This time, Direct Line pet insurance has unveiled its annual look at what’s in and what’s out in the increasingly fickle arena of pet names, and whilst old favourites such as Molly and Max still figure prominently, celebrity young pups Rooney, Ozzy and Kylie are fast catching up.
Research has found many of Britain’s pet owners are injecting a little celebrity glamour into their lives by naming their pets after their favourite sports or music stars.
The UK’s obsession with celebrities is exposed, with the names Rocky for a dog and Ozzy for a cat seeing the biggest increases over the last two years. The research also found a 25 per cent increase in the number of pets named after Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney in the last two years and a massive 46 per cent increase in pets named after pop princess Kylie.
Pet names are being influenced by celebrity figures across TV, film and sport. Lord of the Rings characters have also become popular, with nearly 500 pets named Pippin and over 100 Gandalf insured with Direct Line alone.
Other pets with celebrity names include six Dumbledores, four Harry Potters, four Beyonces, two Mariahs and fifteen Whitneys.
The study revealed that the name Molly – for both cats and dogs - beat the likes of Charlie, Max, Tigger and Oscar to top the list of the nation’s favourite pet names.
After Molly, many of the other names making up the top ten are conventional human names, reflecting the way in which Britain’s pets are seen as important members of the family.
The top ten names for dogs include Jack at number eight, Charlie at three, and Ben at six. By comparison, Jack was the most popular name for a baby boy in 2006, Charlie was tenth and Ben came in at number 11.
Chris Price, Head of Direct Line Pet Insurance, commented: ‘How we name our pets is a testament to the close relationships we have with them. It’s not surprising to find similarities between the top ten names for dogs and cats and the most popular baby names because we see our pets as important members of the family.
‘Naming our pets after celebrities is a growing trend and the research has thrown up some interesting results – from the Great Dane named Gandalf The Great, to the moggy called 50 Cent. Our fascination with celebrity knows no bounds!’