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The importance of pet name selection!


Transcript of personal comment from this episode of The Web-DVM:

Onto my personal comment tonight, which is the importance of giving your pet a good name, something that new pet owners would be wise to give serious consideration to. Pets’ names in a significant way contribute to setting the tone for their life. They have the power to make them either distinctly recognizable, or just another pet among millions.

But naming a pet goes beyond potentially saddling a pet with a lousy name, it also reflects on the pet owner who named it, either eliciting a good chuckle or comment from others for its humor or creativity, or have the opposite effect, leaving others thinking that the pet owner may lack imagination, sense of humor, or creativity.

In the veterinary profession, in practice where we see literally thousands of patients, distinctive, funny, or creative pet names make individual patients often instantly recognizable to us by mere mention of the name, while with some others, the name does not click without seeing the pet with the owner in the setting of the examination room, or even not until its file is in my hand.

I often laugh when clients may see me in town and say, “Hey Doc, remember me? I’m Bailey’s Mom.” In most cases, I am not going to be able to distinguish this Bailey from the hundreds of other Baileys I have as canine patients, and have to politely tell the owner that I appreciate her friendliness toward her veterinarian, but with so many Baileys registered in my clinic, it is hard to pin point just one.

On the other hand, when the owners of the cat Fat Man Jackson run into me and say hi, there is no mistaking who their pet is.

So, for those of you thinking of a name for your new dog or cat you just adopted or plan to adopt, let me offer you some advice and give you some names to avoid, just because they are overplayed, beat to death, and run the risk of making your pet seem ordinary.

Starting with dogs, we already talked about Bailey, perhaps the most overused canine name in the history of the species. Others include: Marley, Harley, Fluffy, Buffy, Molly, Maggie, Lucy, Ginger, Chloe, Sophie, Zoe, Max, Buddy, Jake, Rocky, Buster, Cody, Charlie, Bear, and Jack. Take my advice and take pains to avoid these.

On to cats, you may want to steer clear of Midnight, Shadow, Patches, Callie, Chloe, Tiger, Tigger, Missy, Princess, Blackie, Smokey, Simba, Sam, Sammy, Sox, or Oliver.

Better choices? Perhaps go with something very personal to you, or something unique about the pet. An old friend of mine originally found her beloved mutt running down the New Jersey Turnpike and subsequently named her Jersey. When my college roommates and I adopted a house kitten, as we were overwhelmed with the exceptionally foul odor and abundance of his flatulence, one of my roommates conceived of the name, Stinky.

Favorite professional athlete names or their nicknames can also lead to neat names, producing some of my favorites, such as: Moose, Butkus, Ditka, Magic, Catfish, and Mickey to name a few.

I can go on and on with examples of cool, unique, creative, and meaningful pet names, but that is only simply because I know a lot of pets. Unfortunately, more often than not, the pets I come across are stuck with boring, common, or corny names.

So don’t feel rushed into naming your new pet. Sometimes it is best to let a cool one come to you, whether it be something funny that your pet may do in your early days together, an experience you may have with one another, or anything else that may be special or unique between you and your pet. Sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it takes a little while.

The day I first met my late yellow lab Tiffany when she was a 12 week old puppy, her hazel green eyes reminded me of fine jewels, hence the name that came to me immediately. For my mutt Lulu who is thankfully still with me, it did not happen so quickly, and she was without a name for the first 2 weeks we were together, when suddenly for reasons I cannot explain, I called her Lulu.

In conclusion, when naming your new pet, take your time, try to be creative, personalize, and most of all, have fun with it.

We invite you to share your cool pet names with us in our respective comments sections, whether you find us through our blog or through YouTube. Please include a brief explanation of what led you to the name you chose.

That is our show for this Friday, December 4, 2009. I look forward to reading all of your cool pet names! Thanks again for watching.

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