What’s a good name for your cat or dog?

What’s a good name for your cat or dog?


When contemplating names for your pet, you might be tempted to come up with something highly original, a name with which you have a strong personal connection. However, it’s wise to pause for thought before finally settling on a name. In this article, you can read what makes a good name for your cat or dog, and discover some of the most popular pet names.

Dog names

It’s destined to become a regular feature of daily life, so choosing the name of your dog is an important decision. Your dog will also have to learn this name. Teach your dog to respond to his name positively. You can do this with a simple exercise: call out his name in a cheerful, animated manner: 'Coco!'. As soon as he looks at you, reward him with a favoured treat.

Once your dog has grasped that he needs to pay attention every time you call his name, then you can start linking this name to commands. For example: 'Coco, sit!' Or 'Coco, come!'. Again, it’s important that your dog has a positive association with his name. Calling his name should invariably mean: 'pay attention, here comes something tasty!' That’s why you should never mention your dog’s name when disciplining him, and always use 'Naughty!' or 'No!' in isolation.  Read more about calling your dog.

What is a great dog name?

You can, of course, plump for an unconventional or exotic sounding dog name. But don’t forget that you’ll be using this name to call your dog on a daily basis.

It’s important that the dog name you choose is clearly distinguishable for your canine companion. So, preferably not too long (ideally 2 syllables), and with a clear sound ('Kyra' is clearer than 'Flo' for example). Chosen a name that you’ve a tendency to shorten? Then remember to use the same 'version' of that name consistently, to prevent your dog from becoming confused. Finally: choose a dog name that doesn’t sound similar to a command like 'here' or 'sit'. Practice saying it out loud. Is it easy to articulate? Is it nice and clear? Then it’s a great name!

dog responds to his name Does your dog respond positively to his name?

Top 10 dog names on Pawshake

The 10 most popular dog names chosen by Pawshake members (both dog owners and dog sitters) are:

  1. Milo
  2. Max
  3. Bosley
  4. Bella
  5. Jack
  6. Ben
  7. Poppy
  8. Maggie
  9. Daisy
  10. Baxter

Cat names

Cats can be somewhat headstrong; thus, you’ll likely never use their name in combination with a command like dogs. That’s why cats often boast original names, such as: Benedict, Prince Harry, Captain Blackbeard or Miss Miaow :-)

Yet you can still teach a cat to respond to her name. Go for a name that’s not too long and can be readily pronounced. Repeat your cat’s name clearly and in a high-pitched, enthusiastic tone, and ask other family members to do the same. If your cat responds to her name then reward her with a tasty tidbit. Read more about calling your cat.

Top 10 cat names on Pawshake:

The most popular cat names selected by Pawshake members (both cat owners and cat sitters) are:

  1. Jasper
  2. Poppy
  3. Stella
  4. Pip
  5. Lola
  6. Thomas
  7. Chloe
  8. Dave
  9. Sam
  10. Coco

Pet name inspiration

Many owners choose a pet name that’s related to something they have an emotional bond with. Such as a comic book hero from their childhood, or a favourite movie character, footballer, city or country.