What's in a name?
There are thousands of names to choose from so how do you FIND possible names for your pet and then make sure you choose the right one?
One way to reduce the number of names you are considering is to start with the TYPE of name you would like for your pet.
It may be surprising, but more than half of all pet names are either human names or nicknames. People largely name their animals as they would name themselves. Another fifth of names are based on the pet's appearance or personality. A black cat becomes Blacky or Midnight, and active dog Comet or Dash.
You can have some fun playing around with different types of names with our pet name search tool.
Some more tips for deciding on the right name
Here are our some useful tips in choosing a name for your dog or cat. Please remember that the pet-name you choose will be used dozens of times a day to call, praise and perhaps scold.
- Pick a name that the pet can easily recognise. Animals respond better to one or two syllable names.
- Choose a name that's both easy to call out and one that you are happy calling out. Calling out "Jack" or "Zoe" in the park may be far less embarrassing than calling out "Death Breath"!
- For dogs avoid names that sound like the standard commands of No, Stay, Sit, Come, Down or Fetch. For example "Joe" is probably too close to "No". It can be difficult for dogs to tell the difference between similar sounding words.
- If choosing a long name keep in mind the shortened version. A long name will inevitably be shortened, but it may ruin the effect that you were originally looking for.
- The pet's breed heritage can provide some useful inspiration. For example Orientals ( Siamese and Burmese) , German (Shepherds, Dachshunds and Schnauzers), French (Poodle), Scottish (Terriers), or Irish (Wolfhounds and Setters). The Human Name and Foreign Name categories may assist here.
- Waiting a few days to study your pets behaviour can help pick the right name. The Personality, Affectionate and Appearance categories may assist here.
- Pick a name that will grow with the pet. For example "Kitten" may be less appropriate for a full grown cat.
Other than this, be adventurous!
- Naming pets has far more leeway than naming children, where thought has to be given to peer group acceptance, blending first and last names and how the initials may appear.
- To get you started, Bow Wow Meow has a wide range of pet name types to select from. If you need some more inspiration, why not check out our most popular name lists or recent names of the month?