Rover’s tenth annual Top Pet Names Report unveils the people, places, and events that shaped the last decade of pet name trends
Pop culture, nostalgia, and comfort foods most inspirational trends for Top Pet Names of 2022
Seattle, WA – (Nov. 15, 2022) – Rover.com (Nasdaq: ROVR), the world’s largest online marketplace for loving pet care, today released its tenth annual Top Pet Names Report. From adventurous food preferences and pastimes, to favorite TV shows and nostalgic pop culture icons, pet names are a reflection of the passions and preoccupations that defined the year. This year’s report draws from millions of user-submitted pet names provided by Rover pet parents over the last decade, and breaks down the most influential trends leading up to 2022.
A Decade of Bella and Max: 10 Years of Top Pet Names
Just like the trends that influenced them, the names we give our pets evolve over time to reflect the world we live in.
“Looking back at the last ten years of pet names data, we can see that the humanization of pets has become an increasingly influential macro trend for pet naming conventions,” said Kate Jaffe, trend expert at Rover. “Rover’s database of millions of user-submitted pet names reveals how names we lovingly choose for our pets reflect our passions and lifestyles, and often serve as a time capsule for the moment we welcomed them into our families.”
The year 2020 introduced Covid-19 pandemic-inspired names like Covi, Rona, and Fauci and those continued to trend upward in 2021, as the pandemic dragged on. According to new data from 2022, a return to “normal” might be on the horizon with pandemic-inspired names like Rona and Covid trending down. Instead, it’s now the widespread availability of Covid-19 vaccines driving inspiration in 2022 with the name Pfizer trending up 185% for dogs. As a cat name, Covid is still trending up (62%) along with Dr. Fauci at 82%.
As taste buds and foodie trends evolve, so do food-inspired pet names. Classic food-inspired names like Ginger and Peanut were trending for dogs in 2014 and 2015, while food-inspired names took a backseat in 2016 and 2017 due to increasing popularity of human names and “Stranger Things”. Renewed popularity for food-themed names emerged in 2018, with brunch-inspired names like Biscuit, Muffin and Waffles trending up for dogs. Brunch continued to inspire pet parents again in 2019, with Rosé and Croissant trending for dogs while Mocha and Latte were up for cats. In 2022, the top-trending food-inspired names are Hotpot (1,085%), Sashimi (785%), Pastrami (485%) and Calzone (435%) for dogs, and Roll (182%) for cats–perhaps driven by pandemic-related comfort foods and increased emphasis on takeout.
Life consistently imitates art when it comes to the names we give our pets. Entertainment was a top inspirational category for dog and cat names throughout the last decade, with names inspired by “Game of Thrones” (2014, 2017, and 2019), “Stranger Things” (2016 and 2017), “Star Wars” (2014, 2015, and 2017), and “Harry Potter” (2015 and 2018) trending in multiple years. In 2018, Rover survey results revealed that one third (33%) of pet parents named their dogs after characters from TV shows, a trend that continues in 2022. Inspired by the popular “Game of Thrones” prequel series, “House of the Dragon,” the names Targaryen (185%) and Daemon (45%) are trending up for dogs. Gen Z’s favorite drama “Euphoria” didn’t just inspire fashion trends this year—it also inspired the #1 trending dog name of 2022, Fezco, up 3,714% for dogs and 182% for cats. Other “Euphoria” characters driving inspiration include Rue ( 35%) and Faye ( 24%) trending up for dogs, while Maddy (35%) and Rue (24%) were trending for cats.
Are pet parents the new fashion trend experts? This year’s report breaks down which luxury brands are in and which are out for 2022 (according to dog parents). Move over Coco Chanel (trending in 2016): luxury brands like Bottega (185%), Burberry (135%), and Hermes (24%) are inspiring dog names in 2022. Notably, despite global popularity of luxury brands like Gucci and Balenciaga, both are trending down this year as dog names. For cats, however, Gucci is trending up 27%, with Louis Vuitton (32%) and Prada (46%) rounding out the top-three.
More 2022 Highlights:
Each year, Rover’s Top Pet Names Report unveils the people, places, and events that defined the previous 12 months. This year is no different with new, unique names and trends inspired by 2022–spoiler alert, nostalgia was big this year.
A lot has changed over the last decade, but some things remain the same. After claiming the #1 spot nine years in a row, Bella was eclipsed by Luna as the most popular female dog name in 2022, making Luna the #1 name for both female dogs and cats for the first time. Max takes the top spot for male dogs once again—marking ten consecutive years of the name’s popularity—with Oliver in first place for male cats.
Streaming Services Rein Supreme
- Apparently, we do talk about Bruno. Disney’s 2021 debut of “Encanto” took pet names by storm in 2022, with Mirabel (1,485%), Isabela (93%), and Bruno (26%) among the top 10 trending Disney and Pixar-inspired names for dogs. Mirabel is up 932% for cats.
- Inspired by the Emmy Award-winning American sports comedy-drama series of the same name, Ted Lasso was added to the list for dogs in 2022.
- “Yellowstone” took over living rooms in more ways than one in 2022. The name Yellowstone is trending up 485% for dogs, with Dutton (294%), Teeter (125%), Rip (100%), John (81%), Beth (64%), and Kayce (31%) also trending up. The top trending “Yellowstone”-inspired name for cats is Dutton, up 682%.
Retro Pop: What’s New is Old
- Adam Sandler is having a resurgence. The dog names Adam Sandler and Happy Gilmore appeared on the list for the first time in 2022.
- Presumably inspired by the sequel that filled theaters in 2022, the name Cruise (53%) is the top dog when it comes to trending Top Gun-inspired names. In fact, 36 years after the movie’s original debut, the names Goose (12%), Maverick (6%), and Cyclone (18%) were trending up for dogs in 2022.
- This year’s return of the 90s came with renewed interest in names inspired by iconic stars from the last decade of the 20th century. Dogs named Julia Roberts (135%), Robin Williams (85%), Samuel L. Greyhound (85%), and Brad Pitt (51%) are trending up this year.
- Following this year’s film biopic, the name Elvis Presley is trending up 51% for dogs and 82% for cats in 2022. Meanwhile, Elvis Pugsley is up 85% for dogs while Elvis Purrsley is trending by 32% for cats.
- The top trending names associated with the beloved celebrities who passed away in 2022 include: Ivana (285%), Betty (32%), Estelle (18%), and Meatloaf (16%) for dogs and Judd (319%), Betty (47%) and Russell (32%) for cats.
- Following the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth, the dog names Elizabeth and Lilibet are trending up 35% and 282%, respectively. The Queen’s corgis are also trending, with Bramble up 182%, Laurel up 37%, Rose up 24%, Holly up 14%, and Willow up 9%.
- The late Queen of Disco Donna Summer may have inspired pet parents in 2022: the name Donna is trending up 26% for dogs and 20% for cats.
- In-memoriam of the late Jeopardy host, the cat name Alex Trebec appeared on the list for the first time in 2022.
- Inspired by the passing of beloved actress and songstress Olivia Newton John, the dog name Olivia Newton appeared on the list for the first time in 2022.
Music-Inspired Names Take Center Stage
- A return to live music came with a surge of pet names inspired by artists who took the main stage in 2022. The names Bieber (185%) and Styles (25%) are trending up for dogs, while Kitty Gaga (382%), Meghan (51%) and Stallion (85%) are trending for cats.
- Pet parents were here for the gossip, too, with dog names taking after hot headlines including Spears (135%), JLo (118%) and Jimin of the currently on-hiatus K-pop group BTS (35%).
- Made popular again by the “Stranger Things” season 4 theme song, “Running up that Hill”, the name Kate Bush was new to the list for dogs in 2022.
- Are cat parents more likely to be self-described Billie Eilish fanatics, or “Eyelashes”? Both Eilish (182%) and Billie (13%) are trending up for cats in 2022.
Comfort Foods, Niche Flavors, and Seltzer
- Comfort and nostalgia reign supreme for fast-food-inspired names in 2022 thanks to new and returning limited-time menu items. The dog names Taco Bella, Spicy Nugget, McGriddle and Crunchwrap debuted for the first time in 2022.
- The top-trending comfort-food cat names this year are Roll (182%), Green Bean (162%), Casserole (102%), and S’More (102%).
- The ongoing hard seltzer craze bubbled up some trending pet names this year: The name Truly is trending up 74% for dogs while the name White Claw is up 32% for cats. For the first time, the dog name Seltzer appeared on the list in 2022.
- Foragers, unite! Mushrooms are having a moment in 2022 with the names Morel (135%), Chanterelle (85%) and Oyster (46%) trending up for dogs.
- Ghost Pepper made the list for the first time for dogs in 2022.
- The 2022 FIFA World Cup has USMNT-inspired names Gio (17%), Reyna (5%) and Weston (13%) trending for dogs.
- Among MLB fans the name Shohei is up 185% for dogs. Shohei Ohtani, nicknamed “Shotime,” is the perhaps the most famous pitcher and hitter since Babe Ruth.
- The NBA Champion Warriors showed out this year. Warrior (40%) was among the top sports-inspired dog names of the year, and both Klay (37%) and Steph (22%) jumped as well.
- Dallas Cowboys fans have spoken. Lamb is trending up 160% for dogs, possibly inspired by the team’s wide receiver and rising star CeeDee Lamb.
- The dog names Felix, Serena and Sylvia are trending up for dogs in 2022. This year also put the dog name Stormy Sue on the map. It’s no surprise that these names are popular, as sports legends Allyson Felix, Serena Williams, Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird are all retiring this year.
For a full list of the top dog names and trends of 2022, as well as the top dog names in 26 metro markets across the US, please visit here. To see the top male and female cat names and trends of 2022, please visit here. Top Pet Names reports were also created for the UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Spain.
The Top Pet Names 2022 report was developed by Rover between September and October 2022. Results are based on analysis of millions of user-submitted pet names provided by pet parents on Rover.com. This report is not endorsed or sponsored by any of the brands, celebrities and businesses mentioned within.
Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, Rover (NASDAQ: ROVR) is the world’s largest online marketplace for pet care. Rover connects pet parents with loving pet care providers who offer overnight services, including boarding and in-home pet sitting, as well as daytime services, including doggy daycare, dog walking, and drop-in visits. Millions of pet parents have booked a service on Rover, with more than 500,000 pet care providers across North America and Europe.