I am an English teacher who teaches at a state university. I also teach classes online.
Do You Have a New Pet?
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—and choosing a great name for your new pet is one of the most fun parts.
Some pets may already have a name that was given to 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.
If you are looking to move beyond the usual pet names such as Spot or Tiger, and you truly want to 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 specific pet, as well as the characteristics of your pet's breed, when you are looking for that perfect name.
Pet Names Inspired by Norse Mythology
|Name||Who They Were||Pet Characteristics to Go With Name|
Pet that is playful or sneaky
God of battle and poetry
A Large muscular pet or one that is beautiful, like a poem
Goddess of poetry and runes and drinking buddy of Odin
A beautiful pet or one that came to you when they were older
Goddess of knowledge
Great for a particularly smart pet
God of sky, thunder and fertility
Great for a large pet or one who is loud
Son of Loki, known for turning into a wolf
Great for large dogs with wolf characteristics
Guardian of the bridge
Great for an animal that loves water or one that is a great protector
Pet Names Inspired by Greek and Roman Mythology
|Greek Name||Roman Name||Who They Were||Pet Characteristics to Go With Name|
Supreme god of all others
Great for a commanding pet or one that is naturally a leader
God of the sea
Use for a pet that loves water
Goddess of the hunt
Great for a hunting dog or a cat that loves to prowl around
Goddess of wisdom
Consider for an exceptionally intelligent pet
God of the underworld
Best for an all black pet or one that is mischevious
God of love (son of goddess of love)
Good for a very affectionate pet
Goddess of hearth and home
Good for a pet that is calm and loves to snuggle on the couch
Shakespeare: Another Great Source for Unique Pet Names
What's in a name?
We owe so much of our language, including many everyday expressions, to William Shakespeare. Many of his characters had unique habits, talents, and problems—and many of those same characters would also make great names for pets.
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|
Leader of the Greeks, sometimes makes dumb choices
A pet that's a bit clumsy but friendly
A pet that follows others around
Friend of Romeo
Consider for a pet that is great friend, very friendly
Ghost in Macbeth
Great for an all white pet
A breen that is loyal to its owner.
For a pet that's always making you laugh
Good for a regal pet
Great for a sneaky pet
Great for a pet that thinks he's a king
She is ordered to kill but captured by pirates
Could be used for a pet that appears mean but is actually sweet.
For a very sweet female pet
Great for a funny pet
Defies his father
Good for a stubborn pet
Good for a pet that likes everyone
Consider for a quieter pet
Would be good for a bold pet
Possible for a pet that's grouchy or short tempered
Woman who disguises herself as a man
Good for a female pet that everyone thinks is a boy
Other Sources for 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
- Sports and sports figures
- TV shows
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
How to Teach 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.
- Use the name consistently and clearly.
- Associate their name with praise. When they respond to their name, pet them and give them a treat.
When you do these things, they will begin to associate their name with themselves. Even cats can learn and respond to their names.
Naming a pet can be fun—but it's also an important decision. 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.
Maricar M. Jolo from Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 11, 2013: