Banfield Pet Hospital®, the world's largest veterinary practice, and its internal research team, Banfield Applied Research & Knowledge (BARK), released the top pet names of 2012, pulled from its database of nearly 2.5 million pets nationwide. The big trend in 2012 was pet owners turning to pup culture, celebrities, fictional characters and even athletes for name inspiration.
From Box Office to Litter Box
November marked the end of an era with the release of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2," but the effects of the Twilight phenomenon aren't forgotten, as "Bella" topped the charts as the most popular name for dogs and second most popular name for cats in 2012. Similarly, there was a 42 percent increase in dogs named after Bella and Edward Cullen 's daughter, "Renesmee," since 2011. Other pet owners got catty with the competition and named their pets after characters from the popular book series, "The Hunger Games," which hit the big screen in March. In fact, "Katniss" became 18 times more common in dogs and 14 times more common in cats than in 2011. Banfield Pet Hospital even saw a few furry little friends named "Frankenweenie" and "Frankendoodle," likely a nod to Tim Burton 's animated film, "FrankenWeenie," released in September.
Turn the Pages of the Tabloids
Pet owners have been known to pull ideas from just about anywhere when choosing the right name for their four-legged friends. In 2012, it appeared pet owners turned to celebrity magazines for inspiration, as Banfield Pet Hospital treated pets named after celebrity moms and babies, including "Snooki" and baby boy "Lorenzo," and "Beyonce" and her darling, "Blue Ivy." Another winning pet name this year was "Eli" and " Ellie Manning ," making a pass to the 2012 Super Bowl Champion and Giants quarterback, Eli Manning . Even TLC's reality TV hit had Banfield veterinarians saying, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," as the tiny pageant star's name was turned over to the pets.
Pets that Rock!
The pop culture music genre certainly struck a chord with pet owners, and pets rocked out to names such as "Ke$ha," "Nicki Minaj" and "Lady Gaga." And as a result of the spring and fall seasons, fans of NBC's "The Voice" thought CeeLo picked just the right name for his white Persian cat...in fact, it was "Purrfect"!
"It's fun for us to see how creative our clients can be when it comes to their pets' names," said Elizabeth Lund , DVM, MPH, PhD, Banfield senior director of research and head of the BARK team. "Pet owners have strong, emotional connections with their pet, so it's fitting they would give their four-legged family member a name that holds personal significance and reflects their interests."
Top 10 Pet Names of 2012
As uniquely inspired as these pup culture names may be, only "Bella" graced the top 10 list, replacing "Max" in the No. 1 spot from 2011. In fact, Banfield Pet Hospital's top 10 pet names of 2012 are considerably tamer than those influenced by pop culture. The following is a list of the top 10 pet names of 2012 based on 2.5 million Banfield Pet Hospital clients.
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Banfield Pet Hospital