Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by Fumipets
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.
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.
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.
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.