Choosing a Name for Your Pet

The Name Game

Did you put a lot of thought into your pets name? Did you go for something meaningful, unique or just the first thing that popped into your head? A few groups have conducted surveys to find the most popular pet names, but which names rise to the top of the heap seem to vary by who you ask and where you live.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) did a veterinarians survey and found the top 5 pet names were; Max, Sam, Lady, Bear, and Smokey. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) also did a survey of their policy holders and found the top five names to be Max, Bailey, Buddy, Molly, and Maggie. Buddy and Lucy also showed up in the top ten of all categories (dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rodents, etc.)

In the UK you'll find a survey done by Argos Insurance Services which breaks down names by sex and type of animal. The top 5 male dog names are Max, Charlie, Ben, Jake, and Barney and the top five female dog names are Molly, Holly, Rosie, Poppy, and Lucy. Top cats names are Molly, Tigger, Oscar, Charlie, and Tom.

Heading up to Scotland you'll find a survey done by the animal pharmaceutical firm Meria. They list the most popular Scottish pet names as Sam, Coco, Jack, Ben, and Tansy for dogs and Jasper, Tigger, Charlie, Lucky, and Gizmo for cats. It's interesting to note that Jack and Ben were very popular children's names in Scotland as well.

In Australia, Bow Wow Meow based their list on the pet tags ordered through their company and include Oscar, Max, Jessie, Tiger, and Molly in their top five.

While names certainly varied by country and survey it's interesting to see which names seem to be universally popular. So, if you have a Max or a Molly, know you have a truly internationally named pet!


Written by Jill Richards, the owner of Have Leash, Will Travel, an Aurora, CO pet sitting service, and The Pet Sitter's Pit Stop, a supply company for pet sitters.