Things to Consider Before Naming Your Child After Your Pet

Things to Consider Before Naming Your Child After Your Pet

Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by Fumipets

Naming Your Child After Your Pet: Considerations and Insights


Choosing a name for your child is a significant decision and some parents consider naming their child after a beloved pet. This choice can be a beautiful tribute, reflecting the deep affection and memorable impact the pet has had in your life.

However, before settling on this unique naming approach, it’s crucial to consider the implications and perceptions that may arise. This guide explores various aspects to ponder when naming your child after your pet.

From cultural and social perspectives to future implications for your child, this discussion aims to provide a comprehensive outlook on this unconventional yet heartfelt naming choice. Whether it’s about preserving a cherished memory or ensuring a unique identity for your child, understanding the nuances of this decision will help you make an informed and thoughtful choice.

It’s no doubt that the presence of a pet in one’s life brings them immense happiness and joy. The same can be said about children.  Besides the biological need to procreate, having your own child brings enormous joy and happiness to one’s life.

So, what happens if the love for your pet intersects with love for your child? Are the two loves the same? Would it then be okay to name your child after your pet – a past or present one? Here are some things to consider before you name your child after your pet.

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Is Your Pet From The Past?

Several scientific research studies point to the chemical changes in a human’s brain when interacting with their pet. The research suggests that interactions with pets increase the feel-good hormone oxytocin in our brains.  Physically petting our pets is also known as allogrooming.  Allogrooming is an important social interaction function that mammals need to feel happy.  Petting our pets, therefore, makes us happy.

But, if you have had a pet in your life, you don’t need us to point to research to prove how calming and soothing the presence of a pet in our lives can be.  So, it is natural to want to name another being in your life (like your child) after a being that has given you so much joy and happiness in the past.

One important thing to consider before you name your child after your pet is if the pet is from your past.  The memories you associate with that name are something you may want to recall when the name comes up.

That should help you decide if that pet’s name is appropriate for your newborn child, for instance.

The Name Itself. What Does it Mean?

Now, we can’t help but humanize our pets.  We often give our pets actual human names. So, the name itself is something that requires careful inspection and retrospection before you pick that for your child.

There are several boy names popular in Sweden that can also double up as perfect names for your dog or cat. One such name is Bjorn.  The famous Bjorn Ironside was a 9th-century Viking ruler who was the first ruler of the Swedish Munso dynasty. That makes Bjorn a perfect boy name. But the word “Bjorn” also literally means bear – making it a perfect name for a fuzzy little puppy.

Now, just because the last Bjorn in your life was your four-legged furbaby doesn’t mean you need to discard this name for your firstborn.  So, the name itself is a significant consideration in deciding whether the name can be shared with a human and a pet in your life.

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Would You Name Your Child the same as Your Current Pet?

Kids and pets can be a beautiful combination of happiness and joy to bring to your life at the same time.  If the umpteen social media videos of babies and puppies bonding together isn’t enough, there is even scientific evidence of how pets can improve the social interaction skills and development of children.

If you are planning on getting a new dog with small children around, be sure to research to check out the best dog breeds for children before you pick the dog.

Now, if you already have a pet and then have a baby, would you name your child the same as your current pet? The answer is – it depends, of course.

Again, don’t let anyone tell you what is appropriate and what isn’t – because social norms are just collective traditions and are not necessarily required to be followed by the individual.

However, there are some important considerations here. A recent study points out that parents will often confuse their children’s and pets’ names that are too similar sounding. It is not their fault, as that is how the human brain is wired.  Name recall works on a function of memory, and similar-sounding names can be easily confused – especially if these names exist in the same household.

Confusing your dog’s name with your child’s name can negatively affect the child’s psychology growing up.  So, to avoid unintentional psychological harm, maybe consider not naming two children the same – even if one of them is a four-legged furbaby.

Would The Name Be A Nickname?

At this point of the article, a special shoutout goes out to those parents who juggle pet parenthood and human parenthood at the same time while also juggling the struggles of career and home life – not to mention sharing the same living space with all these beautiful beings.

Now, another thing to consider here is if your child’s nickname could be the same as that of a pet you once had.  Nicknames are cute names and can be casual and fun without worrying about making it to birth certificates or being part of their formal identity.  So, it is quite common to use nicknames that may also be previous pet names. This also can be a middle-ground compromise if you want to keep the memory of your lost beloved companion in your household and have their legacy live on.

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The love for our pets and children is sometimes interchangeable in our lives – although not everyone will agree with that statement.

What is undeniable is that both pets and children bring tremendous joy and meaning to our lives. It may have to do with the aspect of nurturing another living being that brings us immense satisfaction and joy.

So, the age-old consideration of naming our children after our pets (or vice versa) will continue to be a part of the naming conversations.  We hope our considerations will help you make up your mind.

Questions & Answers


What are the emotional implications of naming my child after my pet?

Naming your child after a pet can be a sentimental gesture, but consider how this decision might emotionally impact your child as they grow. They should feel that their name is a part of their own identity, not just a legacy of a beloved pet.


How might others perceive my child if they are named after a pet?

While your intentions may be pure, it’s important to consider how others might perceive a name that is traditionally associated with pets. The name should not invite unwanted attention or teasing, especially from peers during school years.


Should I consider the uniqueness of the name when naming my child after my pet? 

Yes, while unique names can be charming, think about how the name will be received in various social and professional settings. It’s important to choose a name that your child can wear comfortably throughout different stages of life.


Are there ways to modify my pet’s name to make it more suitable for my child?

Absolutely. You can modify the pet’s name to make it more human-appropriate while still keeping the sentimental value intact. For example, if your pet’s name was “Bella,” you could consider related names like “Isabella” or “Annabelle.”


What factors should I consider about my child’s future with a name given after a pet?

Think about the long-term implications such as filling out official documents, job applications, and social interactions. The name should be something that your child can wear proudly and without hesitation in both personal and professional scenarios.




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