How to Choose a Name for a Pet

Four Methods:Picking a Name Based On Your PetChoosing a Name Based On Personal InterestSearching For NamesAvoiding Specific Names

It is estimated that 35-47% of American households own dogs, and 30-37% own cats.[1] These numbers do not even include other household pets! Owning a pet is one thing, but it is another thing to think of a unique name. If you are planning on bringing home a new member of the family, you may be wondering how to choose the perfect name.

Method 1
Picking a Name Based On Your Pet

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    Evaluate pet appearance. What your pet looks like may a good place to start when you want to name your new pet.[2] Consider things like:
    • Fur color or length. (For example, if you own a long-hair dog or cat, you can name it "Shaggy".)
    • Distinguishing colored patches. (For example, you may name your pet "Boots" if it has color patches on his/her paws.)
    • Distinguishing features or injuries
    • Eye color (For example, you may name your pet "Frankie" after Frank Sinatra, whose nickname was "Ol' Blue Eyes.")
    • Ear or head shape (If your pet's head is triangular, it might appear fox-like. "Fox" or "Foxy" might be a good name for your pet.).
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    Identify pet personality.[3] How your pet acts may be another great way to pick the perfect name. Observe your pet to distinguish unique characteristics
    • Unique vocalizations (bark, meow, squeak, etc). (For example, if your cat has a quiet meow, you may name it "Silence")[4]
    • Temperament such as happiness or sleepiness. ("Happy," "Sleepy," "Peaceful," "Bossy," or "Cranky" might be good names.)
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    Consider your pet’s uniqueness. Some of the best names can come from the pet’s uniqueness.[5] If your pet comes has an interesting background, consider it when picking a name. Ask yourself:
    • Did my pet come from a unique or far-away location? Consider naming it after a city or country such as Cleveland or Italy.
    • Did my pet come from a specific family or shelter?[6] Think about a name after the person you adopted your pet from, maybe like "Sherry" or "Lisa." If your vet has a unique name, such as "Mills," perhaps consider that.
    • Did my pet come overcome a challenging situation.[7] Consider names to reflect that like: "Lucky" or "Chance."

Method 2
Choosing a Name Based On Personal Interest

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    Compare personal hobbies or games. If you are a big fan of a specific hobby or game, think of a name that will reflect that.[8] This can be anything from sports teams to super heroes. These names can be fun, unique, and show off your personality. Names like this include something like: "Iron Man," "Thor", or "Loki" or "Brady," "Lebron," or "Sabathia."
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    Review popular culture, actors and actresses, and/or cartoon characters. Think about popular culture when picking a name. You can pick something that reminds you of your pet’s personality or appearance, or perhaps someone you look up, admire, or find amusing. This may include something silly like: "The Doctor," "Stimpy," or "Dora."
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    Investigate historical pets. There are many famous pets from real-life situations, movies, or books. Consider these classical or historical names when picking a name for your pet.[9]
    • Famous dogs include "Checkers" (Nixon's dog) and "Sunny" (Obama's dog). Famous cats include Hemingway's cat "Boise" and President Lincoln's cat "Tabby."
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    Pick a word from a language you do not speak. If you think that a word is too boring sounding in your own language, consider using the same word but in a different language.
    • For example, the word “white,” in English translates to “Blanco/a,” “Bianco/a” in Italian, or “Blanc” in French.
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    Pick a name based on a pleasant sounding word. You will be saying and writing your pet’s name a lot. You want to pick something that sounds pleasant to both your ears and your pet’s.

Method 3
Searching For Names

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    Read baby books. These are great resources to get inspiration on a lot of different names. You can even search by popularity and by gender.[10]
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    Search online. You can use popular search engines for popular pet names by breed, gender, age, country, or just about any specifications you can think of! To get a better result in your search, try to be specific in what you’re looking for. Try things like:
    • Cat names with Greek origins.
    • Good names for Great Pyrenees puppies.
    • Hamster names for lazy hamsters.
    • “Marvel superhero names good for pets.
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    Ask friends or family for suggestions. A new pet is something to be excited about and news to share![11] You can talk to those close to you for suggestions on naming your new family member.

Method 4
Avoiding Specific Names

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    Avoid names that sound like commands. You will be working with your pet to persuade good behaviors and dissuade bad ones. You want to be as clear as possible when communicating with your pet. If your pet’s name sounds like a command, it may be confusing for the pet.
    • These might include names with a long o as it may sound like "No." Names like these include: Joe, Bo, etc.
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    Skip long or complicated names.[12] If you want your pet to recognize its name, it is best to stick to short names that are easy to pronounce.
    • You may want to avoid names like Mississippi, Sacramento, Fitzgerald. If you like the sound of a long name, consider abbreviating it (Missi, Mento, Fitz).
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    Stay away from inappropriate or rude names. You will be using this name on documents. You will be calling your pet this name in public and others will have to say it as well. Stay away from offensive names and stick with something that can be heard or read by all.
    • Avoid names that include curse words or bodily functions.

Article Info

Categories: New Pets