Banfield Survey Finds Owners Like Naming Pets Bella And Katniss

Pop culture has been the biggest inspiration behind the latest trend in popularity in pet names.

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Bella was the most popular name for dogs and second most popular name for cats in 2012 in what Banfield Pet Hospital is calling a trend in pet titles inspired by pop culture, celebrities, fictional characters and athletes.

Portland, Ore.-based Banfield, researching the files of 2.5 million clients, pointed to the popularity of the movie series “The Twilight Saga” for the rise in Bella, the role played by actress Kristen Stewart. The name Renesmee, Bella’s daughter in the movie, became 42 percent more popular over the past year, Banfield reported Thursday.

The book series “The Hunger Games,” which was released as a movie in March, has influenced pet owners as well. Katniss, a protagonist in the trilogy, was 18 times more common as a dog name and 14 times more common as a cat name than it was in 2011, Banfield noted.

Others pet names likely derived from a popular film were Frankenweenie and Frankendoodle, Banfield discovered. The Tim Burton animated movie “FrankenWeenie” was released in September.

Names that may have had celebrity influence were Snooki, after “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi; Lorenzo, after Polizzi’s son; and Blue Ivy, after singer Beyonce’s daughter.

The sports world apparently gave pet owners the idea to name their dogs and cats Eli and Ellie Manning, after New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

A light bulb went off in the heads of viewers of TLC’s reality TV show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” because more than a few named their animals Honey Boo Boo.

In addition, music artists such as Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga saw their names adopted by pets, Banfield stated.

“It's fun for us to see how creative our clients can be when it comes to their pets’ names,” said Elizabeth Lund, DVM, MPH, Ph.D., Banfield’s senior director of research. “Pet owners have strong, emotional connections with their pet, so it’s fitting they would give their four-legged family member a name that holds personal significance and reflects their interests.”

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