Choosing the Perfect Name for Your Pet

May 12, 2022

Owner holding her Dog's leash and showing her name tag.

Among the many exciting things you get to do to prepare for the arrival of your new pet, one of the most fun and special tasks will be choosing a name for your pet! Just like humans, a pet’s name is an integral part of their identity. It’s one of the most important words they will be conditioned to learn and respond to. Plus, it’s the name you get to write on all of their new toys. A pet’s name usually comes right before a command, which means they will hopefully have a positive association with it, especially during training. While there are tons of great pet names to choose from, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect name for your pet. 

Guidelines to Follow When Naming Your Pet

1.       Make sure you like the name.

When coming up with your furry friend’s name, it’s important to choose one that you like too! Yes, the cat or dog must like their name, but it is also crucial that you choose a name that you like saying. Think of a name or word that you have a positive association with and one that rolls off the tongue.

2.       Make it easy to say. You’ll likely be saying your pet’s name a lot, so it should be something that is easy to say and not overcomplicated.

3.       Watch out for confusion.

Some pet names are super cute, but they may sound too much like commands. For example, the name “Fletch” can sound like fetch, and “Shay” can sound like “stay”. The similarity in their pronunciation can cause your dog to conflate their meanings and consequently cause issues during training.

4.       Choose a name you’ll love in the long run.

While it may be fun to go for something trendy right now, think about what it will be like to call your pet by this name 5 years from now. Some trendy names are great, and if you genuinely like them, go for it! Others, however, may just be a passing fad. Think about how you’ll feel calling your pet by this name later on and choose accordingly. Once an adult pet is fully acquainted with their name, it can be pretty hard to change it.

5.       When in doubt, go with 2 syllables.

If you’re trying to decide how simple or complex to make your dog’s name, we suggest aiming for two syllables. Names like Tessie, Clayton, and Posey, for example, are great because they are easy to say, easy to understand, and pair well with a sing-song type of intonation that dogs tend to respond well to.

6.       Watch out for overused dog names.

We specific dog names here because of dog parks. While every pet (cat or dog) should have their own unique name, it’s more common for dog names to be on rotation at a local dog park. Many dog owners have the same great idea to name their dog something adorable and cute, but too many similarities can cause confusion. Although it is important to give your dog a recognizable name, just be careful that it’s not the same one that every other new pet parent decided on this year.

How to Choose the Best Name for Your Pet

As long as you choose a pet name you love, you can’t go wrong. If you’re truly stumped and can’t think of a good name, try basing it off of their breed, personality traits, or even how they look. For example, you may call a Dalmatian “spotty”, or name a short dog like a Dachshund “shorty.” Cats with smooth coats could be called, “silky” or those with stripes might be named, “Zebra.” In addition to choosing the perfect name, you’ll also need pet supplies for your new pet! Find all the products and pet toys you need when you shop with Multipet.