Pet Names

Naming Pets

Zoe the Rat; Chiko the Chinchilla; Roxy the Hamster
Zoe the Rat; Chiko the Chinchilla; Roxy the Hamster

How to Choose a Pet Name

When trying to decide upon a name for your new pet, you may hit a rock. A name can involve different things in which you may want to accomplish.

  • Do you want to give your pet a majestic name? Royal? Ancient? Mythological?
  • Do you want to match personality with the name of you pet?
  • Do you want to give your pet a name that will show some kind of status? I.E. do you want the name to express something to others who may hear the name and see the pet (naming bully breed dogs tough names).

You may want to just find something that you like to suit your pet. The problem is how to choose the right name...

Group or Pair Names

Cheech and Chong
Cheech and Chong

Choosing a Pet Name

When you are taking on the great task of picking a name for your pet, you will want to keep in mind some of the following rules.

Keep it Short and Sweet- Short names of one or two syllables usually work best, and it's wise to avoid names that could be confused with commands. If you are naming a pet that is not trainable (reptiles, fish, hamsters, etc.), the length of the name is not as big a concern.

Personality Comes into Play- Try spending some time with your new pet, getting to know the personality and traits before you decide upon a name. Sometimes the pet's behavior, personality, or appearance will suggest a name. Example being a shy pet may not call for a powerful name such as Zeus or Cain; an aggressive dog just may not be a Fluffy.

Popular vs Unique Name- Many times over popular names for pets such as Sam, Max, Lady, Maggie, and Buddy, may not be quite what you're looking for. You may want to consider a more unique name such as your favorite character in a book, movie, or television show. You may, also, want to consider historical figures and mythological characters, just as you may consider your favorite team, food or drink, song, color, or car. You may even want to take into consideration the origin of the pet or breed; an example being Olga for a Russian Wolfhound or Yung-Qu (Yun-Chi) for a Pug, a breed originating in China.

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Comments 25 comments

babynology profile image

babynology 3 years ago from New York

Congratulation on maintaining a great hub. My hub is about baby names and baby names meaning - All suggestion baby naming.


babynology profile image

babynology 3 years ago from New York

I have really enjoyed following article and admired your naming style.

Many thanks.


Simone 4 years ago

And btw, im from Denmark (scandinavia), and Nisse is a kind of elf, we only use them in December.

I would like to train mungo on english, (good dog, down sit and so on), and i think it will be a fun thing to do, especially because i lived in america in my childhood:)


Simone 4 years ago

I want to get a miniature schnauzer male, and name him Mungo. In gaelic it mens "my wolf", and in celtic it means "lovable" :D


Juliette Morgan profile image

Juliette Morgan 6 years ago

Hi Whitney - what a lovely name you have!! You're right short name is best, especially for dogs - you've seen my westie Dougie - chose his name from Douglas being a Scottish name - he knew his name within 3 days as a 5 wk old pup. Great hub!


DebsW profile image

DebsW 6 years ago

those are some great tips for naming pets - we tend to spend a little time with ours as you suggest so that the name that best suits them will pop into mind :)

It's handy to have some references to get more ideas though, we are not terribly original with ours at the moment lol


JaShinYa profile image

JaShinYa 7 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

Good Stuff! I just recently got a guinea pig and named him Mohawk (Mo for short). He's pretty crazy just like his hair!

Also, how is it with a chinchilla? I've always thought it would be cool to have one.


Annie818 7 years ago

i really really want a puppy/dog. I've been looking at Rough Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs and Hungarian Vizsla's currently.

If I get one, for a girl it will be named Elly, and a boy, Walker.


stourt1 profile image

stourt1 7 years ago from New Market, MD U.S.A

I named my pug sasha im sorry i havnt responded earlier i was very buse sorry!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks Susan. I thought my boyfriend was going to kill her. He wanted to set the house on fire, but then she moved out, so there was no point. Haha. He wouldn't have done it anyway...He'll always be Chance to me... I got his name tattooed on my wrist and an APBT on my back all for him. :-\


Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

That's sad. :( I'm not so kind as you though, I would've thrown a hundred venomous snakes at your boyfriend's friend! Hehe. :P I hope Chance (or whatever his name is now) is in the hands of a good family. :)


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Very true. I've heard of stories where a family member gets a bully breed dog and everyone treats the dog as though it's going to grow up and attack, so one day it does. Granted there was more to that story than thatbut you get the idea. Treat a dog one way expecting a behavior to happen and the behavior will.

 Why?- because he is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Who- some black guy, then he sold him. Other than that nothing. Some 10 year old told us that , but we couldn't ever get back in touch with the kid to take us to the guy's house to find out who bought him. A friend of my boyfriend's was babysitting and she left him outside, which she was told not to do by everyone. If I could I'd kill her.. Ha... I cried myself to sleep for over 6 months, till I realized the only want to get over the loss was to get another dog.


Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I have no idea which grew to fit what, but my guess is that it has something to do with psychological reinforcement. Like when you keep saying that a child is naughty in front of the child, the naughtiness gets reinforced? Maybe animals are the same. :D

I had a kitten who went missing in action too not so long ago. She simply vanished without a trace. No signs of anything. :( Somebody stole Chance? Did you ever find out who or why? :O


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Susan, does the name grow to fit the personality or did the personality grow to fit the name? In many cases, people find little nuances in the personality of children and pets that seem to fit the name years down the line.

I usually have a name picked out before I get the dog for one reason or another. MIA is named such because my of APBT was stolen, so he went M.I.A. Codie was named because I heard the name on TV and liked it. Chance (the APBT who went M.I.A.) was named as such because he had a severe heart murmur and we decided to give him a chance.

But, then my parent's have a dalmatian named Zabu, who was Max for a few days.

Cute story about Princeton. That's kind of weird.


Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I tend to name animals the first name that comes to my mind when I first see them. And oddly enough, the name I give them seems to fit their personalities when they grow up. :p

Just wanted to share: We had a cute little white dog with a brown patch around one eye when I was little. My father named him Princeton for reasons unknown. Years after the dog and my father died, I met a man who is now my fiancé - his name is Princeton. :D


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

I'm glad it helped you. What did you name your pug?


stourt1 profile image

stourt1 8 years ago from New Market, MD U.S.A

That's very helpful it helped me name my pug.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Very ironic MM. I had a friend who wanted to get a cat and name it Ferocious and a APBT and name it Kitty.


MM Del Rosario profile image

MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

My sister have a chihuahua- very little cute dog and she named him Jumbo.


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

I recall stressing way too much about our dog names. Finally, we started saying names that we liked until they responded to one. It worked, the names they chose fit them to a T. Good hub.


sukritha profile image

sukritha 9 years ago from Cochin

Cute Hub THanks for sharing this


Jackie 9 years ago

This is a reply to Krista's request for help naming her wombat, but when I tried to respond on that page, I kept getting asked for my username and password which I haven't set up on this site. I'll figure that out later. Krista, I wasn't even sure what a wombat was, but I sure know a ragdoll when I see one! She's beautiful. I have a beautiful bi-color seal point named Sophie. When I brought her home from the local SPCA, I dug out my books on baby names and found some interesting ones from The New Age Baby Name Book by Sue Browder. In the end, though, we went with Sophie which suits her just fine--beautiful, gentle, loving, playful--and sounds nice with my other cat, Shadow. We almost called her Lily, so sometimes we call her Sophie-Lily, and someone stuck Rose on the end too. Back to the wombat - is it male or female? nocturnal? what is its personality like? Its characteristics might point you to a name. A few I liked from the book I mentioned above are: Zuri (Swahili, means "beautiful"); Sen (Japanese, means "wood fairy"); and Nisse, pronounced NIS-suh, (Scandinavian. There was another which I don't remember and can't find whose meaning was "to know her is to pet her". Good luck finding the perfect name!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 9 years ago from Georgia Author

Thank you!

Krista I hope it helps. Let me know what you decide to name your wombat.


RenaSherwood profile image

RenaSherwood 9 years ago

LOL! Well done.


Krista 07 profile image

Krista 07 9 years ago from Europe

Thankyou Whitney this will really help!!!

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