By Dana Smith
If you’re anything like me, you take the responsibility of naming your new furry family member entirely too seriously. Last year I adopted my most recent dog, Wrigley, from a rescue in Texas. He’d been with the rescue for a couple of months and they’d given him a temporary name (Patch) and I knew I didn’t want to keep that name, but choosing a replacement turned out to be more of a challenge for me than I originally anticipated.
I spent the 2 weeks between adoption approval and his arrival to my home scouring the internet for name inspiration and came up with a list of about 15 names that I liked. Of course, once he actually arrived I was still as lost as ever—he ended up spending nearly a week without a proper name as I tried out every name I had written down.
If you cant already tell, I’m a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. That said, I told myself for weeks that I wouldn’t name him after a sports team—too cliché. But, well, I couldn’t resist!
If you’ve recently adopted a pet or are on the hunt for one, we have some tips that might help you to avoid my struggle!
- List out names that have a positive association with you. You’d hate to name your new dog or cat after someone you disliked in primary school!
- Find inspiration in what matters to you. Do you have a favorite author or journalist? A favorite city? What about a favorite flower or activity? Favorite tv show character?
- What pet names do you see in movies and read about in books? Depending on the popularity of the book or movie, this might help you decide against a specific name—in the 90’s you wouldn’t have wanted to have a dog named Clifford because everyone was naming their dog that!
- Consider your pets origins… do you have a chihuahua? Maybe a Spanish name would suit it well. Or if you have a French Bulldog, maybe “Jacques” would be a great fit.
- Take family opinions into account. Make sure all members of the family get a chance to weigh in on the name decision so everyone feels as though their opinion matters and they got to be a part of such an important decision. If worse comes to worst, use Google to search for inspiration.
Whatever name you choose, make sure to test the name on your pet before making a final decision. You’ll want it to be a short name, just one or two syllables, so they’ll recognize it easier when you’re trying to get their attention. And last but certainly not least, have some fun. The right name for your new pet will eventually come to you as you grow more comfortable with one another.
So how about you, how did you decide on a name for your pet?
I really want to know! Send your answer & a photo of your pet to email@example.com
We'll share some of the examples on Facebook & Instagram?
We'd like to thank Dana Smith, who is the primary author for this and most of our Pet Health articles over the last few years. What an amazing way to "Pay It Forward"! THANK YOU, Dana!
Dana chose to pay it forward after Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund stepped in to help her with her other dog, Bailey, a few years ago. Here's their love story.
Dana is pictured here with Wrigley, the inspiration for this month’s article, the moment they met for the first time.