Ruff Decisions

Baby Naming Trends And Dog Naming Trends Are On A Collision Course

Human Luna, meet puppy Luna.

A baby sitting underneath a large dog.
Liliya Krueger/Moment/Getty Images
The Complete Fatherly Guide To Naming Your Baby

For most parents-to-be, the first step in choosing the perfect name for their baby is to peruse the lists: unique, popular, nature-inspired, gender-neutral, trending, traditional, and so on. But few of us cross-check the lists of the most popular dog names across the country. And it turns out that we should. Yes, a human baby is very different from a dog, and to compare the two is perhaps a little questionable — but hear us out.

There are two big naming trends on a potential collision course: One, people are increasingly giving their dogs human names (some of the most popular dog names include Charlie, Bella, Lucy, and Milo); and, two, more and more parents are seeking out uncommon baby names. In short, if you want your baby to be the most unique kid in the class, you may want to make sure they won’t have to compete with the dogs in your life either. Or you might want to use the overlapping lists as inspiration and throw the human baby naming books out the proverbial window.

If you want a name that stands apart from both lists, it’s best to steer clear of “Bella” and “Luna.” The U.S. News & World Report found in an overview of the most popular dog names by state that 5% of dogs (more than 10,000 nationwide) were named Bella. Bella is also the most popular dog name in a whopping 37 states and Washington, D.C. Although the name Bella is only the 85th most-popular baby girl name, its more formal counterpart, Isabella, has long been in the top 10 and is currently the 6th most-popular baby girl name in the U.S. Tough competition!

Luna is the 10th most-popular baby girl name in the U.S. — and has steadily risen in popularity over the past 20 years. It’s also the second most-popular dog name across the country: 4% of dogs across the U.S. are named Luna.

There are a number of popular dog names that would be great baby names. But whether you take that as inspiration or as an excuse to throw out all your name ideas altogether, the significant overlap between human names and pet names is worth a deeper dive.

For example, Max is an ultra-popular dog name, the 3rd in the country. So is Daisy (4th for dogs, 125th for humans); Charlie (5th for dogs, 178th for boys and 123rd for girls); Lucy (8th for dogs, 48th for humans); Milo (9th for dogs, 120th for humans); Bailey (10th for dogs, 182nd for baby girls), Molly, Lola, and Sadie. Of course, there are more classic dog names at the top: Coco, Buddy, Cooper (53rd for human boys, for what it’s worth), Teddy, and Bentley. But humans just really love to name their dogs after, well, humans: from Chloe, Maggie, and Sophie to Lily and Stella.

To see the full list of most popular dog names in the U.S., check out U.S. News & World Reports.