Do you pull out the crockpot, snuggle under a blanket, and light up the fireplace a little earlier than the rest of your neighborhood? Is Christmas your favorite holiday? Do you live for snow? If so, this list of winter, holiday, and Christmas dog names is for you. These names are perfect for a new dog with a winter birthday or gotcha day, too. Here at Rover, we dug into the nation’s largest dog name database and consulted the experts to find the frostiest dog names for the snuggliest pups. Those with an asterisk (*) rank among the top 100 most popular dog names of the year. We’ve handpicked these great name ideas for your puppy or new dog by digging through millions of names chosen by dog owners in the last few years, going way beyond the top 100 to find the coolest (coldest?) options for your furry family member. These winter dog names range from crisp and refreshing to sweeter than a cup of cocoa. Have fun, use your imagination, and be sure to pick a name that you’ll be comfortable saying well beyond the chilly winter months.
Best Christmas Dog Names
Holiday dog names don’t have to start and end with Christmas, of course, though Christmas offers up plenty of inspiration. You can also find puppy name ideas from other winter holidays and family traditions from food to literature. Light-themed names offer a nod to the season’s festivals of light, like Hanukkah.
Belen (Spanish for Bethlehem)
Clara (from The Nutcracker)
Clarence (angel from It’s a Wonderful Life)
Claus (bonus points for Santa Claws)
Imani (Swahili for faith)
Jasper (related to Gaspar, one of the three kings)
Kris (as in Kringle)
Leor / Lior or Leora / Liora (Hebrew for light)
Marley (as in Jacob, from A Christmas Carol)
Natalie or Natalia
Noel or Noelle
Ralphie (from A Christmas Story)
Reindeer (or: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, et al!)
Rey (Spanish for king)
Rudy (or Rudolph)
Tinsel (or Tinsley)
Vida (Spanish for life)
Zuzu (the character from It’s a Wonderful Life)
Best Winter Dog Names
Aubin (French name meaning white or bright)
Aurora (as in Borealis)
Bailey (drink anyone?)*
Bianca or Blanca
Canela (Spanish for cinnamon)
Freya (Norse goddess)
Ice / Icy
Natalie or Natalia
Neve (French for snow)
Oso (Spanish for bear)
Socks (or Stockings?)
Do Christmas Puppies Need a Themed Name?
Sure, a winter dog named Snow, Natalie, or Claus is pretty cute. But you don’t have to go that route. Some of the names on Rover’s list are inspired by the season, but not all!
You don’t have to give your new puppy a name that has anything to do with winter if you don’t want to. Here are some other considerations when choosing your new dog’s name.
Do you like the sound of a human baby name on a puppy? If so, you’re not alone. It used to be that most of us agreed on a good name for a dog. Fido, Rex, Lady: we expected generic choices. Now, however, you’re more likely to hear human names on dogs. Nicholas, Noel, and Holly are much more common for winter dogs than classic dog names of the past.
Our data shows that each year, dog owners increasingly turn to human names for their pets. This reflects the larger cultural trend that embraces dogs as full-on family members who deserve their own special place in our homes and hearts. Our dog love runs deep!
Dog Naming Advice
If you’re having trouble deciding, keep in mind that a great dog name can come from many different sources of inspiration, such as your favorite foods, books, celebrities, your heritage, or even dog breed history. For example, a chocolate Lab puppy might sport a water-inspired name like Stormy, while a Latin dog breed could carry a cute name like Canela (Spanish for “cinnamon”.)
Another consideration when choosing your dog’s name? Dog training. This is of particular importance for puppies. When you’re teaching your new dog to respond to commands like sit, stay, or come, you’ll want to be sure their name isn’t a source of confusion. In other words, avoid puppy names that sound like a common dog training cue, such as “Bit,” which could easily be misheard as “sit.”
Of course, what matters most is that the dog name you choose rolls off your tongue. The best names will make you happy. We’re fans of the “backdoor test” for dog name selection. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: stand at the back door and call out your new dog‘s potential name. Saying “Cocoa, it’s time for dinner!” or “Glacier, leave it!” helps take the name out of your imagination and into reality. The best Christmas dog name will be the one you love to say.
The Bottom Line
Good luck, have fun and be sure to check out our other dog name coverage. As dog lovers through and through here at Rover, we find dog names absolutely fascinating, and we love searching our data on the topic to discover hot trends, quirky choices, and unique twists on classics. Over the years, we’ve compiled plenty of names for you to peruse—and we keep our lists updated with new data each year.