Human Names and Names Inspired by Pop Culture Top the Most Popular Dog Names of 2018
Human names for dogs topped Rover.com’s 2018 list of the year’s most popular dog names, and many of the year’s top baby names also ranked on the sixth annual report. Pop culture names were once again among the most popular, with names inspired by movies, musicians, and the royal family standing out as trendsetters for 2018.
This year’s data highlights the powerful influence of pop culture. Names inspired by newsmakers like Cardi B, Childish Gambino, “Fortnite,” “Black Panther” and celebrity babies rose dramatically. The name Cardi rose more than 1,000 percent, Nakia of “Black Panther” is up 560 percent, Gambino rose 190 percent and Stormi (daughter of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott) increased 240 percent. These trends echo a new survey from Rover, which found 33 percent of pet parents named their dog after a character from a TV show, video game, movie or book, and another 12 percent took inspiration from famous or historical figures.
“Nine out of ten pet parents consider their dogs full-fledged members of the family. They’re not just pets, but part of the family we choose,” said Halle Hutchison, vice president of marketing for Rover. “Our dogs and what we choose to call them is part of our self-expression, which is why people name their pets after the things they love and admire, from pop culture icons to superheroes.”
The humanization of dog names also continued in 2018, as 36 percent of all dog names are decidedly human. The popularity of human names for dogs is underscored by the surprising fact that one in three dog owners have met a dog who shares their name. And, millennial pet owners are even more likely to have met a moniker match (49 percent).1\
Using one of the largest databases of dog names in the country, The Dog People at Rover examined this year’s data to learn where U.S. dog owners draw their naming inspiration.
This year pop culture names made up 16 percent of all dog names.
In addition, the internet is shaping the culture and dog names trends. This year, pet owners are naming their dogs after trends that went viral.
Foodie pet owners are picking names from their food and beverage favorites, with five percent of all dog names being food-themed this year.
A new survey from Rover also revealed trends in how pet owners select names for their dogs.
Three out of four pet owners picked their dog’s name after meeting him or her, so they could find one that was a fit for their dog’s personality. Thirty-eight percent of dog owners chose to change their dog’s name from the name given by the shelter or previous owner. Eighty-one percent of pet owners give their dogs nicknames, with more owners giving their dog three or more new monikers.
For a more in-depth look at the most popular pet names of 2018, see the infographic below and visit the company’s blog.