Naming Tips for Pets

Your new pet is your baby, and one of the funnest things to do is to come up with a name for the new member of your household! Unlike human names, you can be a little more creative with a pet name, because you don’t have to worry about it being teased on the playground or how their name might affect their future careers.

Here are five pet name tips from our founder and name expert, Jennifer Moss:

1. Make it easy to spell and easy to pronounce

This is the first tip I give human parents when naming their babies, too. I mean, you don’t want your kid to have to spell their name for people their entire lives. That goes double for pets, because YOU will have to spell the name for people–vets, friends, animal talent agents–each time you introduce him or her.

2. Be creative!

You can be much more creative with a pet name than a baby name. You can make fun puns like Katy Perry’s cat “Kitty Purry” or Mark Wahlberg’s pup, “Barky Bark” (a play on his rapper name “Marky Mark” for those of you who are too young to remember.) When you give your pet a fun name, people respond with a laugh or a smile and automatically have positive feelings toward it.

3. Be unique!

Make sure that two pets in the same household don’t have similar names. Just like humans, they respond to their own names and identify with it. If you have a Roscoe and a Rocco, for example, their little ears might not be able to differentiate the sounds. You might think it’s cute to have matching names for pairs, but your furry companions might get confused. Instead, check out these name ideas for pet pairs!

4. Don’t use violent names

Some people adopt pets (primarily dogs) for protection. I get that. But don’t bestow a violent name upon your baby just to scare people off. Names like Killer, Uzi, Destroyer, or Monster might even work against you. What if your pet pal tears up your neighbor’s lawn or accidentally bites the mail carrier? Can you imagine going before a judge and trying to defend your sweet baby named Hellraiser?

Dogs and cats are also sensitive to how people refer to them and treat them. If you introduce them with a violent name, people will automatically have negative feelings toward your pet, which is not good all around.

5. Don’t use a previous pet’s name

Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh had a brother named Vincent Van Gogh? His brother was born exactly one year before him and died. That’s pretty messed up that the family named the second baby with the first baby’s name. Even though your pet won’t understand that they’re named after another, psychologically, you will come to expect the “second” to be like the first. As stated in our other article, 5 Reasons Why Pets are Bad Gifts, you should never adopt a pet as a replacement for another. So give your new baby its own, unique, identity. And don’t name it Fluffy II.

6. Wait a couple days

Many pets are named by personality. Wait a couple of days and see the demeanor of your pet. Is she goofy? Shy? You might want to pick a pet name that suits her personality to a tee! For pet names based on personality, check out our Pet Name Categories.