Pet owners were clearly inspired by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic when naming their four-legged friends.
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There are plenty of things to look forward to when welcoming a new pet into your home, but naming your furry friend is perhaps the most exciting part. The names we choose often reflect the things that are important to us, from beloved fictional characters to players on our favorite sports teams. In 2021, as dog adoption rates continued to soar during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a lot of new pet names were welcomed into the arena. Rover.com, the app and website that connects users with pet-care services, recently released its ninth annual report on the year's most popular pet names and a lot of them were pandemic-inspired. 

The report was developed between September and October as a way to better understand the events, people, and places that defined the past year. To obtain their findings, Rover.com dug into its database of over a million user-submitted pet names that owners provided when registering. According to the results, COVID-inspired names were on the rise. Dogs named "Zoom" were up 443 percent, while the name "Fauci" increased by 270 percent. Additionally, home tech-inspired names also rose—the name "Siri" went up by 131 percent and "Google" increased by 63 percent. Professional dog trainer Nicole Ellis told CNN that these names are often chosen since they remind owners of unprecedented times when they were able to form deeper relationships with their pets. 

dog on top of couch looking out window
Credit: AJ_Watt / Getty Images

In addition to the pandemic being a big influence for this year's top pet names, celebrities, musicians, and athletes also made their mark. Names inspired by the late actor Chadwick Boseman were on the rise, with dogs named "Boseman" increasing by 1,063 percent and cats named "Chadwick" rose 400 percent. Additionally, the top football dog name of 2021 was "DK" (up by 565 percent), inspired by Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf. The top trending football-inspired cat name was "Gronk," after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, up by 276 percent. 

As many people longed to travel during the pandemic, it's no shock that a handful of the top pet names were inspired by foreign foods. For dogs, the name "Caviar" rose by 800 percent and "Dijon" went up 700%. Cats saw an increase in the name "Baguette" (600 percent), as well as "Raclette" (300 percent). However, despite a notable increase in new and creative pet names, the top dog names of 2021 are fairly common. The top name for female dogs was "Bella," followed by "Luna," "Lucy," "Daisy," and "Zoe," while the top name for male dogs was "Max," followed by "Charlie," "Cooper," "Buddy," and "Milo."

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