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Pet names: Trendy vs. traditional

Annie

Annie

Mousse

Mousse

A story at VetStreet.com talks about today’s most popular names for dogs and cats. The conclusion is that we are choosing more human names for our pets and fewer stereotypical animal names like Fido and Spot. It follows, says the story, that we would trend toward people names as pets become more like members of the family, although why this would be any more true now than fifty years ago is not clear. Still, 60 years ago, my best friend’s dog was a black cocker named Rover. I can’t think of a more stereotypical example from that era.

I suppose I’m both typical and atypical with my choices. My golden/lab rescue is Annie (a good name for a good friend; a strong frontier woman, Annie Oakley; and Lil Orphan Annie). My pampered purebred ragdoll, a male, is Mousse (sweet, fluffy, and extra special). Lists can be helpful if you’re really stuck for a name, but personally I tend to wait a few days, observe the pet, and wait for him or her to name himself/herself. Personality, background, coloring and markings — they all come together and point to the right name.

The “trendiest” names, as reported by VetStreet:

top pet names, 2011

And yet, the “most popular” names reported by VetStreet were these:

puppy and kitten names

Also on Pied Type:
Annie settling in beautifully

D-Day in Denver
Day One at the dog park

dogs, US

9 Comments »

    • Beats me. The only Lola I can think of is the 1998 movie “Run, Lola, Run” and an old 1950s song, “Whatever Lola Wants.” Can’t say I’m wild about it for either a person or a pet.

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  1. I must be following the pack as I named my Heeler mix, Kady which has become Kadybugs LOL We do seem to make them family. I do like these names…My cat is Tinks 😉
    Ya, what about birds??? 😉

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    • My Mousse often becomes Mousse-Mousse, and Annie becomes Annie Bo Bannie. I can’t explain either. But T.S. Eliot wrote that all cats have three names, and I’ll bet it applies to dogs, too.

      As for bird names, I’m clueless. There an undated list (one of many) of popular bird names at http://www.cuteness.com/popular-names/birds. Top five names there are Angel, Me, Pumpkin, Getty, and Coco.

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