Tips for Choosing Your Pet’s Name

As a dog or cat owner, one of your critical responsibilities, beyond food & shelter is naming your pet. It can be quite a challenge to agree upon a name and to ensure it’s a suitable name for your new family addition. But their name is as important as choosing the size, sex and breed of your pet as it’s the most important cue for proper training.

A few tips when thinking about your pet’s name:

  • Choose a name that is 1 or 2 syllables long and easy to say. Research shows that dogs and cats respond best to names that are one-two syllables and contain a hard consonant like b, k, d, t and hard vowels like a, e, i. These sounds are easier for your pet to hear and distinguish than soft consonants or vowels like f, s, m, o. Names like Tika or Buddy have more impact on your pet than Molly or Ralphie.
  • Avoid a name that sounds similar to common commands like sit, stay, down or no. Call your dog Ray and they may confuse it with “Stay” and your training will be impacted.
  • Avoid names of family members or names similar to family. Calling “Jack” to dinner may get your dog Zack dog as well as your son. No need for that confusion.
  • Be sure you like the name and that it is suitable for the dog, their breed and their size. “Puppy” may be cute at first but will seem silly for a full grown Rottweiler and “Tiny” certainly isn’t right for a Great Dane.
  • If you have multiple pets or both dogs and cats, consider pairing the names like Bert & Ernie. Be sure they sound different enough that they can distinguish between them.

Pet Sitters International published results from a recent study on names and naming practices in the United States that provide an interesting breakdown in the categories of names used by most pet owners:

47.1 percent of pet owners chose names like Molly, Sam, Annie or Max.
32.8 percent of pet owners gave their pets names that described its actions or personality, such as Twister, Sweetie and Trouble.
23 percent of pet owners gave their pets names that resembled their physical appearance, such as Brownie, Snowball, and Spot.
18.5 percent named their pets after a famous person, such as Cher or Sylvester.

No matter what direction you go in when choosing your pet’s name, teaching it to them is the most important. Our best tip on that front is to repeat it often and whenever they turn and look to you when you say it, reward them with a treat! They will learn it in no time.

Finally, some suggestions. Each year, prepares a list of the most popular dog names and has published a list of popular cat names.

Top 10 Male Dog Names   Top Male Cat Names
1. Max   1. Oliver
2. Charlie   2. Leo
3. Cooper   3. Charlie
4. Buddy   4. Milo
5. Jack   5. Max
6. Rocky   6. Jack
7. Oliver   7. George
8. Bear   8. Simon
9. Duke   9. Loki
10. Tucker   10. Simba
Top 10 Female Dog Names   Top Female Cat Names
1. Bella   1. Luna
2. Lucy   2. Chloe
3. Daisy   3. Bella
4. Luna   4. Lucy
5. Lola   5. Lily
6. Sadie   6. Sophie
7. Molly   7. Lola
8. Maggie   8. Zoe
9. Bailey   9. Cleo
10. Sophie   10. Nala



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