Animal House: I Love It When You Call Me Names

May 23, 2017

Call them what you will, just make sure the name you give your pets has positive associations for the both of you. Princess Poopy Paws just doesn't cut it.
Credit Google Images

Once the excitement of adopting a new pet settles down, you have a big decision ahead of you:  what to name your new friend.

You want to make this new furry -- or feathered, or scaly, or what have you -- companion feel at home, like one of the family, so you should select a name that's meaningful to you, plus have positive associations.

"My dog's name is Daisy," said Bob Ryder from Pawsitive Transformations. "And it's hard to feel anything but cheerful when you say her name.  Her disposition just fits with the garden motif."

Ryder is not a fan of names that evoke an angry of frustrated reaction or are associated with an unpleasant event. "Let's say the dog had difficulty with house training early on.  Well, if you name that dog puddles, that's the thing that will come to mind when you say your dog's name. You probably won't have a very good emotional connection that way."

For selecting a name with a positive association, Ryder recommends you pull from your favorite sports team (Rizzo), movie, (Frodo) book (Mr. Darcy) or singer (Bowie). Don't worry if the name you like is long, like Angus VonWigglebottom or Captain Jack Barky Pants.  Your animal will likely just latch onto Angus or Captain.  The rest is gravy.

Ryder recommends creativity when naming your pet.  And if it's to be a family pet, make sure everyone has a vote.  Don't worry about your pet getting confused if after selecting a name you end up with a plethora of nicknames for your critter.  It's the tone of voice that really counts when you address your pet. Also, if you adopt a pet that already had a name, it's perfectly alright to rename that animal.  The pet can adjust.

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