Nation's Largest Pet Insurer Reveals Top 10 Dog and Cat Names of 2009

'Bella' Beats Out 'Max' for Top Dog Name

Jan 04, 2010, 09:00 ET from Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.

BREA, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- For six years in a row, Max ruled the top spot. But in an upset that is sure to have dog owners talking, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, has declared Bella the most popular dog name of 2009. VPI crunched the numbers on its more than 475,000 insured pets to determine this year's most common names, and Bella beat out Max by more than 400 dogs. Fans of Max, however, can rest assured that for cats, that name is still top dog - er, top cat.

              Dogs                     Cats
              ----                     ----
    1. Bella                  1. Max
    --------                  ------
    2. Max                    2. Chloe
    ------                    --------
    3. Bailey                 3. Bella
    ---------                 --------
    4. Lucy                   4. Oliver
    -------                   ---------
    5. Molly                  5. Tiger
    --------                  --------
    6. Buddy                  6. Smokey
    --------                  ---------
    7. Maggie                 7. Tigger
    ---------                 ---------
    8. Daisy                  8. Lucy
    --------                  -------
    9. Chloe                  9. Shadow
    --------                  ---------
    10. Sophie                10. Angel
    ----------                ---------

"I was shocked to see Max bumped from No. 1!" said Curtis Steinhoff, senior director of corporate communications for VPI. "Max has been the most popular dog name for so long, I didn't think anything would take him down. I can only wonder if Max's dethroning has something to do with Bella being the name of the heroine in a certain vampire book/film series that's pretty popular these days."

The same ten names appeared on 2009 and 2008's list of Top Ten Dog Names, with only the positioning of each name changing slightly. But a greater name shake-up occurred in the cat world over the past year. In the past year, Tigger dropped four spots to become the 7th most popular cat name, while Bella jumped five to No. 3 in 2009. The newcomer Angel (No. 10) bumped Charlie from this year's list altogether.

Not all the pet names in VPI's database are as trendy as Bella and Max. Thousands of VPI policyholders have bestowed names upon their animals not shared by any other pet on record. To see some of the more "creative" monikers selected for VPI's Top 10 Most Unusual Pet Names of 2009, visit

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the nation's oldest and largest pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance Family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America's pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional Pet CareGuard(SM) for routine care is also available.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.