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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 Food Startup Appears On ‘Shark Tank,’ Gets $550K Investment from Mark Cuban

The money comes from Mark Cuban.

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BERKELEY, CA — Wild Earth, a biotech startup company focused on pet food, announced that it has accepted an investment of $550,000 from serial entrepreneur, investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban on the ABC hit SHARK TANK. The episode premiered Sunday, March 17, and is available on demand at ABC.go.com for a limited time.

Cuban’s interest in Wild Earth stems from both his belief in scientific/technological solutions and his concern for environmental sustainability. Upon pitching the Sharks, Wild Earth had raised $4 million from both leading Silicon Valley and impact investors. Cuban’s ownership stake in Wild Earth is 10 percent.

“There’s an enormous potential market for lower-cost, sustainable protein to feed the growing worldwide pet population and Wild Earth is now the alpha dog in this space,” Cuban said.

Wild Earth’s treats, and its upcoming food for dogs, are made from eco-friendly and renewably sourced Koji (Aspergillus oryzae). Koji is a complete protein containing all ten essential amino acids dogs need, and requires dramatically fewer resources than farming animals to produce the same nutritional value. With 25-30 percent of meat’s environmental impact in the U.S. attributed to pet food, Wild Earth is developing alternatives to ensure we can sustainably nourish more than a billion pets by 2050.

“The Sharks were understandably tough on me, and questioned the need to create healthier and more sustainable products for our pets, but Mark, the biggest Shark of them all, understood our mission and the massive opportunity best,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “Mark and his team’s impact has already been huge — since their investment, we’ve successfully launched our first three products and gone nationwide both online and in retail.”

Cuban, owner of the 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks and the bestselling author of “How to Win at the Sport of Business,” is owner and chairman of AXS TV (www.axs.tv). He co-owns the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures, and Magnolia Home Video; founded HDNet, Broadcast.com, and MicroSolutions; other successes include Mahalo, JungleCents.commotionlift.comFilesanywhere.com, Naked Pizza and 140Fire.com. For more information visit markcubancompanies.com.

Wild Earth’s Good Protein Dog Snacks are free of animal ingredients, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, additives, fillers, and mystery ingredients. The veterinarian-developed formula offers omega fatty acids, digestion-boosting enzymes, and prebiotics to support gastrointestinal microbiomes.

Wild Earth treats are available in five-ounce bags online at WildEarth.comAmazon.com, at select brick-and-mortar retail stores, and wholesale to pet food retailers.

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Grooming-Tools Brand Acquired

The tools will be rebranded and redesigned.

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Fetch for Pets, a New York-based pet-product manufacturer, has purchased Spetacular grooming tools from Vu Promo Inc.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fetch designs, develops and distributes grooming liquids and tools as well as products in the categories of dental care, stain/odor control, waste management, toys, apparel, accessories, treats and more.

The Spetacular tools are widely distributed at Walmart stores. Fetch plans to rebrand and redesign the tools, incorporating proprietary bristles and making them more lightweight and ergonomic.

Spetacular plans to reintroduce the brand, with the products hitting shelves and walmart.com by summer 2019.

The grooming tools will be for both dogs and cats. Their price range will be $7.99 to $9.99.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to enhance a retailer’s set,” said Steven Shweky, CEO of Fetch. “Seventy percent of our company is comprised of product developers whose sole focus is to innovate and bring something new and exciting to our retail partners.

“This is just the first of many new brand launches and overhauls we have lined up for 2019.”

Check out the company at Global Pet Expo booth 4067.

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Stop by the PETS+ Booth at Global, Play with a Puppy — and Maybe Even Find Your New Pet

Florida Little Dog Rescue will be at our booth all week.

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Attending Global Pet Expo? Miss your pet?

Come to booth  4039 to get your free subscription to PETS+ Magazine and meet your new best friend.

Florida Little Dog Rescue will be at our booth all week! Play with a puppy,
get your furry fix, and maybe even take one home.

Exhibitors, if you’d like to donate to Florida Little Dog Rescue, be sure to stop by our booth.

Florida Little Dog Rescue is a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates unwanted, abused and abandoned little dogs and places them in loving and responsible homes to live out their lives as cherished family members.

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