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The Most Popular Names For Dogs and Cats in 2013

    We Americans have come a long way in naming our pets. I can still recall in grammar school how the then common Dick-and-Jane stories featured Spot and Fluffy as the family pet names for their dog and cat.

    Today's monikers are often funny and creative such as: Chew Barka and Pico de Gato, names that were featured in VPI's (Veterinary Pet Insurance, the country's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance) annual contest for the most unusual pet names nationwide.

    Here are the most popular names for dogs and cats:

    The top 10 most popular dog names:

    1. Bella
    2. Bailey
    3. Max
    4. Lucy
    5. Molly
    6. Buddy
    7. Daisy
    8. Maggie
    9. Charlie
    10. Sophie

    The top 10 most popular cat names:

    1. Bella
    2. Max
    3. Chloe
    4. Oliver
    5. Lucy
    6. Smokey
    7. Shadow
    8. Tiger
    9. Charlie
    10. Tigger

    Interestingly, the name Bella tops the list for both species. It is Italian in origin and means "beautiful"; perhaps this trend means that we adore our pets no matter what they look like.

    Another trend is that many of the most popular pet names are also names that are usually given to babies - they are more traditionally "human" names. Given that more couples are choosing not to have babies (according to a report in USA Today from February of 2013, the US birth rate is at its lowest level since 1920), perhaps they are naming their pets after the child they did not have.

    Deborah Dobson, FizzNiche Staff Writer