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These Are the Biggest Dog-Naming Trends of 2018

Human names top the 2018 list.

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SEATTLE — Rover.com, a network of pet sitters and dog walkers, has unveiled its sixth annual report of the year’s most popular dog names.

Human names for dogs topped the 2018 list, and many of the year’s top baby names are also popular dog names. Pop culture names were once again among the most popular, with names inspired by movies, musicians, and the royal family standing out as trendsetters for 2018.

This year’s data highlights the powerful influence of pop culture. Names inspired by newsmakers like Cardi B, Childish Gambino, “Fortnite,” “Black Panther” and celebrity babies rose dramatically. The name Cardi rose more than 1,000 percent, Nakia of “Black Panther” is up 560 percent, Gambino rose 190 percent and Stormi (daughter of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott) increased 240 percent.

These trends echo a new survey from Rover, which found that 33 percent of pet parents named their dog after a character from a TV show, video game, movie or book, and another 12 percent took inspiration from famous or historical figures.

“Nine out of ten pet parents consider their dogs full-fledged members of the family. They’re not just pets, but part of the family we choose,” said Halle Hutchison, vice president of marketing for Rover. “Our dogs and what we choose to call them is part of our self-expression, which is why people name their pets after the things they love and admire, from pop culture icons to superheroes.”

The humanization of dog names also continued in 2018, as 36 percent of all dog names are decidedly human.

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Using one of the largest databases of dog names in the country, Rover examined this year’s data to learn where Americans draw their naming inspiration.

Pop Culture Trends

This year pop culture names made up 16 percent of all dog names.

  • Dog owners are enamored with the royal family. The name Harry is up 133 percent and Meghan rose 129 percent.
  • Superdogs: “Guardians of the Galaxy” names rose 97 percent, with the name Drax leading the pack (up 186 percent). Dogs named after “Black Panther” – including Shuri, Nakia, and Zuri – are up 25 percent.
  • Pet parents are also taking inspiration from famous villains. The name Thanos rose 215 percent and Pennywise increased 500 percent this year.
  • “Westworld” characters are more popular this year, with Maeve up 127 percent and Dolores up 87 percent.
  • Harry Potter is celebrating its 20th anniversary and pet parents still love the boy who lived. The name Draco is up 123 percent, Albus Dumbledore rose 200 percent, and Albus Dumbledog increased 29 percent.
Viral Trends

The internet is shaping the culture and dog names trends. This year, pet parents are naming their dogs after trends that went viral.

  • Dog names from the video game “Fortnite” are up 16 percent, with Zoey being the most popular.
  • The popular dance moves, Whip and Dab, increased 40 percent over last year.
  • Following the popularity of the “In My Feelings” Challenge, the names JT, Kiki, and KB are all trending up this year.
Food Trends

Foodie pet parents are picking names from their food and beverage favorites, with five percent of all dog names being food-themed this year.

  • Millennials’ obsession with brunch has crossed over into dog names. Brunchy names like Biscuit, Muffin, and Waffles are up 12 percent.
  • Booze-themed names like Guinness and Whiskey are up 17 percent in 2018, but Rosé has fallen from favor — it decreased 44 percent.
Dog Name Selection Trends

A new survey from Rover also revealed trends in how pet parents select names for their dogs.

  • Three out of four pet parents picked their dog’s name after meeting him or her, so they could find one that was a fit for their dog’s personality.
  • Thirty-eight percent of dog owners chose to change their dog’s name from the name given by the shelter or previous owner.
  • Eighty-one percent of pet parents give their dogs nicknames, with more owners giving their dog three or more new monikers.

For more information, visit www.rover.com/blog/dog-names/

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Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 11 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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Pet Supplies Chain Signs 22 Franchise Agreements

The deals will result in 46 stores.

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LIVONIA, MI — Pet Supplies Plus announced that it welcomed 46 new franchise store deals in the first half of 2019.

Twenty-two new agreements represent the 46 locations.

The stores will be developed across Texas, Florida, California, Michigan, Kentucky and New Hampshire.

Pet Supplies Plus stated in a press release that it has attracted franchisees from varying backgrounds, including former corporate positions, military veterans and entrepreneurs. Additionally, four franchise brokers have signed on to open their own Pet Supplies Plus stores.

The brand currently has 460 locations, according to the release.

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“We consistently add 30 stores a year, in part because franchise candidates know our tagline, ‘Minus the hassle,’ also refers to our franchise opportunity,” said Pet Supplies Plus CEO Chris Rowland. “We ‘minus the hassle’ out of business ownership and handle the back-office duties like merchandising, marketing, supply chain, promotions, pricing and managing social media allowing our franchisees to focus on what they love to do – engaging with neighbors (a term Pet Supplies Plus uses for customers) and building strong store teams.”

Additionally, six existing franchisees signed franchise agreements further investing in the brand. These six current franchise agreements account for 22 of the new store deals, with one franchise group committed to adding 15 more locations.

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Pet Food Maker Opens $200M Plant

It’s located in Richmond, IN.

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RICHMOND, IN — Natural pet food brand Blue Buffalo announced the opening of its $200 million manufacturing plant in Richmond, IN.

The 400,000-square-foot plant will create 165 full-time jobs in food processing, quality assurance, maintenance and plant management. The 125-acre campus increases the U.S. production capacity of BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics and BLUE Freedom dry dog and cat foods.

“Blue Buffalo is focused on enhancing the health of pets by providing dog and cat food made with the highest quality wholesome, natural ingredients,” said Billy Bishop, president of Blue Buffalo Pet Foods, a division of General Mills Inc. “Our new state-of-the-art plant in Richmond exceeds industry standards in food safety and product quality, and will allow Blue Buffalo to feed more pets and reach more pet parents wherever they shop.”

The plant has the capacity to produce more than 1 million pounds of dry dog and cat food per day.

“With this expanded manufacturing capability, General Mills and Blue Buffalo can better meet the growing demand for pet food made with natural ingredients,” said Jeff Harmening, General Mills chairman and CEO. “This new plant is another example of General Mills accelerating the growth of our natural and organic brands. As an Indiana native, I’m also proud that Blue Buffalo is creating jobs and fueling the local economy in Richmond and surrounding areas.”

Construction of the plant started in 2016. It is Blue Buffalo’s second company-owned manufacturing plant, with the first facility located in Joplin, MO. Blue Buffalo products can be found at pet specialty stores and grocery, drug store and mass merchandise retailers in North America as well as Amazon.com, Chewy.com and other online stores.

“Job creators around the world continue to choose to grow their operations in Indiana because of our low costs and highly-skilled Hoosier workforce,” said Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “Companies like General Mills and Blue Buffalo are taking notice, and we’re thrilled for them to make their premium pet food in the strongest manufacturing state in the country. Blue Buffalo’s Indiana growth will provide quality career opportunities to Hoosiers, and we look forward to their many years of success in our state.”

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Pet Care Product Company Acquired

MiracleCorp purchased the Natural Chemistry Pet & Home brand.

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MiracleCorp has announced the acquisition of Natural Chemistry Pet & Home brand, known for its natural flea and tick, grooming and pet care products, from Muntech Products.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to integrate the Natural Chemistry Pet & Home line into our Miracle Care brand,” said Patricia Weimer, COO of MiracleCorp. “We expect this to be a seamless transition over the next 6 weeks where we expect to provide incredible products along with MiracleCorp’s extremely high fill rates and comprehensive top of class customer service.”

Alison Cremeans, marketing manager at MiracleCorp, added, “Their premium, natural products complement our Miracle Care assortment perfectly. These products are both very effective and affordable which will resonate with retailers, pet parents and pet professionals.”

“We are delighted to pass along the high preforming Natural Chemistry Pet & Home assortment to the very capable team at MiracleCorp, so that we may shift our focus to other strategic initiatives,” said Christian Shaffer, COO of Muntech Products.

All Natural Chemistry Pet & Home products are now available through MiracleCorp and ready to ship from their Dayton, OH, headquarters. Natural Chemistry Pet & Home products will be on display at SuperZoo in the MiracleCorp booth 4159.

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