Animal Names for Dogs: Meaningful Dog Names

Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

You have just brought home your fluffy bundle of joy. This moment will change your life forever. You now have a new furry best friend. But there’s one thing missing….their name! If you’re on the lookout for a good name for your newly adopted puppy, may we suggest animal names for dogs?

Why animal names for dogs, you ask? Well, this might not be the first thing that jumps out to you when you try to think up a good name for your dog, true, but it’s precisely because of that that animal names for dogs will be unique. You won’t cross paths with a dog called ‘Panda’ every day, and this is a good thing because it means you won’t have to compete at the dog park.

Plus, different animal species have different unique traits—each one more curious and marvelous than the previous one. Animal names for dogs make you think of Mother Nature’s greatness.

If you need some help with finding inspiration, well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to show you some amazing animal names for dogs. We’ve divided the lists into male and female categories, but we suggest you go through both lists, regardless of your puppy’s gender. There are many gender-neutral names included.

Female Animal Names for Dogs

dog wearing caterpilar costume

When it comes to your lovely lady, you want to make sure she has a name that suits her personality. Whether she’s quiet, opinionated, or full of crazy energy, you’ll find a name for her on our list.

While going through the list, keep your puppy in mind and picture yourself calling her by these names. There will be a couple of names you could see your puppy having.

  • Chinchilla: A cute name for a cute pet. If your dog is tiny and you just can’t resist squealing whenever you see her, this is the name you should go for.

  • Dove: Doves are lovely and graceful, and they symbolize love. If you have a little white puppy who steals your heart, this is the name.

  • Eagle: This name exudes an aura of nobility, power, and grace. It’s the perfect name for a hunting dog—one with keen senses and the ability to jump into action at a moment’s notice. If you’ve got such a dog, don’t waste her potential. Check out our article on hunting dog training and watch as your puppy blossoms into a capable hunter.

  • Echidna: Your new pup can seem a bit edgy at times, but when she’s around you, she will lower down her guard.

  • Faline: Faline was Bambi’s love; she was beautiful, graceful, and loyal.

  • Foxy: puppies with reddish fur and fluffy tails will fit this name, but it also suggests sexy, so keep that in mind.

  • Gazelle: When you hear this name, you think of a beautiful, graceful being. If your newly adopted pup is energetic, can run fast, and looks like she’s going to grow up into a tall and slender lady, then this is the name for her.

  • Hyena: Looks pretty similar to a dog…if you squint. Although hyenas might not be closely associated with positive traits, if you’ve got a smart, resourceful dog that has a unique barking sound, then you might want to take this name into consideration.

  • Koala: Cute, cuddly, and irresistible. This makes the perfect name for a toy dog, such as a Pomeranian.

  • Lady: One of the main characters in Lady and the Tramp, this puppy has poise and is very obedient. This name suggests nobility and grace.

  • Laika: The first dog to go into space, Laika was a Russian hero. This name literally translates to ‘barker.’ This name would suit a talkative pup. Plus, Laika was a mixed-breed. If you don’t know which breed your newly adopted pup belongs to, but you love her anyway, this is the perfect name for her.

  • Magpie: A species of birds famous for being one of the smartest animals in the world. This name is perfect for your genius dog, especially if she comes with a black and white coat.

  • Mink: A type of animal related to weasels. This makes a cute name for a fashionable dog.

  • Minnie: Minnie is Mickey’s long-time girlfriend. This puppy is sweet, calm, and highly intelligent. Minnie means ‘wished-for child.’

  • Nala: Nala was Simba’s love in The Lion King; it means ‘gift.’ If you feel like you are just beginning a love story with your puppy, this might be a good fit.

  • Nightingale: A little long for a name, perhaps, but you can shorten it to Night. Perfect for a dog with a coat as dark in color as the night sky. Or perhaps a dog with a melodious bark.

  • Panda: Leave this name for the cuddliest of puppies. Black and white long fur would be a great fit as well.

  • Prairie: Inspired by the Prairie Dogs, which aren’t related to dogs, but were, for some reason, christened with this name.

  • Pupa: Inspired by one of the stages of metamorphosis of a caterpillar, which will turn into a beautiful butterfly. Another thing not to be missed about this name is the fact that it has a play on words—pup.

  • Starling: Inspired by the beautiful bird species. Perfect for dogs you just can’t look away from.

Male Animal Names for Dogs

dog wearing tiger costume

Maybe your pup is chill and relaxed, or maybe he’s the dog that’s running circles around you at the dog park. Either way, he needs a name that’ll do him proud and show off his quirky characteristics.

Good thing you came here because we have the perfect list of names for you. Our list will certainly help you find the chosen name.

  • Abu: Aladdin’s monkey. Abu is smart and resourceful. If you’ve got a dog who’s always keen to learn new tricks, this is the name for him. Also, check out our article on tricks to teach your dog.

  • Bear: You could call him Baby Bear for now, but this name will suit a larger breed with medium length fur—any range of color from white, brown, to black.

  • Canis: Canis familaris is the Latin name for dogs. Sure, it’s a bit like calling your dog…well, Dog. But you have to admit that this is a pretty cool and versatile name that can fit any dog.

  • Coyote: Fast, smart, and ruthless, coyotes are proud, wild animals. If that wasn’t reason enough for you to name your dog after them, then consider the fact that coyote is a really cool-sounding name.

  • Dingo: The famous wild dogs from Australia. These dogs are smart as a whip. They can pose a certain degree of danger to humans, yes, but there’s no denying that they are handsome, proud creatures.

  • Gus: The fat mouse from Cinderella was a great friend—a little slow but very lovable.

  • Hachiko: The famous dog from Japan who waited for his dead owner to return without fail. Hachiko is a symbol of loyalty.

  • Jackal: A type of wild dog. It’s easy to become fascinated with wild Canidae, but it’s important to note that it’s never a good idea to adopt one as a pet. Wild dogs belong in the wild. But there’s nothing stopping you from naming your pet dog after these wild, untameable creatures.

  • Komodo: This name would suit a larger breed with a calm demeanor. He is content to lay in the sun and soak up the rays.

  • Lupus: Latin for ‘wolf.’ If your dog belongs to one of these wolf-like dog breeds, then you’ve found the perfect fit for him. Even if your dog doesn’t look or act anything like a wolf, though, this can still be a good name for him, because as we all know, all dogs are descended from wolves.

  • Mojo: The only puppy to stand up to the Transformers, Mojo didn’t let his size determine how he protected his master. Your male puppy can ‘rep’ his bling and take down 50-foot-tall robots any day.

  • Moose: Your puppy might be small now, but this name will fit him when he grows up. This name suggests large, strong, but in control.

  • Owl: Is your dog a night owl? Some dogs like to bark through the night, which can spell trouble if you live in an urban area. Check out our article on the best anti bark device if you need help figuring out a way to keep your dog quiet through the night.

  • Pegasus: If you’ve got a white, graceful pup who can run like the wind, then you’ve found the perfect name for him. Pegasus is loyal and reliable—character traits that you can often find in a dog.

  • Rajah: This is the name of Jasmine’s pet tiger from Disney’s Aladdin. If you’ve got a big, brave dog that can intimidate anyone he meets, but he turns into the sweetest thing when he’s with you, then this is the name for him. Plus, Rajah means ‘king.’ Cool name, isn’t it?

  • Raven: Ravens are large, black birds who are not even scared of humans. Your black, sleek puppy is all muscle and strength.

  • Rex: We all love dinosaurs. Obviously, this name was inspired by the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Rex also means ‘king,’ so this name is perfect if you’ve got an alpha dog.

  • Sirius: The dog star. The brightest star that illuminates the night sky. This is a wonderful name for dogs that stand out from the first time you lay eyes on him. Can also be a way to express how much you love the Harry Potter series, because Harry’s godfather is called Sirius Black, and he can transform into a big, black dog. If you love this name, don’t miss out on our other ideas in the article Harry Potter dog names.

  • Tigger: If your puppy runs on batteries that would put the Energizer Bunny to shame, this might be the right name for him. This puppy will be a lovable, nonstop whirl of energy who loves to tease and play tag.

  • Toothless: Inspired by the Nightfury from How to Train Your Dragon. This is a great name if you have a sleek, black, alpha dog. It can also be a great name if you’ve adopted an older dog.

  • Toto: This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention this famous dog from The Wizard of Oz.

  • Wolverine: This puppy looks tough, and he can be aggressive, but only when he needs to be. He can beat back intruders just with his stare.

Wrap Up

dog wearring animal costume

Though you thought choosing a name for your pup was going to be easy, you’re quickly learning it’s a hard process. There are so many names! How can you possibly narrow it down to just one? Well, don’t stress out.

Every owner has their own strategy for choosing a name. You might decide to name your puppy after a favorite aunt or friend. You might just have your kids choose names and then vote. Choosing an animal name that reflects your dog’s character is another popular choice.

There are endless possibilities when naming your new pet. When picking a name, keep in mind of their personality and character. If you are adopting a puppy who already has a name, try to keep that name or find something that sounds similar, so your puppy doesn’t get confused. If, however, with enough patience and treats, you can change their name.

We hope this article helped you gather inspiration or even helped you choose the name for your pup. Spend some time, pick your top ten and then try them with your pet and see which ones they respond to best.

How did you find our article on animal names for dogs? Have you come up with your own ideas while reading through our article? Share your opinion with us below! Next, check out our article on how to take care of a puppy. Now that you’ve finally adopted a lovable furry friend, you have to learn how to properly take care of them!

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.