A dog called Luna: The most popular pet names in Australia

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Izzy McAteer was 12 when she became entranced by the wizarding world of Harry Potter and, in particular, one clever and whimsical witch.

So, when she and her mum, Lyndal, rescued a foster kitten in 2017, Izzy made it clear that Luna would be the name for their newest furry family member – after the Potter character Luna Lovegood.

Luna has been the most popular cat and dog name in Australia for five consecutive years.Credit: Simon Schluter

“I think it’s a good name because it’s not really a human name, but it’s not a traditional pet name either,” says Lyndal. “It’s easy, it’s short, you know, you can call a dog Luna out at the park.”

They were not alone. Luna has eclipsed all other pet names to be the most popular name of Australian cats and dogs for five consecutive years, data shows.

Loved for its romantic origin, with a Latin origin meaning moon (and because of the Harry Potter series), the name Luna is reflective of a wider trend: human names for pets that rise and fall depending on the name’s popularity among humans.

You can track the rankings over time of some of the most popular pet names using the interactive graph below:

Coco ranked as the second most popular name of registered pets and has been shooting up the rankings over the past decade. In 2013, it was the seventh most popular name.

Daisy, meanwhile, first appeared in the top 10 in 2020 and has since become the third most popular pet name.

The rankings are from pet insurance company PetSure – based on its database of more than 700,000 pets.

The data show that the 2020s have not been kind to Bella, Max and Ruby.

Christina Qazi with her cavoodle Luna.Credit: Louise Kennerley

Bella was the most popular name between 2013 and 2018, but has since fallen to seventh place.

Max was a name at its maximum power when it ranked third in 2017, but new Maxes have become so rare that the name tumbled out of the top 10 this year.

Ruby shined bright in 2013 when it was the third most popular name for pets, but sank like a stone in the latter half of the last decade and dipped out of the top 10 list.

It’s bounced back a little and now sits in 10th place.

The decline of Max and Ruby and the rise of Luna as pet names may correlate with trends in names for human babies.

Max was the 26th most popular boy’s name in NSW last year and the 16th most popular in Victoria, while Ruby was the 24th most popular name among newborn girls in NSW in 2022 and ranked 19th in Victoria.

PetSure chief marketing officer Jenny Williams said Luna’s number one spot for both dogs and cats was not only because of its Harry Potter association, but the fact that numerous celebrity couples (including Chrissy Teigen and John Legend) chose the name for their children.

“Names like Scruffy, Spot and Socks are half as popular as they were in the early 2000s. Over the same period, more human-like names like Luna, Ruby and Charlie have soared in popularity as pet names,” Williams said, attributing this to owners wanting more “human” names for their animals.

Analysis of microchip registry data by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age earlier this year also revealed the most popular dog breeds in each state.

In NSW, labradors were the most popular breed, followed by Staffordshire bull terriers and Jack Russell terriers, but Cavoodles emerged as top dog in much of inner Sydney.

You can check the interactive map below to see the most popular dog breed in every Sydney local government area, or use our interactive database to see the 10 most popular dog breeds in your area.

And in Victoria, Staffordshire bull terriers were the most popular pooches, followed by Jack Russell terriers and Maltese dogs, but similar to Sydney – oodles of Cavoodles dominated inner Melbourne.

You can check the interactive map below to see the most popular dog breed in every Melbourne postcode, or use our interactive database to see the 10 most popular dog breeds in your area.

Get the day’s breaking news, entertainment ideas and a long read to enjoy. Sign up to receive our Evening Edition newsletter.

Most Viewed in Lifestyle

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article