he faithfulness of man's best friend led many in the past to consider Fido the ideal name for a dog. In 2008, pet owners were more likely to name their dog Frank than Fido. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently analyzed its database of more than 466,000 insured pets to find the most popular dog and cat names of 2008. For both dogs and cats, Max was the most popular name in 2008. Overall, VPI's data indicates that traditional pet names, such as Fido, have taken a back seat to "people" names like Max. In fact, some of the most popular dog and cat names - Bella, Chloe, Sophie and Bailey - also rank among the Social Security Administration's most popular baby names.
1. Max 1. Max
2. Bailey 2. Chloe
3. Bella 3. Tigger
4. Molly 4. Tiger
5. Lucy 5. Lucy
6. Buddy 6. Smokey
7. Maggie 7. Oliver
8. Daisy 8. Bella
9. Sophie 9. Shadow
10. Chloe 10. Charlie
"Pets are often viewed as members of the family, treated like members of the family and, as a result, named like members of the family," said Curtis Steinhoff, senior director of corporate communications for VPI. "Max may sleep on his owner's bed, eat gourmet food and wear clothes to go out on the town. Rover probably does not. Max is short, yet easy to distinguish from common commands, so it is easy to understand why it's such a popular pet name."
This is the sixth consecutive year that Max is the top name for dogs and cats. Since last year's results, the most notable increase in any name has been Bailey, which was No. 9 in 2007. Other changes in 2008 include the addition of Sophie (No. 9) and Chloe (No. 10) in place of Jake and Rocky for canine names, and Shadow (No. 9) and Charlie (No. 10) in place of Sophie and Princess for feline names. As in 2007, Max joined Lucy and Bella as names popular for both cats and dogs in 2008.
Only 13 dogs in VPI's database went by Fido in 2008, placing the name at No. 2,866. Rover wasn't far behind at No. 2,534. Surprisingly, some dog names are more popular than Rover and Fido were Liebchen, Zowie, Munchie, Ginger Snap, Butchie, Dundee and Grendel. Other classic dog names that ranked low in popularity included Lassie (No. 1,572), Pluto (No. 1,009), Patch (No. 667), Spot (No. 659), Fluffy (No. 338), and Rex (No. 138).
Besides being the most common name in 2008, Max also owned the distinction of the name with the most variations. VPI's database includes such Max-inspired pet names as Maximum Max, Max Power, Max Avalanche, Maximus Gladius Spartacus, Minimax, Sergeant Maxwell T. Steel, Max the Moose, Max Crime Fighter, Cherokee Max, Peanut Max, T.J. Maxx, Duramax, Fatmax, Maxmax, Maxator Midnight and Mad Max McNaughty. To view more names on the uncommon end of the list, visit www.wackypetnames.com.