Calling All Dogs: Popular Pet Names

We come across some unusual pet names here at Northeast Animal Hospital—”Buford Von Puppyheimer III” is one that readily comes to mind. But according to the website,, it’s really not that odd. Some of the most unusual names in 2018 included Jimmy Chew, Beau Dacious, and Salvador Dogi. When it comes to uncommon names, you may want to add names like Fido, Spot, and Rover to the list. While you’ve probably heard those names hundreds of times, these days they’ve fallen out of favor for the most part. In fact, of all our dog patients at Northeast Animal Hospital, only 2 are named “Fido.”

Just where did those “generic John Doe” names come from? Well, we can thank Abraham Lincoln for “Fido,” who was the first presidential dog to be photographed. After his picture was published in a newspaper, Fido became the most popular dog name in the US. In 1905, the first film starring a dog was released and made its namesake hero a literal household name. “Rescued by Rover” featured the hero dog saving a baby from kidnapping—talk about man’s best friend!

For 40 years, a book series helped children learn to read, and “Spot” was right there with “Dick and Jane” from the 1930’s to 1970’s. In the 1940’s, Spot underwent a transformation from black and white terrier to a fluffy black and white cocker spaniel, though some references say that Spot started his life out as a cat in the 30’s. No matter the species or breed, Spot has remained a universal name.

Today, as pets become more and more members of our family, we are favoring more human names for our four-legged children. According to, a newsletter published by Cornell University, the top names in 2018 were:

Top 10 female dog names:

  1. Ella
  2. Lucy
  3. Daisy
  4. Luna
  5. Sadie
  6. Maggie
  7. Molly
  8. Lily
  9. Zoe
  10. Coco

Top 10 male dog names:

  1. Charlie
  2. Max
  3. Cooper
  4. Oliver
  5. Duke
  6. Finn
  7. Bear
  8. Buddy
  9. Tucker
  10. Jack

Top 5 names for either males or females:

  1. Bailey
  2. Riley
  3. Sammy
  4. Blue
  5. Harley

No matter what you have decided to name your pet, make sure you’ve registered that name with the county by having a current rabies vaccine and county license. Not only is it required by law, but it could help in the recovery of your pet should they ever become lost.