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The 100 Most Popular Male and Female Dog Names of 2021
What’s in a (dog’s) name? A lot, it turns out. The names we choose for our dogs often reflect the things that matter most to us, from our passions and interests to what’s happening in the world around us. And with soaring pet adoption rates and extra time spent at home over the past year, a lot of dogs were given new names in 2021.
To better understand the stories these names have to tell us about the people, places, and stories that defined the past year, we dug into our database of over a million pet parents on Rover to reveal the most popular dog names of 2021. We uncovered everything from ever-popular dog names to newly trending ones and some completely unique names we never saw coming. Ready to dig in?
Bella tops the list of female dog names for another year, with Luna, Lucy, and Daisy following suit. New to the top five this year is Zoe, which didn’t even crack the top ten last year.
Top 5 Male Dog Names
Max has taken the top spot for male dog names again this year and Charlie maintains second position for another year as well. Milo moved up from fifth place last year to third place this year. Buddy is holding strong in fourth, while Rocky jumped from seventh last year to make the top five in 2021.
The Top Trending Dog Names of 2021
COVID-Inspired Names Continue
The pandemic unfortunately did not end with 2020 and neither did the trend of COVID-inspired dog names. The dog name Fauci is up an incredible 270% in 2021, along with Covid (up 35%) and Zoom (up 443%). But pandemic fatigue may be setting in: The name Covi is trending down this year.
We also have to give a shoutout to a few dogs with truly unique names we’re loving. Honorable mentions go to the dogs out there named Pfizer, Vax, and Dolly Parton.
A dog on Rover lovingly named (Dogtor) Fauci
This Year's Tokyo Olympics Fueled New Dog Names
The incredible athletes of the Tokyo Olympics inspired lots of dog names this year, most notably the name Suni, after Olympic Gold Medalist Suni Lee, which is up 113%.
The top Olympics-inspired dog name is Katie, followed by Tom, Naomi, Simone, and Suni in fifth place overall. Honorable mention: USA women’s basketball took home the gold medal and we saw a dog named Sue Bird for the first time.
Covid and the Tokyo Olympics Aren’t the Only Inspiration for Dog Names This Year
Dog names reflect pet parents’ interests, passions, and personalities, from a diverse array of inspirations like the cartoons they watched as kids to dream travel destinations.
US Dog Owners Are Motivated by Travel Destinations Like France and Italy
With so much time at home during the pandemic and many delaying their international travel plans, dog names with international influence are rising in popularity.
The dog name Eiffel is the fifth most trending dog name of the year, up 1,363%. Among the most trending of the French persuasion are the names Dior (+153%), Caviar (+463%), Dijon (+513%), Baguette (+73%), Champagne (+1%), and Voltaire (+213%). Italian influences are also in the mix with Bologna and Gabanna trending up 163% and 363% respectively.
2021 put the dog names Parma and Prosecco on the map.
2021 Turned Up the Volume on Celebrity-Inspired Dog Names
The Korean boy band BTS swept the country with their catchy songs, incredible outfits, and unbeatable performances. Pet parents are into it! BTS-inspired dog names are up 32% overall this year. The most popular are Suga, Kim, V, and Jin, with Suga making the most traction, trending up 113%.
BTS aside, here are a few more of the stand-out trends:
Is Taylor Swift losing fandom? The names Taylor and Taylor Swift were both trending down in 2021.
For the first time there are dogs named Aretha Franklin!
Jennifer Lopez and A-Rod joined the list this year.
We saw our first dog named Doja Cat in the US.
2021 put Armond on the map. Hello White Lotus!
Food and Beverage Dog Names Continue to Dominate in 2021
Dog names often reflect people’s interests, and that includes their favorite foods! We’ll dig into a few especially popular categories below, but we first had to acknowledge some of our favorite trending names this year, including Bento (+209%), Miso (+156%), Butter (+102%), and good ol’ Loaf (+180%).
Meaty vs Plant-Based Dog Names
Dogs named after meats are trending up by 11% this year. The names Bacon, Brisket, Ham, Pork Chop, and Beef are the most popular in this category, but dogs named Beef are the #1 trending meat name, rising 180% in 2021. Close behind, Bologna is up 163%. We can’t talk about meat-themed names without mentioning that there are several dogs named Ham Bone.
So-called “meatless” names are trending up for dogs this year by 30%! The most popular names are Bean(s), Tofu, and Almond. Honorable mentions include Paneer and Tempeh.
We knew cauliflower was ever-popular in the US—cauliflower pizza crust anyone? But this trend made its way to pet names this year, too. Dogs named Cauliflower are trending up 163%.
Special shout out to the dogs named Pickles (+17%) and those with the name Ketchup (+343%).
Step Aside, Cookie! Raspberry, Guava, and Papaya Are Taking Over
Unlike 2020’s dog names, Chocolate, Muffin, and Cookie are trending down this year. Instead, dog parents are taking inspiration from their favorite fruits like Raspberry (+297%), Guava (+288%), Papaya (+233%), Grape (+213%), and Pear (+163%). While these names are trending the most and gaining traction, the most popular fruit names by volume are:
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Breakfast Names Are on the Rise
There are some serious breakfast enthusiasts out there and we have the dog names to show for it. These are the breakfast dog names trending the most this year:
Dogs Named Mai Tai and Pimms? We’re In
Many alcohol-inspired dog names are trending in 2021, with Port (+213%), Mai Tai (+213%), and Pimms (+163%) leading the pack. Conversely, dog names like Wine, Gimlet, Becks, and Truly are all trending down.
Let’s get caffeinated: Boba (+105%), Fanta (+63%), Cola (+44%), Cappuccino (+25%), and Chai (+26%) are trending up among dogs this year while Tea, Monster, and Pepsi are trending down.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), there are no dogs named White Claw on Rover.
Dog Owners Are More Likely To Choose Marijuana-Inspired Names Than Cat Owners
Dog parents took inspiration from marijuana while cat parents did not in 2021.
Reefer is up 763% among dog names.
Other weed-influenced names like Mary Jane (+48%) and Doobie (+4%) are trending up, while Ganja, Dank, and Blaze are trending down.
These Dogs Are Ready for Blast Off
2021 is a big year for all things space, including dog names. The top trending space-inspired names for dogs in the US are Solstice (+213%), Aster (+195%), and Nebula (+80%).
For the first time, we saw dogs named Elon Musk and Bezos in 2021.
Polls Show Political Dog Names Are In
The dog names Joe (+24%), Biden (+863%), Kamala (+3%), and Harris (+17%) are trending up in 2021.
TLDR: There Are Now Dogs Named Bitcoin
The top trending tech-related dog names are:
For the first time we saw Bitcoin appear on our dog names list.
Grab Some Popcorn: These Names Get Entertaining
From reality TV to Marvel, movies, TV shows, and music are often some of the biggest motivators behind new dog names. Some are nostalgic—characters people grew up watching—while others are new in 2021.
TV Character Names We’re Watching
The long-awaited Friends reunion got fans naming their precious pups after their favorite characters. Dogs named Phoebe Buffay—full name—are up an incredible 963% this year. Over-the-top character Janice is also trending up 138% in 2021. Can we get an “Oh. My. Gawd?!”
The top Friends-inspired dog names in 2021 are Phoebe Buffay at #1, followed by Joey, Gunther (in memory of the beloved actor James Michael Tyler), Chandler, and finally pivoting to Ross in fifth.
Bridgerton, the steamy Netflix hit of late 2020, continued to inspire with dogs named Daphne trending up in 2021. For the first time ever we saw a dog named Lady Whistledown.
Money Heist (Casa de Papel): This action-packed Netflix hit took the world by storm and we’re seeing that trend takeover dog names, too. Arturo (+238%), Moscow (+123%), Rio (+33%), and Raquel (+23%) are trending up this year, but we also saw dogs named Tokyo and Berlin.
Game of Thrones: 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the first episode of Game of Thrones. While many names are trending down, the most popular GOT dog names this year are Arya (-32%), Snow (+37%), Stark (-62%), Sansa (-68%), Dragon (+2%), Daenerys (+28%) and Cersei (-106%).
The Mandalorian & Star Wars: The #1 trending dog name of 2021 is Grogu!
A dog on Rover named after the beloved Mandalorian character, Grogu
Excitement all around for these hits! TheMandalorian and Star Wars-themed dog names are trending up this year.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians: Despite their TV series coming to an end, dog names inspired by the Kardashian-Jenner family were up in 2021. Of the Kardashian-Jenner family, momager Kris Jenner seems to have the most influence with dogs named Kris up 1,663% in 2021. Dogs named Yeezy were trending up while the name Kanye was trending down in 2021.
Survivor: Is the decades-old series having a renaissance? Some would say so. The most popular Survivor-inspired dog names are:
Love Island: Have you binged a fun TV show during the pandemic? These dog owners did. Cozy up with your pet on the couch and watch what happens when these islanders find love in the villa. The most popular Love Island-inspired dog names are Teddy, Chloe, and Ollie. BUT, a few others are moving upward in the ranks in 2021, including Nas, Callum, and Kaz.
90-Day Fiancé: Shout out to 2021 for putting the dog name Big Ed on the map.
Movies Inspired Creative Pet Names This Year
Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio known for feature films like Totoro and Spirited Away, is an inspiration for dog names in the US. The most popular Studio Ghibli-inspired dog names are Kiki, Haku, and Mei. Dogs named Sen are trending up 197% in 2021.
Marvel super villains reigned supreme for pet names in 2021, with Zemo (up 763%) #1 for dogs and Viper (+276%) the most popular for cats.
Disney’s Wanda Vision inspired pet parents in 2021, with dogs named Wanda up 120% and the name Vision up 143%.
Fans of Marvel’s Black Panther honored the tragic passing of lead actor Chadwick Boseman by naming their dogs after him. Dogs named Chadwick were up 73% and Boseman up 1,063% for 2021.
Marvel’s Black Widow inspired dog names in 2021 with dogs named Alexei up 97%, while Yelena made the list for the first time.
Raya is up 327% for dogs, a nod to the Disney+ movie, Raya and the Last Dragon.
Goodbye Boston Brady, Hello Tampa Tom
We see great sports-inspired dog names every year and this year is no different, from dogs named after a pet parent’s favorite football team to a beloved basketball player.
We first saw the name Kobe, after the late Kobe Bryant, trending in 2020. Now, Kobe is the 76th most popular dog name in the country in 2021 and is trending up 31%.
Football-inspired names are particularly popular this year. Here are some of our favorites:
Sea-who? Seahawks. Wide receiver DK [Metcalf] is the #1 top trending (+563%) dog name inspired by football.
The 49ers tight end [George] Kittle is up 63%.
Chiefs QB [Patrick] Mahomes is also up 63%.
Brady is trending up in his new hometown, Tampa, while trending down in his old stomping grounds, Boston.