DOs and DON’Ts for Picking a Pet Name

With so many dog and cat names to pick from, how can you choose the perfect one for your new puppy, kitten or adult rescue cat or dog? After all, your animal will have to respond to this title for the next decade or so. And just because you like the name Rainbow Sparkle Cotton Candy, remember you may get some strange looks when calling your pooch at the dog park.

To help you pick the ideal name for your new family member, we’ve come up with a list of naming dos and don’ts. Just remember: Your pet doesn’t really care what you call him, as long as you love him and give him the veterinary care he needs.Cute Boxer Puppy

Do Choose a Name Thats Easy to Say

One- or two-syllable names that end with “a” or “e” sounds usually roll off the tongue. Think Stella, Zoe, Buddy, Lucy and Rocky. If you want to go for a longer name, consider using a nickname. For instance, Tomeranian is a cute play on the word “Pomeranian,” but you may want to call him Tommy for short.Cute Tabby Cat on Old Wooden Pallet and Navy Ropes

Dont Pick a Name That Rhymes With No

You don’t want your dog or cat to think he’s in trouble every time you say his name. Bo, Joe and Coco are trendy monikers, but as Dr. Marty Becker explains, a pet could hear those names as “no” and form a negative association with his own name.Dog with a big grin

Dont Choose a Name That Comes With Negative Associations

Speaking of forming negative associations, names like Trouble and Killer might sound great to you, but other people may assume that your pet must be truly difficult or dangerous to get a name like that. In other words, a negative name may lead to negative reactions from people, which could have a negative effect on your dog or cat. So don’t risk it; pick a positive, happy name.Orange and White Tabby Cat Portrait

Do Consider the Trends and Popularity of Names

Some people like pet names that are popular and trendy, some want to pick one that’s truly unique and others may want to pick a name that used to be popular, but isn’t anymore. If you don’t mind running into three different Bellas at the dog park, go for one of these popular puppy or kitten names. If you like to keep it classic, by all means name him Rusty, Shadow, Rascal or one of these monikers that used to be trendy for dogs and cats. It’s really your preference.brown chihuahua dog lying down outdoors

Do Find Inspiration in Your Favorite Celebrities, Books, Food, Etc.

As with human baby names, pet names are often inspired by pop culture. Can’t stop listening to that Sia song that’s always on the radio? Sia would be a great name for a dog or cat. Are you fan of Cubist artwork? Can’t go wrong with Pawcasso. We have a feeling Star Wars names are going to be big this year and wouldn’t be surprised if the new Harry Potter play inspires more Harrys, Hermiones and Rons. As long as the name is positive and you’re happy with it, anything goes!

By Laura Cross |

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Melania P
Melania P2 years ago


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago


Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

chris b.
chris B2 years ago

My dogs: Asti (1 and 2), Jesse, Rosie. Two syllables a must. Then other funny nicknames. I miss them all. ;-(

Rosslyn O.
Rosslyn O2 years ago

I have always tried to give my animals names so that they don't get shortened with a 'y' at the end, but my hubby is a wizard at finding a way to do it... ha

Mike H.
Mike H2 years ago

Thank you

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

C H.
C H2 years ago

No matter what DON'T use their name as punishment to tell them off, also DON'T call them & lure into a situation you know they won't like eg: bath, medication or grooming/inspection. It 'tricks' them and breaks their trust in you (will hesitate or ignore your calls in the future)

Margie FOURIE2 years ago

Thank you

heather g.
heather g2 years ago

The names of pets always astound me - even more confusing when there sex doesn't match their name.........