How to Choose a Great Dog Name

One of the most exciting and daunting tasks when you adopt a new pet is naming it. The name needs to suit the individual animal and its personality, along with yours. As a forever pet parent, you will be using this name for a very long time, so it needs to be just right.

When choosing Pinky’s name, I had a couple of criteria. The first being that I wanted the name to start with the letter P. She had been called Penelope while she was living at the rescue shelter, but my previous dog had been named Penny and something not quite so close would be easier for me. I thought that by keeping the first letter the same as she had before, it would make her transition smoother. Next, I took into account her personality and physical appearance and came up with two final options. The first was Pinky because we all thought that she bore a strong resemblance to Pinky from the cartoon Pinky and the Brain. This cartoon was essentially about two white mice plotting world domination. Hmmm…We also thought she looked a little like Piglet from Winnie the Pooh, especially when she wore a pink sweater. It was a close race, but in the end, Pinky stuck, and it has suited her perfectly.

If you are the type that prefers to take a more scientific approach, some trainers recommend that the best dog names are those that are comprised of two syllables. It seems that dogs learn to respond to two syllable names more quickly, making training easier. Longer names can be confusing to some pets, especially if it is pronounced differently by different people. This can make consistent obedience tricky. (I will say that even though Pinky has a short name, it hasn’t helped either of us in regards to education….but that is a story for another post).

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If you have been thinking and thinking and haven’t come up with just the right name for your new best friend, there are some fun online resources to help you. You can google things such as popular baby names or how to name your pet and find some good suggestions. The American Kennel Club lists the top 150 dog names inspired by the thousands of dogs that have participated in their events. Another fun site is They have a variety of categories to choose from such as movie dog names, sports names, TV dog names, funny dog names and tough dog names.

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According to Pinky, when you find the right name you will know it. Happy hunting!


Let’s Talk Teeth!

I know many of you might be wondering why Pinky’s tongue is always sticking out. She’s not hot, tired or thirsty. What she is, is toothless. Yep, there is nothing in there but gums! Take a look for yourself. Due to neglect in her previous life, every tooth in her little mouth was decayed. So before she came to live with me, the vet anesthetized her and removed them all. Once the infection was cleared up and her gums healed, she felt better than she had in years and her overall health quickly improved. Essentially, her tongue falls out of her mouth, because there is nothing to hold it in, but we have decided it just adds an extra layer of charm. It does get a little dry at night and has gotten stuck to the blanket, but we keep a teacup of water by the bed for easy detachment. Thankfully, she has never licked a flagpole in winter!

So let’s talk teeth!!

Is your best friend experiencing the heartbreak of halitosis, the bad breath blues and the sadness of stinky teeth? Unless they have just eaten something dubious out in the yard, the most likely cause is dental problems. February is National Pet Dental Care Month and we are celebrating. Actually, Pinky doesn’t care at all since the days of teeth are long since gone for her, but she will join in if there is cake.

We have all had an abscessed or broken tooth at one point or another and know how excruciating it is. Imagine having a number of them with no way to tell anyone. That is what many of our furry family members could be experiencing and we might not even realize it. Fortunately, the smart people at the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) have all the facts and we have taken a few notes:

Watch out for signs of periodontal disease. They include:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Strange chewing, drooling or dropping of food
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Pain or bleeding around the mouth.
  • Swelling in areas around the mouth.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to go to the vet. They are trained to stick their hands in the mouth of a Rottweiler. I, for one, am not! He/She may recommend a thorough cleaning and treatment under anesthesia. This allows them to see things up close and personal and is more comfortable for your pet. If it is suggested, take their advice and do it. Periodontal disease can be dangerous as well as painful for your pet. It doesn’t just affect the mouth, it can cause changes in their kidney, liver or heart. Your vet can also instruct you on how to properly brush your pet’s teeth to maintain oral health (cat people, I wish you luck with that. Let me know how it goes).

Thanks for checking out our very first blog post! We are glad your here, so let’s celebrate Pet Dental Health Month. Hey, any excuse for a party!