Most Popular Puppy Names of 2012

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We've examined the names of more than 1.26 million puppies born in 2012 from Vetstreet's records to determine the year's top pet names. In the process of pulling this data, we couldn’t help but notice that many of the trends from last year have persisted, but there are definitely some new names on the rise.

Pop Culture Favorites

Bella has been the number-one female dog name since 2006. The first Twilight book, which introduced us to its heroine, Bella, came out in October 2005. Coincidence? Doubtful. Another prevalent name from pop culture is Bentley, the name of Teen Mom star Maci Bookout's baby boy.

Gender-Specific Human Names

Many names on this list — Max, Charlie, Jack, Toby, Lucy, Sophie, Sadie, Chloe, Maggie — are single-sex human names, which matches up well with the trend of pets becoming more and more a part of the family. As people develop deeper bonds with their dogs, it makes perfect sense that they’d name them in a way that humanizes them.

Old Standbys and Rising Stars

Max is celebrating its seventh year at No. 1, and for the last 13 years, Rocky has made the top five and Bear has made the top 10 list; some names just hold a spot in the hearts of dog owners. But those male dog names have some competition: Zeus and Thor are rising fast, along with Milo, Blue, Gunner and Jax.

Many of the female puppy names stayed in the same spot as last year, but Lola, a name that’s been steadily on the rise over the past decade, moved up three spots to No. 5. Coco made the Top 10 for the first time this year, and a few other names — Rosie, Luna, and Nala — are looking to make their entrance next year.

Have you named your dog one of these popular names?

Also on Vetstreet.com:

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