How To Choose A Pet Name For Dogs, Cats, Or Any Other Animal You Love

Becoming a new pet parent in 2022? Thinking of names but don’t know where to start? We look at how to choose the perfect name for your new addition. PLUS: the top pet names trending around the globe.

From the very traditional to the most unusual, when it comes to choosing a pet name for your furry companion, the choice is limitless.

Over the years the trends for pet names have certainly changed. When once Spot, Buster, and Lady were all the rage, today many pets are sporting much more ‘human’ and modern names.

How To Name A Pet

best names for pet dog cats
We named our dog Bingo after one of the characters in the kids’ show Bluey

It’s no surprise that today’s pet owners take much more time in choosing the perfect name.

Over the past few decades, we have seen a dramatic shift in the way we view our canine and feline companions.

Where once they were fed scraps from the family table and predominantly kept outside, now our beloved four-legged companions enjoy a life of luxury – some more than others.

From specialized food, clothing, and accessories, to high-end veterinary treatments and terrific toys. Not to mention that most pets enjoy an indoor life, full of cuddles, snuggles, couches, and let’s not forget those super soft beds.

Back in the 1940s and early 1960s, the median age for starting a ‘human’ family was between 19 years old and 21 years old.

Today this seems drastically young, with many couples now holding off to start a family until around the age of 29!

This change has also impacted the way we view our pets.

The terms ‘fur child’ and ‘fur baby’ have certainly risen since the median childbirth age has increased by 10-years. Many homes now easily compare the love they feel towards their pet as if it was their own child.

This is compelling evidence as to why we are now more likely to name our pet traditional ‘human’ names, rather than previous common pet names of days gone by.

One name that seems to have stuck in popularity over the years is Max. This name seems to constantly grace the top 10 pet names year on year, since the 1950s!

How To Choose The Perfect Pet Name

When it comes to dogs, it’s important to consider a few things before making a solid decision when it comes to names.

Another top tip is to choose at least two options before you bring your puppy home.

Some pups will naturally look like one name rather than the other – so the key is to also keep an open mind and not get set on the ‘perfect’ name in the beginning.

Also, think about how the name will carry – cue the off-leash run at the park. Some names simply do not carry well.

For dogs, the experts advise always using two syllables as this makes it easier for your dog to hear. Remember that your dog will hear your tone, much more than the actual word.

Having a name that you can shorten into a one-syllable word is fine, as you can use the full name in situations when you desperately need your dog to hear you – think Rover running after the neighbor’s cat.

It’s also good to remember that your new pup could be with you for a very long time – in fact, the average age is 16-years.

That’s a very long time to be stuck with a name you were not 100% happy with. For this reason, it’s really important to be sensible with your pet’s name.

Choosing a funny name may be hilarious now, but how will this suit when your life naturally changes in 10-years time?

What Is A Good Pet Name?

what is a good pet name
Bingo brushed against the house while we were painting it

Tips for naming your pet:

  • How will the name carry when spoken?
  • How common is the name?
  • Does the name sound similar to a common training command?
  • Have a few options to choose from
  • Will the name last through the years?
  • Consider famous names of people or pets
  • Fictional characters are great for pet names
  • Not too long – but not too short

Choosing the perfect name for a kitten will also need some thought. Again, the name needs to be able to carry well, so your pet can be easily called. Character names work wonderfully for kittens.

Like with all names – chances are your pet will develop a nickname of sorts, particularly if you have children.

It’s not uncommon to hear of many standard names being abbreviated into something completely different as the years go on.

Top Pet Names

Around the globe the top pet names have slightly differed, however, some stay the same.

The most popular pet names:

  • Bailey
  • Max
  • Molly
  • Charlie
  • Milo
  • Archie
  • Buddy
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • George
  • Loki
  • Coco
  • Maggie
  • Winston

It’s also great to see that many traditional names are slowly making a comeback in the pet world. Names such as Fluffy, Shadow, and Bear are certainly starting to become popular again around the world.

If you have a dog you’re wanting to name, check out our more specific post on how to choose a dog name (with 100 ideas).

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