Animal Tattoos

Written by: Jason White

Animals are a popular tattoo theme, and interest in it is only growing.

Such tattoos are often symbolic. Such pictures on the body have special meaning due to the fact that each animal has its own unique features, habits, and character. Many people who get an animal tattoo thus associate themselves with the strengths of the creature they choose.

Animal tattoo ideas can be divided into two types, whether they are images of existing or fictional animals. The latter includes dragons, unicorns, griffins, phoenixes, and others only present in myths and legends.

Due to their singular popularity, we have dedicated separate articles on tattoos of birds and fish.

Style-wise, realistic animal tattoos are often performed. The Japanese style of tattooing also makes use of the animal world in its compositions. The style you choose will be one of the tools in the hands of a tattoo artist to create the exact image that you dream about.

Here are some tattoo ideas for specific animals.


The image of the wolf remains one of the most popular drawings in the world of tattoos. The wolf is a quick, strong, brave, and intelligent beast, always respected by other animals. In the world of tattoos, there are many options for depicting a wolf: whether it be grinning, mid-jump, howling at the moon, or running.


The bear is the embodiment of strength, confidence, and courage, leading to its popularity in the tattooing world. These tattoos are most often inked on the chest and shoulder, as these parts allow for voluminous and spectacular images, fitting for the real-life impressive size of a bear. Bear tattoos can be realistically made smiling, or a bear silhouette can be made using a watercolor tattooing style.


The lion, as “king of the jungle”, embodies justice, wisdom, greatness, power, and nobility. Among all other animals used in tattooing, the lion is strongly distinguished by the wealth of meanings it stands for, making it extremely popular. In addition, the lion is one of the twelve signs of the zodiac (“Leo”).


Tiger tattoos can be very interesting in their diversity. But all tiger tattoos are associated with qualities such as strength, rage, ferocity, power, dignity, sensuality, and beauty. But the kind of tiger image depends on the character, artistic taste, and values of the person who wants the tattoo.


Tattoos of cats are extremely diverse in character and style: the animal can be inked as aggressive or charming, calm or playful, depicted in its full height, or even muzzled. Regardless of the size of the tattoo, it can look equally impressive both large and in miniature. Cats tattoos can also be done in various tattoo styles.


Of course, the first thing a dog tattoo symbolizes is loyalty. Next to that are sincerity, vigilance, and bravery. The tattoo style and meaning depend on the dog breed chosen. Especially colorful and realistic look dog tattoos made in color. Some people tattoo on an image of their dogs as a sign of their pets’ faithfulness to them and vice versa!


Snake tattoos are popular with both men and women. There are a variety of sketches to choose from: from a large cobra on the thigh in a realism style of tattooing to surrealistic plots with a snake motif, to snakes covering almost the whole body, to small snakes wrapped around daggers. That is, there is no limit to the snake tattoo you want to create.


The fox is a suitable animal for experimentation and unusual tattoo ideas. Fox tattoos can combine different styles. In the last few years it has become possible to fill the black and white face of a fox with half made in a geometric style. Particularly spectacular, of course, are images of this spry animal done in bright orange hues scaling an entire body part, like the thigh, back, or forearm.


An elephant is a rather serious symbol, and the image is usually painstakingly planned down to the smallest detail. An elephant tattoo can be sketched using both black and colored ink. Most often, the figure is tattooed on the shoulder, hip, or back. The elephant is honored most in India, as it represents the god Ganesh, who is depicted with the head of an elephant.


Designing a sketch for a turtle tattoo is a very fun and creative process because it offers much room for imagination. The shell is often depicted in an ornamental or geometric tattoo style, sometimes with the addition of color. In addition, this animal has great symbolism as it stands for wisdom and tranquility, making it popular among those who like meaningful tattoos.


Lizards make for popular tattoos today, whether green, black or colored. The most popular lizard in the tattooing world is the chameleon as a symbol of mystery and flexibility. Lizard tattoos are often done in a 3D style. Almost always, the lizard is depicted crawling in a tattoo!


Ancient and modern images of horses in tattoos have been gaining popularity. Often horses are portrayed in action, gracefully galloping, while sometimes only a horse’s head is included. The use of color is less common than black and white ink when it comes to horse tattoos.


Panther tattoos are one of the oldest images chosen for body art. Panthers are often tattooed on the shoulder, shoulder blade, back, thigh, and wrist. Of no small importance is the performance of such a pattern on the body, since the panther has a very uniform black color. Size is very important when it comes to panther tattoos because if done in miniature, the tattoo might look just like any dark spot. Chiaroscuro, or the play of light and shadows, is also crucial in this tattoo. Hence, choose an expert artist wisely!


Panda tattoos are not common, but neither are they rare. This charming animal is almost always tattooed in black and white, but colored panda tattoos also look spectacular done in the old-school style of tattooing. Panda tattoos can be complemented by images of other Chinese symbols such as a lotus flower or bamboo.

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