Miss Kira’s Corner

Naming Your Pet with Purpose

The walls of our animal hospital waiting room have heard countless pet names called out over the years.

Pet owners have named pets for just about every reason.

People name their pets to identify a pet’s personality, behavior, or appearance.

Some get human names, favorite sports teams’ names or player’s names.

One thing is for sure, each pet is unique and no two “Spinners”, “Spots”, “Harrys” or “Maggies” are ever the same.

For some, picking a pet name is fun and easy. Some have a name in mind before a pet is even brought home. For others, however, naming a pet is difficult.

We hope the following tips may help you to find the best name for your next pet.

  1. Name of places that have meaning to you such as Rome, Texas, Ireland, Atlantis etc.
  2. Movies, plays, video games, books and television: characters, tittles, themes, settings, etc.
  3. Terms or names from a sport you like.
  4. Words from favorite songs, poems, or stories.
  5. Names associated with cars you have owned or like to own Mercedes, Austin, and Bentley.
  6. Human names you like or of people you admire.
  7. Words related to your faith, ideals, or beliefs.
  8. Attributing principles such as Honor, Hope, Pal, Amigo, and Justice etc.
  9. Words from nature such as River, Snowflake, Star, and plant names such as Magnolia, Lemon, Begonia etc.
  10. Words in other languages.

Take Your Time, Think About the Name, and Say it Over-and-Over Again

Your pet’s name is a word that you’ll say many thousands of times over the years. Make it a word with meaning for you as well as one that brings joy to your heart. Choose a word that you will be pleased to say and see written. A meaningful name will help you and your pet bond and will help everyone who hears the name have a higher opinion of your pet.

The Value of Nicknames

Pets need a nickname and many pets have several over the course of their lives. These names can be used to signify playtime with your dog as opposed to their full name that is commonly followed by a command. Nicknames can also work well during veterinary care especially when you want to elicit the dog’s cooperation or when you are talking to your veterinarian about your pet and don’t want to distract the pets attention away from what the veterinarian is asking the pet to do (sit, stand, lie down, etc.). Nicknames also allow you to reserve using the pet’s full name for “pay-attention” situations such as the times you need to call your pet to keep him/her out of trouble. In those situations you should use your pets full name to ensure your pet recognizes his/her name and comes to you immediately. You may also want a separate nickname for your pet when you want to tell someone you’re about to give the pet a bath or put stuff into the ears, without tipping off the pet. You will want to vary the name so the pet doesn’t get wise to it.

Pronouncing Your Pet’s Name

Pet names should not sound negative or be said in such a way as to mean that they need to go hide from your wrath. Choosing an aggressive-sounding name (when pronounced) for your dog may leave the impression that you value aggressive behavior in your dog.
If you create a negative connotation to your pet’s name, you’ll have trouble getting your pet to come when called which can be a real problem in a critical situation!

Just remember, if you like your pet’s name, say it with a positive tone that will positively influence your relationship with your pet.

Changing Your Pet’s Name

Pets don’t mind when you change their names. This sometimes comes up when a new pet is adopted with a name the new owner doesn’t like. They have no “identity” connected to their names. It’s just a familiar sound that means you want their attention. If you wish to change your pets name start using the new name often, associate the new name with positive things and your pet will respond to the new name in no time (usually a couple of days to a week). Pay attention to your body language while teaching your pet his/her new name since body language will help your pet recognize you are talking to him or her. Stay positive, stick with it and your pet will come around and learn his/her new name. Disclaimer: This may be easier in cats as some cats may never respond to any name you call them and dogs commonly go by the “call me anything as long as you call me to dinner” philosophy.


Here at Porte Veterinary, our staff members have pets named Kira, Leo, Star, Lucky, Yuna, Oreo, Nicky, Leihla, Buttercup, Sugar Plum, Mimi, Nano, Schmedrin, and Shnook.

Now, it’s Your Turn!

Please leave a comment below to let us know your favorite names for pets, if you liked this blog article, or if you can think of ideas we should add to our list above. Do you think your friends or family may enjoy this article? Please share it by clicking the social media share buttons along the sidebar.

As always, feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about your pet dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, or pocket pets. We’re here to help.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Valerie Rountree says:

    I know it’s silly, but I have never even thought of changing a pet’s name when they moved into our home. So we have had some interesting names come with our pets. First it was a orange tabby named Jelly, then a gray cat named Kelly and now we have another orange tabby named Vern. None are names I would have chosen, but somehow have come to love.

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