Congratulations on your new pet! Whether you just adopted a newborn kitten or rescued an adult dog, you are now the proud parent of a precious new pet. Now that you’ve brought them home, you’re probably wondering what to name them. Choosing a name for your newest family member is a fun process with fewer, yet different considerations than naming a newborn baby.
Did you know dogs and cats respond better to names with only one or two syllables ? Or that names that sound similar to common commands can confuse them? Be sure to follow these tips to pick the perfect name for your pet.
Keep It Short and Sweet
When it comes to pets, names that are short and simple are the best way to go. While you do have room to be creative without the pressure of choosing a typical name, it’s still best for both you and your pet if you choose a name with only one or two syllables like “Ryder” or “Bella”.
Longer names with more than two syllables can negatively impact your pet’s response time. Dogs and cats don’t respond well to long, slow-sounding words. It takes more time for them to try and recognize that you’re even calling them. A name that is easily recognizable for your pet will make training them easier down the road.
Avoid Common Commands
Although the perfect name should be short, be careful not to choose a name that sounds too similar to a command or a word you use daily. A name like “Beau” or “Coco” could be confused with commands like “no” or “go”. Picking a name that could be mistaken for a harsh command might confuse your pet and deter them from coming when you call.
We totally get it if you’ve been browsing lists of the most popular pet names and asking around at the park in the weeks leading up to your pet’s arrival, but those might actually be the names to avoid. If your pup is one of five “Bellas” playing together, you might get some extra surprise visitors when you call her name to come to you.
Bonus Tip: Don't Be Afraid to Change Their Name
Rescuing a dog or cat from one of the many wonderful organizations dedicated to placing pets with people is an incredible experience, but you may worry about changing the name that they’ve already been given. Every pet is different but for most, if you’re willing to teach then they will be able to learn.
Like training them on a new command, teaching them a new name is possible! If you can, try to keep the name similar to their given name. For example, if you rescued them as “Sadie”, a similar sounding name like “Daisy” can be an easier transition since it could sound familiar.
If the names sound pretty different, it might help to combine their old and new names together at first (ex: “SadieDaisy”), and then drop original name once they get the hang of it. You can also keep treats on-hand to reward your pet for responding to their new name each time you call. Remember to be patient, no matter what you choose!
Visit your local pet store to speak with a knowledgeable sales associate and find out which diet is right for your pet!
Don’t forget to call ahead to see if any curbside pickup or delivery options are available.