How to Pick a Great Name For Your Dog or Cat From Shakespeare, Myths or Other Sources

Updated on November 23, 2013
If your dog is high energy, consider that when picking a name.
If your dog is high energy, consider that when picking a name. | Source

Getting a new pet is so exciting. There is a lot that you need to do to prepare to bring a new pet into your home.

Choosing a great name for your new pet is one of the fun parts of ownership.

Some pets may come with names already given them by the rescue group, humane society or breeder.

However, if you're not crazy about the name or want to personalize it, that's okay. Most pets, even adult pets, will adjust to a new name within a few weeks.

Here are some tips for choosing a name for your dog or cat.

Consider Mythology

If you are looking to move beyond the usual pet names such as Spot or Tiger and truly pick something unique, consider looking at the names in mythology.

You can match a personality with a name from Greek, Roman, or Norse Mythology.

Think about the characteristics of your pet and the characteristics of the breed of cat or dog when you are looking for that perfect name.

Pet Names Inspired by Norse Mythology

(click column header to sort results)
Name  
Who They Were  
Pet Characteristics to Go With Name  
Loki
Trickster god
Pet that is playful or sneaky
Odin
God of battle and poetry
A Large muscular pet or one that is beautiful, like a poem
Saga
Goddess of poetry and runes and drinking buddy of Odin
A beautiful pet or one that came to you when they were older
Vor
Goddess of knowledge
Great for a particularly smart pet
Thor
God of sky, thunder and fertility
Great for a large pet or one who is loud
Vali
Son of Loki, known for turning into a wolf
Great for large dogs with wolf characteristics
Modgud
Guardian of the bridge
Great for an animal that loves water or one that is a great protector
Loki might be a good name for a black cat.
Loki might be a good name for a black cat. | Source

Pet Names Inspired by Greek and Roman Mythology

(click column header to sort results)
Greek Name  
Roman Name  
Who They Were  
Pet Characteristics to Go With Name  
Zeus
Jupiter
Supreme god of all others
Great for a commanding pet or one that is naturally a leader
Poseidon
Neptune
God of the sea
Use for a pet that loves water
Artemis
Diana
Goddess of the hunt
Great for a hunting dog or a cat that loves to prowl around
Athena
Minerva
Goddess of wisdom
Consider for an exceptionally intelligent pet
Hades
Pluto
God of the underworld
Best for an all black pet or one that is mischevious
Eros
Cupid
God of love (son of goddess of love)
Good for a very affectionate pet
Hestia
Vesta
Goddess of hearth and home
Good for a pet that is calm and loves to snuggle on the couch
Shakespeare can be another great source for fun cat or dog names.
Shakespeare can be another great source for fun cat or dog names. | Source

Shakespeare: Another Great Source for Unique Pet Names

What's in a name?

There is so much of our language and everyday expressions that we owe to William Shakespeare.

Many of the names of his characters would also make great pet names.

Shakespeare's characters often had unique habits, talents and problems.

Here are some names to consider from the world of Shakespeare when you are choosing a name for your pet.

Shakespeare Names for Pets

Name
Characteristics
What kind of pet might fit the name
Ajax
Leader of the Greeks, sometimes makes dumb choices
A pet that's a bit clumsy but friendly
Amiens
Follower
A pet that follows others around
Benvolio
Friend of Romeo
Consider for a pet that is great friend, very friendly
Banquo
Ghost in Macbeth
Great for an all white pet
Camillo
Loyal companion
A breen that is loyal to its owner.
Dogberry
A clown
For a pet that's always making you laugh
Duncan
King
Good for a regal pet
Jachimo
Villian
Great for a sneaky pet
Lafew
A Lord
Great for a pet that thinks he's a king
Leonine
She is ordered to kill but captured by pirates
Could be used for a pet that appears mean but is actually sweet.
Marina
Virtuous woman
For a very sweet female pet
Pompey
A clown
Great for a funny pet
Quintus
Defies his father
Good for a stubborn pet
Somerset
A follower
Good for a pet that likes everyone
Stafford
Doesn't speak
Consider for a quieter pet
Talbot
Brave warrior
Would be good for a bold pet
Tybalt
Quick tempered
Possible for a pet that's grouchy or short tempered
Viola
Woman who disguises herself as a man
Good for a female pet that everyone thinks is a boy

Other Places To Find Interesting Pet Names

A pet's name should reflect your personality and theirs.

Consider these ideas to help generate a great name for your pet:

  • Foreign Countries
  • Favorite Foods
  • Favorite Books or Characters
  • Hobbies
  • Sports and Sports Figures
  • TV Shows
  • Movies


While there is nothing wrong with an ordinary name that is used often, if you are trying to avoid the most commonly used pet names then consider staying away from the following.

  • Max
  • Spot
  • Buddy
  • Bear
  • Ginger
  • Daisy
  • Tiger
  • Sammy

  • Roxie
  • Sasha
  • Pepper
  • Blackie
  • Brownie
  • Moose
  • Scout
  • Rosco
  • Lexi

Teaching a Dog or Cat Its Name

Once you have picked that great new name for your pet, it's time to get them used to it.

It is important to use the name consistently and clearly and to associate their name with praise. When they respond to their name, pet them and give them a treat.

They will begin to associate their name with themselves soon.

Even cats can learn and respond to their names.

How To Get Your Dog To Respond To Its Name

Naming a pet can be fun.

Remember that you and your pet may have to live with that name for 15 years or more.

Be open to new names and pick something unique.

It can be a great conversation starter when someone asks you why you chose a particular name for your pet.

Most of all, pick a name that reflects who they are and how they enhance your life and your family.

Questions & Answers

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      • Maricarmjolo profile image

        Maricar M. Jolo 

        5 years ago from Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

        Good job!

      working

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