Popular pet names through the years: Is your dog or cat trendy?

Archer, Team Ruff. Photo credit: discovery+/Animal Planet / Elias Weiss Friedman
Archer, Team Ruff. Photo credit: discovery+/Animal Planet / Elias Weiss Friedman /

Popular pet names, like human baby names, tend to age somewhat over time and acquire their own reputations and stereotypes – looking at you, Karen. Other examples: Jessica and Ashley are pretty, guys named Taylor are athletic, and Frank is stubborn and inflexible to change.

A nationwide survey conducted by FirstVet recently recapped some of the popular pet name trends throughout the years, comparing and contrasting some of the top naming trends with those of human babies at the same time period.

FirstVet is a telehealth veterinarian app that offers consultations and advice through video chat, and is available in both the Google Play Store and Apple Store. It is available in the US, England, Germany, and the Scandinavian cluster of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Here at Dog O’Day we learned of this survey through the Dog Writers Association of America Facebook page reposting a Huffington Post story about it.

FirstVet analyzed the records of the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County, New York, going back to 1905, tallying more than 25,000 pets along the way.

What are some of the most popular pet names throughout the 20th century?


Queenie was the most popular of dog names during the 1930s, possibly because the name sounded glamourous, which a nation in the midst of the Great Depression sorely needed.


Tippy was the alpha dog name for the 1940s. The name alternate spelling Tippi later gained some measure of popularity amongst humans with examples including actress Tippi Hedren and the ditzy receptionist Tippi Williams-Doss (Paula Boudreau) from the Billy Ray Cyrus-led medical drama series Doc.


Who doesn’t love good old Sandy? The long-running comic strip Little Orphan Annie was still a fixture in newspapers during this period, which probably partially explains how this name became popular. Also, with World War II in the mirror and being trying to get life back to normal, “Sandy” has a nice all-American sound to it.


Lady was the most popular dog name of the 1960s, while Cindy was the most popular cat name. While Lady undoubtedly came from the success of Lady and the Tramp, Cindy was one of the youngest daughter on The Brady Bunch. 

Lady also appeals to the snobbishness that led to Queenie ruling several decades earlier, and the ever-popular Princess or Duchess.


Popular pet names of the 1970s for dogs and cats, respectively, were Brandy and Ginger. While a popular song called “Brandy” was written with a dog in mind, there isn’t a good reason that comes to mind as to why Ginger would appeal to cat lovers, unless possibly it came as a kind of half-serious appreciation of Gilligan’s Island. 

Possibly orange cats rose in popularity due to Morris the Cat appearing in 9 Lives cat food TV ads, leading to Gingers everywhere in a lack of creativity?


Max shot to the top of the dog name charts, while Tiger was the classiest cat of them all. These both have a sort of swashbuckling air to them in a way reminiscent of mustache-wearing dudes like Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit) and Tom Selleck (Magnum PI).

Other than that, we aren’t sure why these were so amazing, since they’re on the plain side.


Max was again the most popular dog name of the 1990s, while for reasons they did not explain, all the flashy felines went by Smokey.


Again, the most popular pet names of the 2000s were Max and Smokey, respectively. This is likely why the Louis CK/Patton Oswalt Jack Russell Terrier character in the movies has the name.

Next. What are the most popular dog names of 2020?. dark

It would also be interested to cross-reference the most popular dog breeds each decade and see if the high-ranking names matched. Are your four-legged friends included in these popular pet names?