13 Tattoos Inspired By Pets, Because A Love For Your Furry Friend Is Forever — PHOTOS

I never like to think about my beloved dog passing away, but since he is in his senior years, I am being faced with his mortality. Animal lovers know that pet inspired tattoos are one way to keep the memory of your pet alive forever.

For people living with depression and anxiety, pets can be a support system. There have even been studies that show that having a dog can actually lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. I know that my own health and wellness have benefited from having a Dachshund in my life over the past few years. And while I don't have a tattoo of my dog, I can totally see why having one would be a reminder of my loving relationship with my pet.

Unlike the name of a part-time beau, your pet is probably not going to slide into someone else's DM's and break your heart. Pets are known for their loyalty, their unconditional love, and their sometimes endearing asshole behavior. Sounds like perfect tattoo inspiration to me.

Everyone's motivation to get a pet tattoo may be different, so I asked around on social media for the stories behind pet ink. From snakes and cats to dogs and mice, the responses I received really warmed my animal-loving heart. Here are 13 tats inspired by humans' best friends.

1. Megan

"A friend posted that she'd found kittens in a box outside, and needed to adopt them out," Megan Hodge tells me of the cat she's had for two years now. "I saw Scarecrow and that was it... he was mine. He even has his own hashtag #scarecrowisadick."

2. Amelia

"I've always wanted a tattoo of a snake, and Pepperoni was the first pet my partner and I cared for together, so he is an extra special dude! Win/win," shares stylist Amelia Hart.

3. Marisa

"Just my love for my dog was all the inspiration I needed. He is without a doubt my best friend and I know the love is mutual. I actually have other dogs too but my bond with Simba (dog in the portrait) is so different," says Marisa Velazco of the tattoo she had completed by Brett Rosepiler at Heritage Tattoo in Las Vegas.

4. Allie

"It's a tattoo of my cat Lola, who was 20 years old," shares plus size fashion blogger Allie Krystal of Ailurophile With Style. "I had her for almost my whole life, she was my family, and I wanted a little reminder of her everywhere I went. She died a couple months ago, and now I love the tattoo more than ever because she's gone, but her little face is still on me."

5. Charlotte

"I just really like cats," shares Charlotte, the boss babe behind jewelry brand Black Hearts Creatives. "I wanted a badass little cat so my tattooist did a mean cat. I told her what colors I wanted, etc. and it was loosely based on a combo of my two cats! I am not a portrait kind of person. I like fun tattoos and non-realistic so this was the best way for me to celebrate Gittlemon and Albie and all my previous cats, and hopefully all my future cats!" The tattoo was completed at Sacred Electric Tattoo in Leeds, UK.

6. Katie

"I like the idea of getting a tattoo in part because pets can do no wrong," writes Canadian plus blogger Katie of ToodalooKatie. "My chinchilla, Kenobi, has been the most wonderful pet for the last 19 years and still is today, so I thought why not celebrate that?! I've always imagined him to be a bit of a gentleman and my tattoo artist, Amy Savage, captured it all."

7. Amy

Librarian Amy Dittmeier says, "I adopted two cute kitten from an animal shelter in Chicago, and became somewhat of a crazy cat lady. I had already gotten a tattoo of my pet mouse, so I thought why shouldn't I get one of my cats? I've gotten most of my tattoos at Speakeasy Custom Tattoo in Chicago and fell in love with Linnea's cute style. It totally fit my pets, and she designed this custom piece for me."

8. Justine

"I adopted Harold Baines nearly five years ago at a time when things in my life weren't going as well as I had hoped," says Justine Boney about the dog who inspired her ink from Max Brown of Brown Brothers Tattoo.

"My career wasn't where I wanted it to be and I just felt restless and antsy. Bringing Baines into my life immediately improved my outlook. He's goofy, silly, endlessly loving, and makes me laugh all the time. Not only did taking care of him give me a feeling that I was more than just a job title, it helped me re-prioritize a lot of things in my life which resulted in a much happier me. It's so cliche, but the old, 'Who rescued who?' is really true. So when I got him tattooed on me, it was my way of having his little ray of sunshine self (I mean, look at that smile!) with me all the time."

9. MellyMeep

On Twitter, @MellyMeep tells me that she loves cats and adds, "Paula is an artist I've wanted something from for ages, was a lovely surprise for it to be likeness of Lily."

10. Jo

I shared a cubicle with Jo Eastwood at a past job and never knew the story behind her cat tattoo. She shares, "My ex boyfriend and I had talked about getting matching tattoos, but I was honestly really scared of needles and thought I'd come up with a proposal that was so ridiculous that he'd shy away from it: Our cats, Shiksa and Clancey, destroying the city. He bit. I ended up getting Shiksa taking out an airplane and he got Clancey swatting a blimp. We broke up a few years later, and I ended up getting another animal tattoo to commemorate our breakup. It's of Laika, the first dog in space, who never made it back home. 'Things could be worse,' was taken from one of my favorite movies, My Life As A Dog."

11. Ali

"I deal with anxiety and depression, and my dogs have been there for me when nobody else was," says crafter Ali Buttons. "They've licked the tears from my face and laid next to me when I needed a friend. I want them with me forever."

12. Rachel

Rachel Hill of indie brand Origami Customs shared this one-eyed cutie with me on Twitter and tells me, "When I was living in Honduras, my wife and I adopted a pug that we soon realized had ehrlichiosis, an immune system disease. She quickly lost her sight, and we had to remove one of her eyes. She was still the most excited and brave dog, she would play fetch with noisy cat toys, and would run full speed at you whenever she heard you talking . She only lived four years, and when she passed I got the tattoo."

13. Jodie

"I got this tattoo, designed by my friends at Meow Meow Tweet, after seeing it on the packaging for some soap they sent me," says Bustle's own Jodie Layne. "I know 'I got a tattoo of something I saw on soap packaging' sounds ridiculous. I had been looking for a way to convey my love of all animals, but especially my current dog Jackson, without plastering his very cute face on me. All of my tattoos are in grayscale and I like a more minimal style of art and tattooing, so I thought this might be the perfect thing. I love that it's not just like, 'Here's how cute my pet is,' but is also about the magic that exists in a pet/human relationship."

Magical seems like exactly the right word to describe the bond between pets and their human companions. Tattoos can be a road map of your life or just a form of artistic expression. But either way, pets certainly deserve to be inked into your heart.

Image: Courtesy IDM Photography