Speed skater Emily Scott watches her dog Bella, left, play with a neighbor's dog outside her home in West Jordan, Utah. Bella was the most popular name for dogs in 2013. / Douglas C. Pizac
The name Bella was good enough for the heroine of the popular Twilight book and movie franchise and apparently it's good enough for thousands of dog owners too. They made it the most popular dog name of 2013, a survey says.
Max, a standard-bearer in the annals of dog names, tops the list of names for male dogs. But with the total number of female dogs (56%) in the survey outdistancing males (44%), Bella takes the overall crown in the survey, conducted by Rover.com.
The site, which connects dog owners with pet sitters nationwide, analyzed its database of 200,000 registered members to come up with the name list, says CEO Aaron Easterly.
With just a few exceptions, such as Max, Buddy and Bear, most of the names on the Top 10 list "aren't what would be considered traditional dog names," says Easterly. There is no Rover, for example, in the Top 100.
That seems to reflect two increasingly popular trends seen among pet owners, he says: Viewing themselves more as "pet parents" than dog owner and preferring distinctive monikers for their canine family members.
"About 14% of the names in the database were unique to a dog," such as one named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, says Easterly. "No other dog had that exact same name."
Dogs may be seen as family members, but only one of the leading dog names, Chloe, overlapped exactly with a name on BabyCenter.com's recently released most popular baby names list for 2013. Another was similar though: Sophie, which was No. 9 on the female dog list, is a derivative of Sophia, which was the No. 1 girls' name on the BabyCenter list, for the fourth year in a row.
In a survey released this summer by the Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., a dog named Sir Knuckles da Dragon and a cat named Cheeto Burrito took top honors in its list of the Wackiest Pet Names of the Year.
Here are Rover.com's most popular dog names of 2013:
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