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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Surveys

Is your dog's name on the most popular list?

Many look upon their dogs as superheroes, and apparently that is why so many families have chosen to name their pets after Bella, the fictional heroine character in the vampire film "Twilight" and in the series of best-selling fantasy novels that the film is based upon. 

Bella is the most popular name for the family dog for the fifth consecutive year while the second most popular name is Max, according to a survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance. It tallied the numbers from its 2013 database of more than 500,000 insured pets to determine the most common names.

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In 2009, Bella dethroned Max, which was on top from 2003 to 2008. Max - and its many variations, such as Maximum Max, Max Power, Max Avalanche, Maximus Gladius Spartacus, Minimax, Sergeant Maxwell T. Steel, Max the Moose, Max Crime Fighter, Cherokee Max, Peanut Max, T.J. Maxx, Duramax, Fatmax, Maxmax, Maxator Midnight and Mad Max McNaughty - is now in second place. Bailey, which had held second since 2010, slipped to third most popular in 2013. 

VPI spokesman Curtis Steinhoff attributes Bella's popularity to it being the name of the heroine in the popular vampire book/film series. In the film and novels, 18-year-old Bella Swan, a high school student moves to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father. She becomes drawn to a pale and mysterious classmate, only to discover he and his family are vampires. The pair then have an unorthodox romance and battle the forces of evil. And apparently the plot of film has captured the imagination of many families who view their dogs as special characters.

VPI's database indicates traditional pet names, such as Fido and Spot, have taken a back seat to people names like Bailey, Max and Bella. Of the half million pets insured by VPI, only a few are named Fido, reflecting the current trend of owners giving their pets human names. Every dog name on VPI’s Top Ten Pet Names list doubles as a popular human name.

The majority of the top 10 pet monikers are also among the most popular baby names in the United States,” Steinhoff states in a media release. “This trend illustrates the close bond that pet owners have with their pets. Many people view their dog and cat as family members, and they are naming them to reflect that human-animal bond.”

Rounding out the top 10 most popular names for 2013 are: Lucy, Molly, Daisy, Charlie, Buddy, Maggie and Sophie. Dog names that are trending higher, but failed to make the top 10, include Coco and Lola. 

The top 10 most popular names for 2012 were: Bella, Bailey, Max, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Daisy, Maggie, Charlie and Sophie.
The top 10 most popular names for 2011 were identical to the 2012 list of Bella, Bailey, Max, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Daisey, Maggie, Charlie and Sophie.

The top 10 most popular names for 2010 were: Bella, Max, Bailey, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Maggie, Daisey, Charlie and Sophie. Chloe, which has been in the top 10 in 2008 and 2009, fell off the list in 2010.

The top 10 most popular names in 2009 were: Bella, Max, Bailey, Lucy, Molly, Buddie, Maggie, Daisey, Chloe and Sophie.

The top 10 most popular names in 2008 were: Max, Bailey, Bella, Molly, Lucy, Buddy, Maggie, Daisy, Sophie and Chloe.


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