Unveils Most Popular Dog Names and Trends of 2018

Sixth Annual Report from The Dog People Shows Americans Draw Inspiration from Human Names and Pop Culture; Names Inspired by Cardi B, “Black Panther,” and the Royal Family Are on the Rise Top Dog Names of 2018 (Graphic: Business Wire)

SEATTLE--(), the world’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers, today unveiled its sixth annual report of the year’s most popular dog names. Human names for dogs topped the 2018 list, and many of the year’s top baby names are also popular dog names. Pop culture names were once again among the most popular, with names inspired by movies, musicians, and the royal family standing out as trendsetters for 2018.

This year’s data highlights the powerful influence of pop culture. Names inspired by newsmakers like Cardi B, Childish Gambino, “Fortnite,” “Black Panther” and celebrity babies rose dramatically. The name Cardi rose more than 1,000 percent, Nakia of “Black Panther” is up 560 percent, Gambino rose 190 percent and Stormi (daughter of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott) increased 240 percent. These trends echo a new survey from Rover, which found 33 percent of pet parents named their dog after a character from a TV show, video game, movie or book, and another 12 percent took inspiration from famous or historical figures.1

“Nine out of ten pet parents consider their dogs full-fledged members of the family. They’re not just pets, but part of the family we choose,” said Halle Hutchison, vice president of marketing for Rover. “Our dogs and what we choose to call them is part of our self-expression, which is why people name their pets after the things they love and admire, from pop culture icons to superheroes.”

The humanization of dog names also continued in 2018, as 36 percent of all dog names are decidedly human. The popularity of human names for dogs is underscored by the surprising fact that one in three dog owners have met a dog who shares their name. And, millennial pet parents are even more likely to have met a moniker match (49 percent).1

Using one of the largest databases of dog names in the country, The Dog People at Rover examined this year’s data to learn where Americans draw their naming inspiration.

Pop Culture Trends:

This year pop culture names made up 16 percent of all dog names.

  • Dog owners are enamored with the royal family. The name Harry is up 133 percent and Meghan rose 129 percent.
  • Superdogs: “Guardians of the Galaxy” names rose 97 percent, with the name Drax leading the pack (up 186 percent). Dogs named after “Black Panther - including Shuri, Nakia, and Zuri - are up 25 percent.
  • Pet parents are also taking inspiration from famous villains. The name Thanos rose 215 percent and Pennywise increased 500 percent this year.
  • “Westworld characters are more popular this year, with Maeve up 127 percent and Dolores up 87 percent.
  • Harry Potter is celebrating its 20th anniversary and pet parents still love the boy who lived. The name Draco is up 123 percent, Albus Dumbledore rose 200 percent, and Albus Dumbledog increased 29 percent.

Viral Trends:

The internet is shaping the culture and dog names trends. This year, pet parents are naming their dogs after trends that went viral.

  • Dog names from the video game “Fortnite” are up 16 percent, with Zoey being the most popular.
  • The popular dance moves, Whip and Dab, increased 40 percent over last year.
  • Following the popularity of the “In My Feelings” Challenge, the names JT, Kiki, and KB are all trending up this year.

Food Trends:

Foodie pet parents are picking names from their food and beverage favorites, with five percent of all dog names being food-themed this year.

  • Millennials’ obsession with brunch has crossed over into dog names. Brunchy names like Biscuit, Muffin, and Waffles are up 12 percent.
  • Booze-themed names like Guinness and Whiskey are up 17 percent in 2018, but Rosé has fallen from favor — it decreased 44 percent.

Dog Name Selection Trends

A new survey from Rover also revealed trends in how pet parents select names for their dogs.1

  • Three out of four pet parents picked their dog’s name after meeting him or her, so they could find one that was a fit for their dog’s personality.
  • Thirty-eight percent of dog owners chose to change their dog’s name from the name given by the shelter or previous owner.
  • Eighty-one percent of pet parents give their dogs nicknames, with more owners giving their dog three or more new monikers.

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1 survey conducted by Survey Monkey among 1,500 U.S. adults in October 2018.

About Rover

Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle,® is the world’s largest and most trusted network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Rover connects dog owners with pet care whenever they need it. Millions of services have been booked on Rover, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy daycare.

As The Dog People™, Rover makes it easier for people to have dog love in their lives through the Rover Guarantee, 24/7 support, background checks, vet consultations, and GPS walk tracking. And by sharing expertise on of the world’s top dog blogs-Rover provides tips and articles that delight, inform, and enhance the bond between people and their pets. To learn more about Rover, please visit


The Top Dog Names report was developed by Rover between September and October 2018. Results are based on analysis of millions of user-submitted dog names provided by owners on

Natasha Ho, 888-453-7889


Natasha Ho, 888-453-7889