Is your pet’s name on this list?
Words by Jenny Proudfoot and Megan C. Hills
Selecting a name for a pet is like choosing a name for your child – it’s a big responsibility, and unlike baby names, there isn’t an endless supply of books and advice to help you name your four legged companion.
A dog-walking company called Rover looked into what everybody's been naming their scruffy friends this year. Here in the UK, the most popular dog names were Alfie for the lads and Poppy for the girls.
From there, the next most popular names for male dogs were Charlie, Max, Oscar, Buddy, Archie, Bailey, Teddy, Milo and finally Toby. On the other side, female dogs in descending order of popularity were Bella, Molly, Daisy, Lola, Ruby, Millie, Rosie, Tilly and Roxy.
Across the pond in the US, the names were slightly different. Bella jumped up to first place for female dogs, followed by Lucy, Daisy, Luna, Sadie, Molly, Bailey, Maggie and Sophie. On the other hand, Max dominated the US for male dog names followed by Charlie, Cooper, Buddy, Jack, Rocky, Bear, Tucker, Oliver and Duke. So as you can see, there was a bit of crossover and shuffling round of names.
As for who last year's biggest contenders were? A 2017 study by AnimalFriends.co.uk looked into the nation’s favourite pet names, scouring 600,000 records, and the results were actually pretty surprising.
Despite holding the top spot for years, the name Alfie was been knocked out of the number one position for the first time since 2014, now coming third behind the most popular pet names of 2017: Bella and Poppy.
The study revealed these as 2017’s most popular pet names:
1. Bella 2. Poppy 3. Alfie 4. Charlie 5. Lola 6. Max 7. Teddy 8. Daisy 9. Oscar 10. Buddy 11. Molly 12. Milo 13. Ruby 14. Bailey 15. Tilly 16. Rosie 17. Luna 18. Coco 19. Millie 20. Archie
The survey went on to analyse the most popular names depending on the animal. For cats, Charlie has come out as the top choice, with Simba, Jasper, Smudge and Willow also proving popular. The dog list, however, included new finds like Barney and Dexter.
Not only did the study determine the most popular pet names for this year, it also revealed the popularity by geography and looked into the cultural references behind the choices.
Bella was the top 2017 choice for dogs in London, but Alfie took the top spot up North, dominating Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
In terms of pop culture, music certainly seemed to play a key role with the number of animals named after the late pop legends David Bowie and Prince rising significantly after their deaths – with a 573% increase last year.
‘It’s interesting to see that Alfie has been knocked off the top spot in our annual pet names list for the first time in three years,’ announced Westley Pearson, Claims & Marketing Director at AnimalFriends.co.uk. ‘Popular culture is having a huge effect on the names we choose for our furry friends, which gives a good indication of how important film and music is to UK pet owners.’
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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