Choosing the perfect name for your new family member can be a daunting task, for sure.  After all, it’s a choice that both you and your pet are going to have to live with for a lifetime.  You definitely want to choose wisely, but with all of that pressure, it’s easy to understand why so many new pet owners find themselves stumped when trying to think of the perfect name.

Before we offer some tips to get you past that mental block, here are a few common sense suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Try to avoid names that rhyme with or sound like other words that your pet will hear frequently throughout his or her life. For example, the name “Camille” might sound a lot like the common command, “heel”.
  • Stay away from the most popular names. It’s a challenge… those names are popular for a reason!  We all like them, but you don’t want to find yourself in puppy training class (or any other situation) with four other dogs who answer to the same name.
  • Avoid choosing a name that could cause embarrassment in the future. This is a mistake that is made much more commonly that one would like to think.  In general, if you would be too embarrassed to call it out in a public place (like the dog park, for instance), skip that one and move on to something a bit more PG.

Once you have a solid grasp on what you should not do when choosing a name for your pet, it’s time to give your best fur friend a moniker that your whole family can be proud of.  Here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • Name some of your favorite book, cartoon, or movie characters from your childhood. Examples may include: Pongo, Joker, Flash, Calvin, etc.
  • Are there any special features, monuments, or other cultural elements that are symbolic of your local region? For example, the names “Boudin”, “Gumbo”, and “Roux” may be fun choices for pets living in Louisiana.
  • What was your favorite subject to study in high school? Science buffs may think that “Beeker” is a fun name for a cat or dog, while mathematicians may favor something more along the lines of “Abacus” or simply “Pi”.
  • Write down 10 to 15 words that you think describe your new pet. Use these words, as well as any synonyms that come to mind, and narrow your list down until something sticks.

Of course, these are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  If you still can’t think of any names that make you want to commit, ask your family and friends.  You can even host a pet-naming party, if you really want to make it a group event.

When all else fails, though… there’s always Google.


Featured Photo Credit: unsure shot via Compfight cc