“Bella” Becomes Most Popular Name for Both Dogs and Cats

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Reveals Top Pet Names of 2011

Brea, Calif. (Jan 4, 2012) – Holding tightly to the title of most popular name for dog lovers, “Bella” shot into the lead among feline fans for the first time in 2011. Though the “Twilight”-inspired moniker has reigned as top dog since 2009, “Bella” trumped “Max” in 2011 as the prime choice for cat owners with a lead of less than 10 frisky felines. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine last year’s most popular pet names. Following are the top 10 most common names for dogs and cats, as well as birds and exotic pets:

Dogs Cats Birds and Exotics
1. Bella 1. Bella 1. Charlie
2. Bailey 2. Max 2. Max
3. Max 3. Chloe 3. Baby
4. Lucy 4. Oliver 4. Sunny
5. Molly 5. Lucy 5. Buddy
6. Buddy 6. Shadow 6. Jack
7. Daisy 7. Smokey 7. Angel
8. Maggie 8. Tiger 8. Daisy
9. Charlie 9. Charlie 9. Bella
10. Sophie 10. Tigger 10. Coco

The tendency toward selecting human names for pets appears to continue with nearly every name on the top 10 dog names list doubling as a popular name for people. Of the nearly half a million pets insured by VPI, only 13 were named “Fido,” and just 17 came running to the name “Spot,” which indicates a decrease in the popularity of traditional dog names. Though dog owners are rapidly adopting this trend, feline pet parents seem slightly more traditional with the names “Tiger” and “Tigger” lingering on the top 10 cat names list.

Charlie remained in the top spot on the birds and exotic pets list, which consists of the most popular names for feathered friends, lizards, gerbils, rabbits and other companion animals. Several new names debuted on the top 10 birds and exotics list this year including: “Buddy,” “Angel,” “Daisy” and “Coco.”

Although “Bella” and “Max” remain among the most popular names for pets, thousands of others are donning monikers of a less conventional form, such as “Shooter Mclovin” and “Mr. Meowgi.” To see some of the more creative monikers selected for VPI’s Top 10 Most Unusual Pet Names of 2011, visit www.wackypetnames.com.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional CareGuard® coverage is available for routine care.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,500 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as a voluntary employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wis. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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