When you adopt a dog, it's a massive responsibility, but it also comes with incredible benefits. No other animal is a more loyal or loving companion than a dog. You can look forward to years of companionship, affection, and fun times!
Adopting a dog as part of your family is something everyone should experience. But before all the fun times can begin, you have to actually find your new best friend, and this requires a few steps:
- Decide on the type of dog you are going to adopt. Here’s a list of recommended dogs for first-time owners. Do your research first. This will help you to pick a breed that suits your lifestyle.
- Find your future best friend. It’s always best to try to adopt a dog from a shelter. That way, you’ll also be saving a life. Some of the best dogs are rescues!
- Make sure they get a health check and all their shots.
- Pick a name for your furry friend. They’re part of the family now!
Do You Have a Buddy, Bailey, or a Max?
Once you’ve chosen your new best friend, naming them is the next step. If you’re a traditionalist, you may be happy with giving your furry friend some of the obvious dog names, such as Rex, Lady, Fido, Fluffy, Buster, or Spike.
There’s nothing wrong with these dog names, but if you’re looking for a dog name that’s a little more unusual, it takes a bit more work to come up with creative dog names. You could follow the trends and search online for girl dog names or boy dog names.
If you Google it, you’ll probably come up with trends like giving dogs people names, naming dogs after celebrities, movies, or after food items. Some people are even calling their dogs after viral videos on social media and superheroes, and other people just make dog names up completely.
Why You Should Name Your Dog
Like people, dogs are part of the family, and that is why we name them. It gives them an identity and helps us with communicating with them. For a dog, their name is probably the most important word they will even know!
If you think about it, a dog lives in an ocean of human sounds. They have the language ability of a person who is only around 2 years old. With these limited abilities, dogs have to make sense of which words are directed at them and which ones aren’t.
Dogs have a different kind of language from humans. If you ask your child or partner to, “Come and sit down and eat your dinner,” they will understand every word. They may even respond by asking, “What’s for dinner?” or “I’ll be right there!”
Your dog Max, on the other hand, won’t know what you’re saying. To get him to eat, you’d put his food down and call out, “Max, food!” and he’d know his dinner is waiting for him. A dog’s name becomes a signal that tells him his pet parent has a message for him.
Because their name is something you’ll be using every day for the next few years to let them know you have something to tell them, you must be comfortable with whatever you decide to call your dog.
How to Choose a Great Name For Your Furry Friend
If you’re not traditional – or you’re sensitive to too many dogs having the same name – you could be looking for a unique dog name. Something that stands out and is fun to pick out. There are lists of unique dog names available online, or you could try to make up your own!
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to picking a great name for your dog. It comes easy for some people; they simply look at their dog and decide that their furry friend “looks like a Zeus” or base it on characteristics like calling a golden retriever Goldie or a black dog Pitch or Jet.
Dogs will get used to whatever name you give them; they’ll soon know their name and respond to it. All they care about is the tone you use with them, and that you feed them, love them, and maybe give them an occasional special treat!
Using a Dog Name Generator
Whether you have a male dog or a female dog, a dog name generator can suggest some different dog name ideas. It’s a simple process. Depending on which name generator you use, you just select your dog’s gender, check some boxes for the traits your dog has, and the screen will pop up with a list of potentially perfect names for your pup!
Some dog name generators use themes like comics, games, sports, food, or movies. Some give you the option to generate names by style, such as elegant, cute, quirky, or classy. This makes the process more personal because it considers your choices.
If this is not a personalized enough way to find a name for a dog, here are some other ideas!
Pick an Old Fashioned Dog Name
If you like the idea of tradition, but you don’t want your dog to have the same name as many other dogs, you could consider giving them a unique old fashioned name.
Here are some examples:
- Maurice (A popular name for men in the old days)
- Marigold (Also popular, but with women)
- Etta (After Etta James, the singer)
- Otis (Another musical name, after Otis Redding)
- Bogart (Actor Humphrey Bogart was the ultimate in vintage “cool”)
Unique Female Dog Names
When you’re looking for a name for your female dog and don’t want it to be Bella, Daisy, or Lady, here are some ideas you could consider:
- Pebble (This means tiny stone, and is a name that just sounds interesting)
- Arya (After Arya Stark of Game of Thrones, or a song)
- Avalon (A mythical island and a mysterious-sounding name)
- Cricket (A small insect or a sports game? We think it’s just a cute name!)
Whether you decide on a sassy and sweet name for your dog, or call her something more elegant, the options are endless.
Male Dog Names That Are Different
If you have a male dog and you’re looking for dog names that are more masculine but still unique, here are a few suggestions:
- Moss (Interesting and unusual, this name is a unique alternative to Ross)
- Watson (This English name just sounds cool)
- Asher (Hebrew for “happy” or “blessed”)
- Magnar (Norwegian for “strength”)
Naming your dog should reflect a part of your personality, and if you’re all rock ‘n roll, a badass name for a dog could be a good idea, especially for a male dog! Think about names like:
- Diesel (After the engine, or Vin Diesel!)
- Clutch (Another car-inspired name, which is also a hard rock band)
- Dredd (Comic book and movie fans will love naming their dog after Judge Dredd)
- Venom (Another comic and movie-inspired name)
Big Dog Names
Not everyone is into keeping big breed dogs, but those who do will know that large dogs also have large personalities. These big boys and girls need big names that match their stature and nature. Here are some unique dogs names for big dogs:
- Jupiter (A planet is big, right?)
- Everest (A massive mountain range!)
- Redwood (Of course, a giant tree)
- Atlas (The mythical man who carried the world on his shoulders)
- North (Literally, this is half the world, so it’s huge!)
Dog Names for Foodies
If you’re into food, you could consider naming your furry friend after your favorite meal. Pizza lovers could opt for Pepperoni (or even Pizza!). A meat lover could call their dog Sausage or Steak. Some options are quite silly, while others are super cute. For example:
- Fondue (A fun name for a foodie’s dog!)
- Nacho (Who doesn’t love nachos?)
- Alfalfa (Sprouts, anyone?)
- Dumpling (Why not name your dog after the ultimate comfort food?)
There’s a Perfect Name for Every Pup
Whether your new best friend is more of a Princess Leia or a Porkchop, there are unique dog names suited to every furball and every pet parent. To decide on the perfect name for your canine companion, try looking at your interests.
If you’re into Harry Potter, you could call your dog Harry, Dumbledore, or Bellatrix. Love cheese? How about Cheddar, Parmesan, or Brie? Take inspiration from your surroundings and your dog’s unique characteristics to come up with a name you’ll love forever!