Animal Lovers Will Melt Over These Tattoo Ideas

I'm an avid lover of all my furry, feathered, and scaly friends, likely made obvious by my multiple pets and vegan lifestyle. As someone with a passion for animals and tattoos, it's kind of strange that I don't have more animal tattoos on my bod. But you don't need to have an animal tat to admire the artistry that is a beautiful dog or hamster etched onto your skin.

Animals are the bomb. They make great pets, and those that aren't domesticated help make this big beautiful world go 'round. But they each also hold so much symbolism based on mythology, astrology, and personal beliefs. Lion tattoos can represent strength and courage, for instance, especially for those who identify as Leos. Deer can represent grace and beauty, while owls are known for their wisdom. As for dogs, well, you've heard that they're a human's best friend — and I'd have to agree.

By getting your favorite four-legged pal tattooed on yourself, you can create your own kind of Patronus. Or you can commemorate the pets that have meant the word to you (because let's face it, they're like family). Whatever your reason for wanting an animal tattoo, here are some of the most beautiful tats perfect for animal lovers.

1. For Owl Lovers

This stunning and realistic rendition of the owl is so badass as it fades away into the forearm. The oil painting-like tattoo exudes wisdom and intelligence.

2. For Rat Lovers

This simple line tattoo is adorable, and can commemorate your pet rat's favorite spot to chill: Your shoulder. It's quirky and silly, just like your pet.

3. For Bird Lovers

These adorable bird tats are so charming, and one of them even has a camera and a paintbrush. It's so sweet and so quintessentially hipster.

4. For Dog Lovers

Why not commemorate your pup with a cute portrait (preferably covered in flowers), or with a design imitating their paw prints?

5. For Lion Lovers

Channel your inner lioness with this powerful tattoo. Bonus points if you're a Leo.

6. For Monkey Lovers

Check out this adorable capuchin monkey! You can adorn any of your limbs with your favorite tree climber.

7. For Sea Life Lovers

These designs are so beautiful, and a great way to celebrate your love of the sea.

8. For Reptile Lovers

Honor your favorite cold-blooded animals with a reptile tattoo. You can even make it a extra badass and try an animal skull.

9. For The Creepy Crawly Lover

Opt for decorating your arms with your favorite insect, or invent a hybrid of your own.

10. For The Elephant Lover

Elephants are pretty massive, sure, but there are plenty of minimalist options to show off your love for this pachyderm, like this cute finger tattoo.

11. For Cat Lovers

Whether it be with a simpler tattoo or a more extravagant one, there are hundreds of ways to represent the love you share with your feline friends.

12. For Deer Lovers

Deer are arguably one of the most tattoo-able animals out there, what with their delicate shape and beautiful antlers. Check out some of these gorgeous deer tattoos, and inject a little extra serenity and grace in your everyday life.

13. For Fox Lovers

Why not channel the cunningness and beauty of foxes with these designs?

There really is nothing like the love we share with our furry, scaly, or creepy crawly friends, so etching a reminder of said love on your skin sounds like a perfect plan to me.

Want more ink-spiration? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

Image: GonzaloDiazFornaro/Flickr