoo of your dog consider these reasons when you are thinking of getting your next dog tattoo.
Timing. The majority of dog lovers seek out getting a dog tattoo when they are upset over the loss of their dog. Big decisions when you recently suffered a loss are not the best.
Although a tattoo can be a fond memory, make sure that you are thinking through this permanent decision with a clean head and weighing all of your options. Most of the time it is others that see your tattoo rather than yourself. Consider if another form of remembrance will serve you better.
Attention. Many people will ask about your tattoo. Will you be prepared to describe your beloved dog to as many people that ask and tell them about what inspired it?
For some, discussing their tattoos is healing since, as Davidson notes: “[Tattoos] open that dialogue so you can talk about what your tattoo means and remember the person you lost that way.” Some pet lovers may not be ready for this dialogue while others will find it healing.
Design. Do you have a cool design for a tattoo in mind or are you going to wing it? I recently saw a post of a woman and her dog, Tuffy, on Facebook. It was a nice picture with her at the beach showing him off in a nice variety of photos with his ‘best friends’ and her family and friends. What made this picture really stand out, however, was a large tattoo on her upper arm.
The picture itself was lovely, but the tattoo was not! If you are going to permanently mark your body you will want to ensure that your design is top notch. We provided some designs for inspiration in our printables store as we know this can be hard.
Artist. Do you know of an artist that you trust or can you get referrals from some top tattoo artists in your area?
It is not like there is an exam to become a tattoo artist (other than safety and sanitation in some states) so you will need to find one that you can trust and have confidence in and with an artistic style that you like.not like there is an exam to become a tattoo artist (other than safety and sanitation in some states) so you will need to find one that you can trust and have confidence in and with an artistic style that you like.
Type and style. There are all sorts of types of dog tattoos from minimalist dog tattoos which we love and are included in our printable designs to full color art dog tattoo rendering of your pup.
Long term plans. You may be moved by your emotions at this point or your sheer love or your sense of loss, if your dog tattoo is meant to memorialize your dog.
However, remember, if you have future plans to be a foot model a dog tattoo along your foot may not work with those long term plans or maybe it will make you more of a hit. Point is to think it through.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Dog Tattoo
The pros and cons of getting a dog tattoo are many. For instance, the pros of getting a dog tattoo are you have a way to memorialize the love of your pet and that love is permanent.
This is in contrast to getting a tattoo of a human, as with a dog tattoo there will be no “break-up” that you have to contend with. Additionally, unlike a regular symbol, like a baseball, you will never fall out of favor with your pup as you may with another symbol when you find out you are really not good at the sport or get kicked off of the team for other reasons.
Another interesting pro for getting a tattoo is the idea expressed by Davidson: many dog tattoos are driven by the idea that the dog lover would like to memorialize their pet.
Grief is all-encompassing, and for some, it never really goes away. Tattoos present a unique way to cope with the grief “Memorial tattoos help continue bonds with the deceased,” said Davidson. As a Mom, if tattoos can assist with grief – why not?
Additionally, while we normally fear permanence with a tattoo Davidson suggests that the permanence of body tattoos can also have a comforting quality for someone dealing with tragic loss.
The cons of getting a dog tattoo are really the permanence and if anything should happen in the process to cause you to not like the outcome.
In short, your tattoo artist can really mess it up. What if your dear Bella has three eyes or does not resemble the love that you know exuberates from her. Artists, no matter how talented, may have a difficult time capturing the true essence of your beloved pet, especially with ink on skin.
Why Mom Says YES to dog tattoos
Many factors in my mind contribute to getting a tattoo of a dog. Here are my reasons for saying yes, even if I prefer a locket of my dear pet as opposed to a tattoo.
A desire for a tattoo seems inevitable for some and the same people that are considering a dog tattoo. So, if it is between a dog and another symbol or person’s name, god forbid, I elect a dog all the way. You won’t break up with a dog, the symbol will not be uncool later, and even if the art bleeds a bit or your skin gets flabby in old age, your dog would forgive you just as they do in real life.
This Mom also thinks that the style of the tattoo will make or break it. Which is why we have included some minimalist dog tattoos in digital printable tattoo designs in our Pawsome People collection for you to download. These dog tattoos are created by our creator partnership with an artist and are certain to be custom and stylish dog tattoos.
Don’t forget that another way to celebrate your pet is with a temporary tattoo. With sites like Inkbox you can create a custom dog tattoo. We have created dog tattoo designs to inspire you and you can submit to Inkbox to get a custom tattoo made.
Getting a tattoo is not for everyone and I don’t recommend everyone have one of anything. But if you choose to do so, it can be an incredibly special way to commemorate a treasured loved one or a unique way to remember something about them. If you are not quite ready for the permanence of a dog tattoo or you know you never will be then a temporary tattoo may be the answer.