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Giving Your Dog a New Name

April 1, 2021
Have you recently adopted a new pup? Congratulations! Getting a new dog is a huge life event, in our book. Of course, one of the first things—if not the first thing—you’ll want to do is give your pet a name. If you’re adopting your canine pal, you may find that Fido’s current name is already a perfect fit. In other cases? Not so much. A Des Moines, IA vet offers some advice on this below.

Choosing Fido’s Moniker

If you are lucky, a name will pop into your head. If you’re struggling, try looking through baby name sites. You can also look at online thesaurus, or at lists of musicians, movies, bands, or songs. Your dog’s color, breed, and personality may also give you clues. If your pooch was previously called ‘Mr Piddles,’ then you may want to go for something that sounds similar, such as Pickles, perhaps. You may also find inspiration in lists of famous pets, cartoon characters, or even foods. You can also get a bit silly: call a black dog Snowball, or a tiny one Brutus.

Getting Started

Once you’ve found the perfect name, the next step is to get your furry friend used to it. Start by holding a treat out to Fido and calling his name. Use something extra yummy, especially at first. It will also help to just incorporate your dog’s name into any command you give him. Repetition is key.


It’s not uncommon for pets to have nicknames. In fact, some of our canine patients have a dozen nicknames, or even more. This is fine. You may call Fido ‘Buddy’ or ‘Pup’ or ‘Doggo’ more than you use his real name. Just make sure not to forget to call your dog by his real name.

Positive Connections

When teaching dogs anything, the most important things are to be patient, consistent, and positive. Don’t call Fido by name when you’re reprimanding him. This could cause him to form a negative association with his name. That’s the last thing you want!  

A Rose By Any Other Name

Naming pets can be tricky, but it’s also really fun. Keep in mind that you won’t have to worry about whether or not Fido actually likes his name. He’s more interested in hanging out with you! As your Des Moines, IA pet hospital, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

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