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Do Cats Miss Their Owners? 5 Signs Your Cat Missed You

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Liz Coleman

Do Cats Miss Their Owners? 5 Signs Your Cat Missed You

I can’t speak for every cat out there, but I can say rather conclusively that my own cat, Floyd, misses me when I’m away. Or at least he sure acts like he does. Even a brief trip to get groceries is followed up with an eager greeting at the door and nonstop, playful head butts when I finally sit down to show him some attention.

His actions speak volumes, at least to me. And yet, the question still stands—are my cat’s actions indicative of true attachment?  Does he actually miss me the way I miss him?


For those of us who feel guilty when we leave our cats alone for a few extra hours of overtime, this is a majorly pressing question. Here’s what we actually know about cats missing us.

Do cats miss their owners?


It’s easy to assign human emotions to our pets. Of course, we miss them when we’ve gone on an extended vacation. But is that feeling mutual? Do our cats even notice our absence? Cat behavior is tricky to decode, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

Research has experts divided on the matter. Some studies have shown that yes, cats do experience separation anxiety, while other studies support the opposite position.

A 2015 study conducted at the University of Lincoln brings us this conclusion: cats don’t need humans to feel protected the way that dogs do. The study maintains that while cats are still affectionate animals capable of forming profound human-pet relationships, they are ultimately autonomous creatures. In short—cats don’t need us to survive. And they are fully aware of this fact.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have a special bond with your cat. Cats are affectionate creatures—they just vary in their requirement for human attention. Some cats enjoy their alone time, while others prefer the constant company of their human family.

But some experts disagree with the Lincoln study. According to Tim Link, animal expert and President of Wagging Tails, cats do, in fact, suffer from separation anxiety. Just like dogs, they’re apprehensive when we leave the house, and they want reassurance that we’ll return at the pre-arranged hour.

Tim Link also confirms the fact that all cats are different, and some will handle separation better than others.

Dr. Elizabeth Stelow, Chief of Animal Behavior Services at the University of California, Davis, told The Dodo:  “Cats exist along a continuum from very aloof and unattached to very interactive and demanding. Is any region on that spectrum indicative of true attachment? That’s the million-dollar question.”

So the jury is still out on the matter. But whether or not your cat misses you the way a dog would, she definitely still desires your love and attention.

Signs that your cat missed you


Feline behavior is mysterious. While a dog’s behavior will clearly indicate how he’s feeling, a cat is a bit more subtle in her approach.

So, what kind of evidence should you look for if you think your cat is under stress when you leave? Here are some signs that your cat missed you.

1. Extra purring and stretching when you get home

study from the Public Library of Science (PLOS) observed how cats behave when left for a brief 30 minutes vs. several hours. The cats left alone longer reacted by purring and stretching more when reunited with their owners. According to the study, this affectionate behavior suggests that your cat is happy when you return home.

2. Strong desire for affection upon your return

A cat’s expression of affection is more subtle than a dog’s, so pay attention. If your cat is permanently attached to your side, following you from room to room, and rubbing up against your legs, it’s his way of saying: I love you, I missed you—pay attention to me!

3. Agitation or stress when you return

Have you noticed a change in your cat’s attitude or demeanor? Maybe she’s not as nice as she used to be, or maybe she’s developed clingy behaviors and a crying habit. Some people attribute these negative reactions to feline separation anxiety.

4.  Destructive behavior

A stressed-out kitty can develop a nasty habit of getting into things, especially if she’s bored. Some lonely cats will make a mess while you’re gone, and an anxious cat may even urinate outside of her litter box.

5. Physical illness

In some extreme cases, people have reported that their cat got physically sick with worry while they were away. Even when a familiar person came to check on their cat, the behavior persisted, suggesting the cat actually missed her owner, specifically.

How to deal with your cat’s separation anxiety


Of course, becoming a hermit in your own home is not an option. You’ll need to help your cat learn ways to cope with being alone. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Toys, Toys, Toys. Leave out plenty of interactive toys, scratching posts, and puzzle feeders for your cat. It’s also a good idea to enrich his environment with cat trees and perches positioned so that he can pass the hours by bird-watching.

2. Creature Comforts. Before you leave, fill your cat’s food dish, refresh his water, and clean out his litter box. These little things will make your cat more comfortable and content to be alone for a longer period.

3. Hire a Cat-Sitter. You can break up your cat’s day by asking someone you trust to drop-in and check on her. Hiring a professional cat-sitter is always an option. Your sitter can refresh food and water bowls, scoop out kitty litter, and interact with your cat.

4. Stick to a Routine. Since altering your cat’s routine can confuse and scare her, try to keep your schedule as predictable as possible. If you’re constantly coming and going at different intervals throughout the day, your cat might worry about the uncertainty of your return.

Cats are certainly a mystery. We can’t get inside their adorable feline heads, and we’ll never know exactly how they experience the world. But in the end, that’s one of the things we love about them.

This simple fact remains: whether your cat is stuck to you like glue, or appears unphased by your comings and goings—you know the two of you have a special bond.

Need Cat-Sitting?

Did you know that offers professional cat-sitting services? Find your cat’s perfect match, right from your phone—and then hit the road happy.

Featured image via Unsplash

Can Dogs Get the Coronavirus? What Owners Need to Know


Can Dogs Get the Coronavirus? What Owners Need to Know

  •  Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

A new virus called 2019-nCoV is making headlines around the world. As of today, 7,711 cases have been reported in China, including 170 deaths, and 5 cases have been reported in the US with no fatalities.

Can my dog get the coronavirus?

Fortunately, there is no evidence that 2019-nCoV can be shared between people and our dogs, cats, or other companion animals. Of the many worries that a new virus can bring up, you can set aside this particular worry.


Here at Rover, we want to make sure that you have up-to-date information about this new infectious disease and what it means for you and your companion animals.

Am I at risk for 2019-nCoV coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that you are only at risk of infection if you have travelled to China in the last 14 days or you have been in close contact with someone who has. If so, and you develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, contact your health provider for assistance.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) belong to a large family of about 40 viruses that are named for their crown-shaped structure. Seven of these varieties can infect humans. We have all had a coronavirus infection in our lives—these viruses cause illnesses that range from mild (the common cold, intestinal upset) to severe (SARS, MERS). Some coronaviruses are specialized on a single type of animal, including dogs (canine coronaviruses) and cats (feline coronaviruses).


How dangerous is the new coronavirus?

To date, the cases of 2019-nCoV that have been investigated have ranged from mild illness to people being severely ill and dying. “The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear,” the CDC explains,  The related viruses SARS and MERS both caused severe illness in people, and the behavior of those viruses is helping public health researchers to predict the future behavior of 2019-nCoV.

For some perspective, the flu (which is not in the coronavirus family) is more dangerous and deadly than coronavirus. The CDC reports that this year in the US, approximately 15 million people have gotten the flu, leading to more than 8,000 deaths.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus in humans?

According to the CDC, patients with 2019-nCoV have experienced mild to severe respiratory symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

On the CDC website, they explain, “CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.”

What does it mean that the virus is new?

The virus 2019-nCoV is considered new because it had not been identified in humans (or any other species) prior to December 2019. The virus was identified after several people in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China showed symptoms of respiratory illness. Public health researchers have concluded that the source of the new virus is bats, and that it was able to jump from its bat host to a human host in a host shift event.

Shifting between animal hosts is typical of coronaviruses; they are classified as zoonotic viruses precisely because of this ability to host shift between animals. For example, scientists first proposed that that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. More recent evidence indicates that like 2019-nCoV, both SARS and MERS originated in bats.

Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet, and may never, infect humans.

Can humans give dogs the 2019-nCoV coronavirus?

Not that we know of. There are no documented cases of dogs, cats, or any other domestic animals getting 2019-nCov or transmitting it to people.

The CDC offers this guidance for people who live with animals:

“While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. CDC recommends that people traveling to China avoid animals both live and dead, but there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus.

Do not handle pets or other animals while sick. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with 2019-nCoV, several types of coronaviruses can cause illness in animals and spread between animals and people. Until we know more, avoid contact with animals and wear a facemask if you must be around animals or care for a pet.”

Can dogs give humans the coronavirus?

No. As far as we know, dogs do not become infected with 2019-nCoV or spread the virus to people or other animals. According to my research, there are no examples of any coronaviruses being passed between dogs and people. (Although now old news, SARS, the breakthrough coronavirus of 2003, could be passed between humans and domestic cats in laboratory tests).

Dogs can spread some other viruses to people, including rabies and norovirus (aka stomach flu), but there is no evidence that 2019-nCoV can move between people and our pets.

What are the symptoms of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus in dogs?

Dogs cannot get the 2019-nCoV coronoavirus, as far as scientists know. Based on what we know about other coronaviruses, it is unlikely that the virus is able to infect both dogs and humans. Because 2019-nCoV is so new, there is a lot we don’t know about it yet.

Wait… I heard that dogs CAN get coronavirus.

Dogs cannot get 2019-nCoV, according to current scientific knowledge of the virus.

There are about 40 types of coronavirus and three of these other viruses can infect dogs—these are called Canine Coronaviruses. The “CC” in their names means “canine caronavirus”: CCoV I, CCoV II, and CRCoV (canine respiratory coronavirus). These viruses are in the same family as 2019-nCoV, but the symptoms are generally mild and they do not infect humans.

Facts about CCoV — canine coronavirus

As I mentioned, the family of coronaviruses is very large, and many types of animals have their own specific types of coronaviruses, including cats, rabbits, ferrets, cows, turkeys, and pigs. Dogs are no exception.

Do you need to worry about canine coronavirus?

No. In fact, there is a Canine coronavirus vaccine available, but most vets follow the guidance of American Animal Hospital Association, which does not recommend it for dogs because the virus is so mild. Also, dogs old enough to receive the vaccine may be too old to be at risk of infection, which makes it, ahem, a mutt point.

Still worried? Here’s the scoop on canine coronaviruses

There are three types of canine coronaviruses known to veterinary science. Two very similar viruses, CCoV types I and II, cause diarrhea. The third canine coronavirus, CRCoV, causes respiratory problems; it is considered part of the “kennel cough complex” of respiratory infections.

More than 50% of dogs tested in US studies have antibodies to CRCoV, which indicates that they were exposed to the virus earlier in their lives. There is no vaccine for CRCoV, which spreads through saliva and sneezes like the common cold. The best prevention is to vaccinate your dog for other respiratory infections in order to avoid co-infection, and to isolate dogs with kennel cough until symptoms subside.

CCoV types I and II, the diarrhea strains, spread from one dog to another through saliva and feces. So if your dog has a taste for turd treats, he’s more likely to get exposed.  The virus can remain active in dog feces for long periods, particularly when frozen outdoors.

But CCoV is usually very mild and your dog may not show any symptoms at all. Most dogs that get CCoV are younger than 6 weeks of age, and the symptoms clear up on their own with no special treatment.

However, if you have puppies under 6 weeks of age, ask your vet for recommendations to keep your pups from coming into contact with CCoV. The virus can be dangerous when it co-occurs with parvovirus and other infections, and an extremely rare strain of CCoV was recently found to be fatal in puppies that were housed in high-density kennels.

How will I know if my dog has CCoV?

If your dog is older than six weeks, its very unlikely (possibly even unprecedented) that she will become infected with CCoV.

Puppies exposed to the virus develop symptoms 3-5 days after exposure.

The Merck Veterinary Manual lists these signs of canine coronavirus infection in dogs:

  • Depression
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Acute diarrhea
  • Yellow to orange diarrhea varying from soft to watery (may also contain blood)
  • Fever (occasionally)

Because the virus is highly contagious, puppies that are in frequent contact will other dogs are at the highest risk for infection. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual dogs with these risk factors are more likely to get CCoV:

  • Dogs younger than 6 weeks
  • Dogs that come from shelters, rescue centers, breeding kennels, or pet stores
  • Boarding at a kennel or doggie daycare
  • Visiting groomers, dog parks, or engaging with other dogs on a daily basis
  • Dogs that live in multiple pet homes

More on dog health

9 Tips for Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Melissa Allen

9 Tips for Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

  •  Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

Imagine for a moment what your mouth would be like if you never brushed your teeth. Not a very pleasant picture, is it? Well, your cat’s mouth isn’t all that different from yours, which is why the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends taking your cat to the vet for an annual dental check up and brushing their teeth at least two times per week (ideally, once per day).

Here are the best tips for successfully brushing a cat’s teeth as well as a step-by-step guide.


Why Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth Is Important


According to VCA Hospitals, cats need daily dental care to help prevent plaque and tartar buildup. If allowed to accumulate, plaque and tartar can lead to uncomfortable tooth decay and gum disease (PetMD). Advanced periodontal disease can lead to other more serious health problems like kidney, liver, and heart disease, warns AVMA.

In addition to being vital to your cat’s overall health, daily dental care for your cat has financial benefits for you. By brushing their teeth regularly, writes AVMA, you can cut down on periodontal visits to the veterinary dentist and decrease the chances of your cat needing expensive dental surgery.

Tips for Brushing Cat Teeth

Cats are often more resistant to having their teeth brushed than dogs, so taking measures to make the experience more comfortable for them will make it easier on you, too.

Here are some tips for helping your cat accept dental care as part of their normal routine.

  1. Start brushing when they’re young, recommends Banfield Pet Hospital. As with most habits, a dental care regimen is easier to establish early on in your cat’s life. That’s not to say older cats can’t learn—it just might take a little more time and coaxing.
  2. Ease into it. Before putting a brush in your cat’s mouth, try dipping your finger in tuna water (yum, if you’re cat) and rubbing the insides of their lips and the outsides of their teeth for short periods of time (PetMD). This will help your cat get used to having their mouth touched.
  3. Get comfortable. Find a place that’s relaxing for you and your cat, like a couch where you both like to snuggle. If you’re worried about dripping water or toothpaste, just put a towel or plastic bin underneath you.
  4. Create positive associations. After brushing, give your cat a yummy treat or some snuggles. You want them to think of teeth brushing as a generally enjoyable experience.
  5. Make sure your cat’s nails are trimmed. This is more for your sake so your cat doesn’t try to wriggle out of your arms and accidentally scratch you.
  6. Be patient. Your cat might not let you brush their entire mouth in one sitting. That’s okay. Brushing some teeth is better than brushing none. Just try to get the rest of the teeth next time.
  7. Use pet-friendly toothpaste. Human toothpaste, baking soda, and salt can be toxic to cats, warns Banfield. Toothpaste formulated for pets comes in flavors like poultry and malt, and is safe for digestion.
  8. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles designed for cats or a child’s toothbrush, Banfield recommends. An adult toothbrush will be too large and abrasive for your cat’s mouth. You can also wrap your finger in gauze.
  9. Ask your vet about the best dental products for your cat. Lots of products market themselves as beneficial to feline dental health, but your vet is the best source of what’s truly good for your cat.

How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth


  1. Find a quiet, peaceful place and put your cat on your lap. Take a minute or two just to pet them.
  2. You can let your cat try a lick of the toothpaste first to get used to the taste.
  3. Gently tip back your cat’s head and pull up their lips to expose their teeth.
  4. Banfield recommends brushing the outsides of the teeth with slow, soft motions, being careful to get the molars at the back of the mouth. There’s no need to brush the insides of the teeth as cats lick away most of the tartar and plaque that gets stuck there anyways, says VCA Hospitals.
  5. Once you’re done, give your cat some extra cuddles, if they’re still willing to be on your lap (this reward goes both ways). A treat works, too.

By taking the time to brush your cat’s teeth, you’re helping ensure a healthier more comfortable existence for them. And when you consider all the ways your cat helps improve your health, this seems like a pretty fair trade. Once they’re used to the process, brushing your cat’s teeth will just be one more way for you two to bond.

Further Reading

Featured Image: Pixabay

Why Do Dogs Fart So Much?

CARING FOR YOUR DOG | By Chona Kasinger

Why Do Dogs Fart So Much?

  •  Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

Even before the picture book Walter the Farting Dog became a smash hit among young and old alike, dog lovers knew. Dog farts are a fact of (dog parenting) life. There’s no mistaking one, either—silent but deadly or loud and proud, they’re bound to happen. But how much is too much?

Dogs need to fart, just like humans, which means a certain amount of passing gas is perfectly normal. That said, some of the same foods and bacteria that affect we can affect the digestive tract of man’s best friend.


Read on for the causes of canine flatulence and some ideas for reducing it. Your friends, your pet sitter (and probably your dog!) will thank you.

Some dog breeds are gassy

All dogs fart, but certain breeds are more predisposed to flatulence—we’re looking at you, boxersbulldogs, and pugs.

Why is your dog farting so much? The answer might be right in front of your nose: It’s actually their nose! Brachycephalic dogs, which is the technical term for dogs with short or flat faces, take in more air when eating and drinking.

When air comes in, it must also come out… if you catch our drift.


Dog food and gas

Table food

If you’re feeding your dog scraps off your plate at dinner, you may be perpetuating your dog’s toots without even realizing it. Human foods known to cause flatulence in dogs include:

  • soybeans
  • peas
  • beans
  • milk products
  • high-fat foods
  • fruits
  • sugary items
  • spicy foods

These foods are especially problematic for digestion in large quantities. A small nibble of fried tofu isn’t likely to hurt, in other words, but eating the whole block, well, that’s going to cause some epic farting in the near future.

The same could be said for a nibble of cheese versus an entire loaf of sharp cheddar, which my dog definitely ate once. Don’t worry, he’s just fine, though his belly wasn’t happy that night.

Ingredient intolerance

If your dog is lactose intolerant, then consuming dairy products will lead to indigestion, loose stool, and yes, gas. Lactose intolerance means that your dog has difficulty digesting lactose, but it is not the same thing as a true dairy allergy. In that case, symptoms are not likely to be digestive, but rather show up in the form of itchy skin and a dull, flaky coat.

However, dairy isn’t the only culprit when it comes to food intolerance. Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD says, “many chronic gas-passers are merely exhibiting a mild intolerance to one or more ingredients in their diets.” While this could be due to difficulty digesting a specific protein, it’s more likely thanks to carb-heavy fillers in dog food, like corn, wheat, or soy.

As the ASPCA notes, “low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas.”

The carbs, or “resistant starches,” that are not digested in the small intestine will pass along to the large bowel and lead to bacterial fermentation. That, in turn, causes gas.

“Low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas.” – ASPCA

Sneaky additives

But the ingredients’ question goes beyond carbs. Certain additives in commercial dog food are suspected to cause tummy trouble in pets. These include binding agents like carrageenan. This additive, used often in wet (canned) foods, has been shown to cause inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, in some test subjects.

This is more commonly accepted in the holistic veterinary community than the mainstream one, but it’s worth investigating if your dog’s digestive troubles don’t seem to respond to other dietary changes.

If you’re concerned, check the label of your dog’s wet food for carrageenan. Certain higher-end brands, like Weruva, specifically avoid that ingredient.

Eating too fast

If your dog tends to gobble up his dinner in no time flat, this could be contributing to your dog’s flatulence. The same is true for humans, as a matter of fact. Just why does all that chomping lead to post-prandial tooting? The phenomenon is called aerophagia, or air entering the stomach while eating or drinking, and it’s one major cause of gas.

Try placing a tennis ball in the middle of your dog’s dish to slow him down.

To counter this, you can try placing a tennis ball in the middle of your dog’s dish to slow him down. Puzzle feeders like this popular interactive bowl can also help to pace your dog, not to mention add a little challenge to dinner.

How can I stop my dog from farting so much?

The top three strategies for reducing flatulence in your dog are most effective in combination.

  • Switching your dog’s diet
  • Exercise
  • Prebiotics and probiotics
  • Additives like pumpkin (for digestion) or charcoal dog treats

Experts agree that diet is the number one cause of gas, so it’s the first place to look when you’re trying to alleviate your dog’s tummy troubles. Consult with your vet before making a switch, and do your research. Look beyond marketing hype to discover what’s really on the label, and look for less processed ingredients, fewer carbs, and whole, quality proteins.

Exercise helps before or after a meal because it gets your dog’s whole body moving, including the digestive tract. Researchers note that dogs who exercise more have less gas. They acknowledge that the research doesn’t recommend a certain time of day for that exercise. I like to go after dinner, as a good walk also helps us both sleep better.

Prebiotics and probiotics designed for dogs may help. These should only be given in consultation with your vet; the idea is that these supplements help to correct and manage the microflora in your dog’s gut. Some research has shown good results in reducing canine flatulence with a probiotic treatment. Many foods now boast added pre- and probiotics, as well.

Lastly, there’s good evidence to support that activated charcoal (yes, charcoal!) reduces the smell of your dog’s gas. You can give it as a supplement or purchase treats made with it.

These treats are well-reviewed to that end (note, they aren’t grain-free).

The same study also used yucca schidigera and zinc acetate to reduce the odor of dog gas with good success.

None of the supplements actually reduced the number of farts, but they did reduce the production of hydrogen sulfide, which causes the stinkiest farts.

While the dry activated charcoal is commercially available, the other two would need to be prescribed by your vet.

When to be concerned

Canine flatulence that’s persistent and unrelenting could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Ailments like inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal parasites could be to blame if you’re beginning to feel like you need a gas mask 24/7. Don’t ignore any changes in your dog’s flatulence level, as they could be an indicator of an underlying issue.

Lastly, if your dog’s gas is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, or any other unusual symptoms, consult with your vet.

The bottom line

Gas is normal! But if it’s too much, too often, look to your dog’s diet first. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, stay away from table scraps, and keep an eye on unusual symptoms that go beyond farting.

Remember Walter the Farting Dog? His toots make him a hero (and led to a hugely successful book series). Maybe your dog’s gas is actually a superpower!

And at any rate, it doesn’t make them any less loveable.

Further reading


Hero image via Flickr/MythicSeabass

The Art of Naming a Cat: True Stories from Cat People and Cat Experts

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Rover Staff
November 21, 2019

The Art of Naming a Cat: True Stories from Cat People and Cat Experts

What’s in a name? Whether you call your cat Fluffy or Fido or Thomas, your cat’s name can be whimsical, practical, funny, and charming. It can reflect their personality but, oftentimes, the cat’s name is a greater reflection of the human naming them than the cat itself.


Hemingway called his six-toed cat Snowball; Theodore Roosevelt had a cat named Slippers. Abraham Lincoln had two cats, Tabby and Dixie, and was so fond of cats, he’d take in strays. (He also once reportedly said, “Dixie is smarter than my whole cabinet! And furthermore, she doesn’t talk back!”)


In my call for cat owners’ favorite cat names, I got some straightforward monikers — Simon, Oliver, Charlie. But there were many creative names with very elaborate backstories: Big Big Boy, so named because he was over 20 pounds, or Smokey, found in the walls, dusty and smoke-colored; a few famously named kitties, like David Bowie, and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust (last name, Shazam), Ozzy (like Osbourne), and Bugsy and Dudley (like Moore), as well as Laszlo (for Victor Laszlo and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.)

Some of my favorites had a fictional, extremely imaginative backstory: Vesper Martini von Purrstenberg: “I wanted her to have a ridiculous, dramatic name conveying a life of luxury, which she does indeed enjoy,” explained her owner Rachel.

Anoushka, who was renamed from her original moniker, Lady, was also in need of something more fitting: “Though she truly was all that and a ball of catnip, she was a Russian Blue and she needed a more elegant, suiting name,” says her owner Georgette. “She was named for a brief early character in The Master and Margarita, a young maiden who spilled sunflower oil on the train tracks, causing a derailment.”

Then there’s the less fussy, but equally charming names of Rumble and Fur R. E:  “Rumble for the LOUD purring that sounds like a truck running in the living room, and Fur R. E. Is pronounced like the sports car [Ferrari],” explained their owner, Lannie.

To be sure, these are all more clever than the most common cat names, which are just fine, perfectly fine!

The most popular cat names

For boy cats: Oliver, Leo, Charlie, Milo, and Max. For girl cats: Luna, Chloe, Bella, Lucy, Lily. (Luna, for some reason, was extremely popular in recent years, the reasons for which we tried to dissect).

If you notice something in common about all these names except for “Max,” they are all more than one syllable.

“Shorter words/sounds are likely easier to understand—the message is clearer!” says Dr. Mikel Delgado, a cat behaviorist and researcher, and co-author of the book Total Cat Mojo. Two syllables, though, help cats hone in on their names.

Another animal expert, Dr. Roger Welton, author of The Man in the White Coat and the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital, says that two syllables and words with “ee” and “ck” sounds resonate more strongly with both dogs and cats. “Having a “ck” sound,” he says, “is very recognizable to dogs and cats from an auditory standpoint.”

Naming cats brings us closer

“When we give our pet’s names, we are recognizing that they are an individual, and feel more connected to them. Just as we use names with people we interact with—it is part of what builds a relationship with another individual (whether cat, dog, human, etc),” Delgado says.

And even if you adopt a cat from someone, you may not want to change their title, because cats recognize their names says Scientific Reports, which conducted an experiment using cohabiting cats and “café cats.”

As the researchers noted, though cats have cohabited with humans since about 9,500 years ago, “their history of cohabitation with humans is shorter than that of dogs,”  and they have not been studied as much as their canine counterparts. But there are definite ways cats communicate with humans through vocalizations and purring.

They write: “These facts clearly indicate that domestic cats have developed the ability to communicate with humans and frequently do so … this inter-species communicative ability is descended from intra-species communicative ability.”

While cats don’t stare at you when they are hungry (OK, some do), the researchers found “that cats show social referencing behaviour (gazing at a human face) when exposed to a potentially frightening object, and to some extent cats changed their behaviour depending on the facial expression of their owner (positive or negative).”

So yes, your cat is talking to you and understands you.

Both sets of cats in the study heard four general nouns spoken by the same people as well as their own name. Even when an unknown person said their name, they knew it.

In extremely science-y speak: “These cats discriminated their own names from general nouns even when unfamiliar persons uttered them. These results indicate that cats are able to discriminate their own names from other words.”

Ok, but I want to change the cat’s name

I named my two kitties (both black and white tuxedo cats) Endora and Esmerelda, after the two witches in Bewitched. It seemed like a clever idea—they matched!

But years later, Endora was adopted after struggling with her sister cat and renamed as Mugsy. She’s adjusted to it just fine.

In retrospect, the science might caution against renaming the cat, but Delgado says: “I personally think that animals tend to respond more to our tone of voice (at least initially) than to a specific name. Many of us call cats by several cute nicknames, so I don’t think that changing a cat’s name or calling them a nickname is inherently problematic.”

Sally, who has been the owner of many greatly named cats, including Flora, Fauna, Pasch, George, and Murphy, says, “The inevitable nicknames are always fun. Fat Bastard, Love Bug, Fluffbutt, Mister Whiskers, and so on.”

Nicknames are cute but don’t go overboard

“Over time, our pets learn to associate their name with certain things—like attention, or food,” says Delgado. “You can help your cat learn their name faster by NOT using tons of nicknames—if you are inconsistent about using the same name when you are speaking to them, they may not always know that you are speaking to them.”

Many of the owners who adopted cats felt that the pedestrian names they came with didn’t fit their personality. Rachel’s Vesper Martini von Purrstenberg was “Precious at the pound and it took about a week for her true name to reveal itself. She was clearly much too sassy to be called Precious.”

Some of the most famous cats didn’t always use their real name: For instance, the late Grumpy Cat only became Grumpy Cat after an image of the infamous frown went viral; her real name was Tartar Sauce.

Are there names to avoid giving a cat?

Besides the short-length rule, Delgado says, “We don’t know whether names harm cats or affect our perception of them. I do think that words matter in how we think about others, so I would suggest NOT giving your cat a “mean” name or a name that implies they are dangerous, even if it seems funny to you now! I personally like cute names for cats, but I know lots of cats with very human names, and they seem to be perfectly happy.”

Just maybe don’t name him Charles Manson. Marilyn Manson, yes; Charles Manson, no.

If you can, let them choose their own name

It sounds weird, and maybe it is. Or maybe, they know more about themselves than we have yet to understand.

Betsy let her late cat choose her own moniker:  “I put a lot of names on index cards, and set them in a circle, put her in the middle and let her choose. Calpurnia, R.I.P..”

Why Does My Cat Keep Licking Me?

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Zibby Wilder

Why Does My Cat Keep Licking Me?

Dogs are known for their propensity to show love by giving you a good slurp. Cats, not so much. It’s not often that our feline friends lick things other than themselves and each other, so what does it mean if your cat is–or has recently become–a “licker”?

While getting a little love from our furry companions is generally a nice thing, excessive licking can be tiresome and sometimes even painful. Those little pink tongues are cute but they’re covered with barbs—like you’re getting kissed by a sanding machine. Curious why it happens? Here’s why cats lick and why yours may be licking you.


Why cats lick

According to experts at Cat Behavior Associates, licking serves many functions for cats including, but not limited to:

Eating: licking is how cats historically get meat off the tasty bones of their prey.

Cleaning: this includes coat maintenance, removing scents after a meal, cleaning other kitties, and for cats with kittens, help with elimination.

Scent: all grooming (group grooming) helps create a familiar scent to a cat colony.

Health: grooming is a way to keep cool, remove external parasites such as fleas, and a method of stress relief.

As for why your cat may be licking you, Marci Koski, a certified feline behavior and training consultant and owner of Feline Behavior Solutions in Washington State, tells PetMD that it’s considered positive. “I usually take my cats’ licking as a compliment,” she says.

Aside from themselves and members of their feline families, common materials cats lick includes cotton, plastic, bedding, and rubber.

Why your cat is licking you

Overall, there are four general reasons why cats lick their people:

1. They need attention

If your kitty’s licking is a new behavior or has become excessive, it’s probably a symptom of boredom or anxiety. Because licking is a soothing thing for cats, they may use it to self-soothe in the event of stressors such as a change in routine or a new family member (both the human and feline kind).

Even if there are no actual reasons you can think of for your kitty to be stressed, help take their mind off it by engaging in interactive play or by grooming your kitty with a brush. This can get their minds off the licking and also serve as quality bonding time, something the two of you can never have enough of.

2. You need to be “cleaned”

Not that you’re dirty or anything! Cleaning is a bonding activity for kitties, and if you have more than one you may see them frequently grooming one another—and that can include you. “Within a group of cats living together, there is typically a designated ‘allo-groomer,’ which is a cat that licks and grooms the other cats in the group,” Koski points out to PetMD. When your cat licks you, it may be your cat trying to include you as part of their family group.

3. You taste yummy

Did you make a tuna fish sandwich for lunch? If you have good smells on you, your kitty might just be wanting to partake. Lotions, lip balms, perfumes or even just extra-salty skin from a workout can all attract a kitty. With scents, synthetic chemicals and essential oils are not good for kitties to ingest. If you suspect your cat is licking scented skin products, redirect the behavior.

4. You are loved

Frequently, licking is associated with nursing behavior, where your cat suckles and makes dough on you. This means your cat feels safe with you and wants to reinforce your bond.

But what if your cat is licking you too much?

If you like getting kisses here and there, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging your kitty to do so. If you don’t like all the licking, it’s a pretty easy behavior to stop through redirection, distraction, and enrichment. Pet Health Network recommends gently redirecting the licking to something else instead of shooing your cat off.

Consider keeping a little stash of toys at hand and distract your kitty with a little play session when the licking starts. Toys that will absorb your cat’s attention and keep her mind busy are also good options, such as an A.I. toy or interactive treat feeder. Mikel Delgado, a cat behavior expert with Rover, says that puzzle toys exercise both your cat’s mind and their bodies. “Food puzzles can be a great way to prevent boredom, increase exercise, and slow down fast eaters,” she says. “They may also prevent or help solve behavior problems that stem from boredom.”

Truly excessive licking that does not respond to any of these solutions may be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. Some issues, such as pica, can look like licking or sucking but results from your cat may ingesting things she shouldn’t. Check with your veterinarian. Once medical issues are ruled out, consult a cat behaviorist if the behavior continues.

Further reading:

This Is Why Some Dogs Sneeze When They Play

FOR DOG PEOPLE | By Cecily Sailer

This Is Why Some Dogs Sneeze When They Play

Dogs definitely sneeze for the same reasons we do—sometimes, at least.

Environmental irritants like dust certainly cause sneezing, though dogs are less susceptible to allergens like the molds and pollens that typically affect human sinuses.


Dogs will also sneeze violently and frequently if a foreign object, such as a blade of grass, becomes stuck in the nasal passage.

But you may have noticed an odd sort of sneezing in your dog—one that comes right in the middle of a raucous play session with another canine friend.

The Play Sneeze

But why would a dog need to sneeze during a bout of fun and excitement? Do their noses get itchy from all the bouncing around? Is it a defensive tactic to distract the other dog and gain the upper hand?

Dog behavior experts believe this particular sneeze is part of a set of a communication tools dogs use to relate to one another—to signal cooperation, warning, deference, or an invitation to play. The sneeze in this context is a reminder to the playmate that the scrimmage is just play, not a true fight.

You may notice a dog sneeze just as play begins to escalate and become more intense. The sneeze is a cue to the playmate to keep things fun, light, and safe.

The play sneeze is also a sign the dog is having a great time! And it’s definitely fun to watch.

It’s a particular joy watching dogs frolic, chase, and nip at each other. Their energy is remarkable, and their goofy dance with one another is nothing less than delightful. A few random sneezes thrown into the mix only drive up the entertainment value.

When Sneezing Is a Concern

Generally, sneezing in dogs is normal, expected, and yes, pretty cute.

However, if your dog seems to be sneezing more frequently than normal, especially if it’s accompanied by other behavior changes, it could be cause for concern. Less common reasons for canine sneezing include nasal mites, infections, or even tumors. If your dog is experiencing frequent sneezing attacks, it’s a good idea to consult your vet to get to the bottom of it.

For More on How Dogs Communicate

Dogs communicate with us and with each other all the time, though we may not always know how to read their cues. Check out these articles for more on the wide, fascinating world of dog communication:

Learn to Read the Magic of Dog Calming Signals

Dog Speak: Understanding What Your Dog is Telling You

An Illustrated Guide to Dog Behavior

The Most Popular U.S. Pet Names of 2019

Choosing the right pet name is serious business—even if your dog’s name is Peanut Butter. That’s because the perfect name, like the perfect pet sitter, has to fit your pet’s personality (and yours).

Every year at Rover, we delve into our database of over a million pets to determine which names are leading the pack. In the process, we uncover the trends and cultural moments that inspire us.

Read on for the most popular dog names of 2019, plus find name trends and data for cats, dog breeds, and so much more.

And don’t miss this sweet video featuring the stories behind real dog names.


Learn More

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Name rankings byNational – DogsNational – CatsAtlantaAustinBaltimoreBirminghamBostonChicagoDallasDenverDetroitHoustonLos AngelesMiamiMilwaukeeMinneapolisNew York CityOrlandoPhiladelphiaPhoenixPortlandSan DiegoSan FranciscoSan JoseSeattleTampaWashington DC

Top Female Dog Names

  1. Bella
  2. Luna
  3. Lucy
  4. Daisy
  5. Lily
  6. Zoe
  7. Lola
  8. Molly
  9. Sadie
  10. Bailey

Top Male Dog Names

  1. Max
  2. Charlie
  3. Cooper
  4. Buddy
  5. Rocky
  6. Milo
  7. Jack
  8. Bear
  9. Duke
  10. Teddy

See More

Trendsetting Pet Names

Variety and creativity are the new normal for pet names. Don’t be surprised to hear “Fetch, Dumpling!” or “Here, Nebula!” at the dog park (or cat cafe) this year. Hot baby names are tops for puppies and kittens, too. Move over Fido—it’s time for Finn and Fiona.

Top 5 Female Dog Names

Bella, Luna, Lucy, Daisy, and Lily are the happy-go-lucky bunch at the top.

dog names this year that are popular include luna, lily, and molly

Top 5 Male Dog Names

Rocky is new to the top five boys’ list, while the other four are solid canine citizens: Max, Charlie, Cooper, and Buddy.

Top 5 Female Cat Names

Cat moms and dads fell in love with Luna! It soared past Bella, Lily, Lucy, and Kitty.

Top 5 Male Cat Names

Pet parents must be nostalgic for Disney’s Oliver and Company because Oliver is big for boy cats. Leo, Milo, Charlie, and Max round out the top.

Pop Culture Pets

Pet parents love their TV, movies, and music.

Game of Thrones Cat and Dog Names

Game of Thrones wrapped up this year, but our furry friends will carry the torch! Arya even slipped into the top 100 dog names.

Music Names for Dogs and Cats

Musicians inspired creative monikers for our pets, from stylish Lady Gaga to girl-next-door Taylor Swift and iconic Beyonce.

Hot this year: Lizzo (up 100%!) and Cardi B in all variations.

More Movies and TV

New movies and classic franchises alike inspired pet parents in 2019: Genie is up thanks to the Aladdin reboot, while WoodyBuzz Lightyear, and Slinky Dog (new this year!) were on the rise due to Toy Story 4.

Superheroes are especially big for dogs! Okoye is up 250%, Nebula is up 163%, and Black Widow is up 100%. Villains find their way onto the list, too, with Sauron and Bellatrix both up 200%, followed by Thanos and Tywin.

Top Superhero Names for Dogs and Cats

  1. Harley
  2. Loki
  3. Thor
  4. Flash
  5. May
  6. Drax
  7. Ronan
  8. Valkyrie
  9. Mary Jane
  10. Stan

Pets Named for Celebrities and Royals

Celebrity baby names are big for pets: Stormi and Saint are trending way up.

Other rising stars include Keanu (up 93%), Kim (up 47%), Ariana (up 54%) and JLo (up 30%).

Royal pet names are trending with Princess Diana up 200%, Queen Elizabeth up 150%, Archie up 45%, Meghan up 42%, and Charlotte up 24%.

Marijuana Dog Names (Cats, Too)

The weed-craze has swept dog lovers as names like Budder (up 600%), Dank (up 116%), Indica (up 93%), Herb (up 66%) and Kush (up 62%) are all trending upwards.

Food and Wine and Furry Friends, Oh My

From boozy brunch to natural noshing, food trends are serious pet name inspiration this year.

Fun fact: dog names after comforting sweets and baked goods took off in 2019.

Trending Carb Names

  • Cake
  • Croissant
  • Brioche
  • Waffles
  • Cupcake
  • Pancakes

Meanwhile, cat owners are caffeinated. Eight of the top ten drink-themed cat names are coffee-inspired! That includes Mocha, Kona, Latte, Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso, and even Macchiato.

Top 10 Food and Drink Dog Names

  1. Pepper
  2. Ginger
  3. Kona
  4. Oreo
  5. Peanut
  6. Sammy
  7. Cookie
  8. Mocha
  9. Sugar
  10. Biscuit

Top 10 Food and Beverage Names for Cats

  1. Oreo
  2. Pepper
  3. Pumpkin
  4. Sammy
  5. Ginger
  6. Peanut
  7. Cookie
  8. Snickers
  9. Sugar
  10. Mocha

Rover’s Dog Name GeneratorFind the perfect dog name! Tell us your dog’s breed and gender, and we’ll give you three names to choose from: popular, trending, and unique.Get Your Dog’s Name


Top Dog Names by Breed

Unusual Dog Names

How to Name Your Pet

Your Puppy Headquarters

Puppy HQ by Rover

Top 100 U.S. Male Dog Names

  1. Max
  2. Charlie
  3. Cooper
  4. Buddy
  5. Rocky
  6. Milo
  7. Jack
  8. Bear
  9. Duke
  10. Teddy
  11. Oliver
  12. Bentley
  13. Tucker
  14. Beau
  15. Leo
  16. Toby
  17. Jax
  18. Zeus
  19. Winston
  20. Blue
  21. Finn
  22. Louie
  23. Ollie
  24. Murphy
  25. Gus
  26. Moose
  27. Jake
  28. Loki
  29. Dexter
  30. Hank
  31. Bruno
  32. Apollo
  33. Buster
  34. Thor
  35. Bailey
  36. Gunnar
  37. Lucky
  38. Diesel
  39. Harley
  40. Henry
  41. Koda
  42. Jackson
  43. Riley
  44. Ace
  45. Oscar
  46. Chewy
  47. Bandit
  48. Baxter
  49. Scout
  50. Jasper
  51. Maverick
  52. Sam
  53. Cody
  54. Gizmo
  55. Shadow
  56. Simba
  57. Rex
  58. Brody
  59. Tank
  60. Marley
  61. Otis
  62. Remi / Remy
  63. Roscoe
  64. Rocco
  65. Sammy
  66. Cash
  67. Boomer
  68. Prince
  69. Benji
  70. Benny
  71. Copper
  72. Archie
  73. Chance
  74. Ranger
  75. Ziggy
  76. Luke
  77. George
  78. Oreo
  79. Hunter
  80. Rusty
  81. King
  82. Odin
  83. Coco
  84. Frankie
  85. Tyson
  86. Chase
  87. Theo
  88. Romeo
  89. Bruce
  90. Rudy
  91. Zeke
  92. Kobe
  93. Peanut
  94. Joey
  95. Oakley
  96. Chico
  97. Mac
  98. Walter
  99. Brutus
  100. Samson

Top 100 U.S. Female Dog Names

  1. Bella
  2. Luna
  3. Lucy
  4. Daisy
  5. Lily
  6. Zoe
  7. Lola
  8. Molly
  9. Sadie
  10. Bailey
  11. Stella
  12. Maggie
  13. Roxy
  14. Sophie
  15. Chloe
  16. Penny
  17. Coco
  18. Nala
  19. Rosie
  20. Ruby
  21. Gracie
  22. Ellie
  23. Mia
  24. Piper
  25. Callie
  26. Abby
  27. Lexi
  28. Ginger
  29. Lulu
  30. Pepper
  31. Willow
  32. Riley
  33. Millie
  34. Harley
  35. Sasha
  36. Lady
  37. Izzy
  38. Layla
  39. Charlie
  40. Dixie
  41. Maya
  42. Annie
  43. Kona
  44. Hazel
  45. Winnie
  46. Olive
  47. Princess
  48. Emma
  49. Athena
  50. Nova
  51. Belle
  52. Honey
  53. Ella
  54. Marley
  55. Cookie
  56. Maddie
  57. Remi / Remy
  58. Phoebe
  59. Scout
  60. Minnie
  61. Dakota
  62. Holly
  63. Angel
  64. Josie
  65. Leia
  66. Harper
  67. Ava
  68. Missy
  69. Mila
  70. Sugar
  71. Shelby
  72. Poppy
  73. Blue
  74. Mocha
  75. Cleo
  76. Penelope
  77. Ivy
  78. Peanut
  79. Fiona
  80. Xena
  81. Gigi
  82. Sandy
  83. Bonnie
  84. Jasmine
  85. Baby
  86. Macy
  87. Paisley
  88. Shadow
  89. Koda
  90. Pearl
  91. Skye
  92. Delilah
  93. Nina
  94. Trixie
  95. Charlotte
  96. Aspen
  97. Arya
  98. Diamond
  99. Georgia
  100. Dolly

10 Common Dog Breed Misconceptions

We at Rover love dogs of all breeds—purebred or mixed. Though dogs tend to have specific traits, certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert Nicole Ellis shared with us 10 common breed misconceptions.

Any dog can behave well in public spaces, like restaurants, given the proper training and socialization. Getting your dog into an exercise and training regimen as soon as possible will ensure your dog gets the benefit of the best traits available. Socializing to new sounds, sights, people, and pets is key to having a very confident but well-rounded dog.

Dog Breed Myths

Ten beliefs about dogs that just aren’t true!

1. Mastiffs are not friendly or low-key

While they may look intimidating, Mastiffs are really friendly and typically well-behaved dogs in public spaces. Puppies can be active, but Mastiffs do mellow out quickly with a nice walk each day: they’ll be very content snoozing, while you enjoy an outdoor meal. Be prepared to clean up some drool, though.

2. Great Danes aren’t compatible with apartments

Believe it or not, despite their size, great Danes can actually be amazingly relaxed pets. While they may physically take up more space than most breeds, they’re known for being gentle giants. Their loving, calm demeanor makes them perfect for public interaction and apartment living.

3. Greyhounds are high-energy dogs that don’t chill out

People often assume Greyhounds need a lot of exercise due to being known for the track, but they are actually often couch potatoes. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a walk and some outdoor time but they make great house dogs as well.

4. Pitbulls’ jaws lock if they bite

There is a common misconception that pitbulls’ jaws lock, but this is actually not true; their jaws are the same as other dogs. Pitbulls were actually once known as the American family dog and considered nanny dogs to watch over young kids. Their athleticism and strength can lead to a powerful bite, but that’s not due to their jaws locking. Pitbulls make great additions to the family.

5. All small dogs are yappy

As a dog trainer, I work with some small breeds that are more vocal, but that’s not true for all smaller breeds. For example, the Cavalier King Charles, Chinese crested, Japanese chin and Italian greyhound are actually often very quiet dogs.

6. Shelties and miniature collies are the same breed

While Shetland sheepdogs may look like Miniature collies, they are actually different breeds, both recognizable by the American Kennel Club.

7. Poodles won’t impact those with allergies

All animals produce dander, meaning no animal is truly hypoallergenic. Poodles and some other breeds like Bichon Frise, Cavaliers, and Havanese shed much less frequently, which leads to less dander production. These breeds are great for those with allergies to dogs.

8. Small dogs won’t be able to run with you

Though there is a common misconception that small dogs are less likely to join you in your active lifestyle, many small dogs excel at dog sports. Yes, even Pugs can make it around an agility course quite well. Just watch a Toy poodle or Jack Russell terrier navigate an agility course to be surprised.

9. Long-haired dogs need to be shaved in the summer

Many people think that their long-haired dogs must be shaved for the summer to keep them cool, but it will actually do quite the opposite. While it’s okay to give some dogs a summer haircut, a double-coated dog’s fur is actually designed to help heat escape and keep them cool in warmer months.

10. Breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans might turn on their owners

Some breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans are stereotyped to potentially be vicious and turn on their families, but they’re not predispositioned as breeds to do so.

Though they have a big bark, these breeds can be extremely sweet and loyal. With the right socialization and training, they will greet your house guests with lots of love and attention.

To learn more about different traits of popular dog breeds, check out Rover’s dog breed selector tool.

Interested in learning more about services Rover provides?

Dog Boarding | Pet Sitting | Dog Walking | Doggy Day Care | House Sitting

America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds

Ever wonder how your favorite type of dog stacks up against the rest? At Rover, we were curious too, and took a look at dog breed data from over half a million pet parents nationwide to see which breeds reign supreme in America in 2019. We used this data to rank the top 20 most popular dog breeds nationally, and then looked at individual cities to dig up regional differences and showcase the five most beloved breeds in each city that outpaced their national rank. Unsurprisingly, mixed breeds, Labrador retrievers, and Chihuahuas take the top spots both nationally and in most cities across the U.S.Thinking of adopting a new family member? Whether your new pup is a single breed or a mix of five, learning about the best dog breeds for you can help inform your decision.


Beyond the rank

Breed rankings by cityNational

  • #1National Ranking

Mixed Breed

Often hardy and always unique, mixed breed dogs continually top lists of the most popular dog types in America. There’s a mixed pup out there for just about everyone!

  • #2National Ranking

Labrador Retriever

Labs are one of America’s most popular dog breeds. These high-spirited sporting dogs are perfect for people who love spending time outdoors swimming, jogging, or hunting.Learn more

  • #3National Ranking


Looking for a lot of personality in a compact package? Adopt a Chihuahua! They’re ideal dogs for city dwellers, but require training to temper their “big dog” attitudes.Learn more

  • #4National Ranking

Golden Retriever

Intelligence and a friendly disposition make goldens one of America’s most popular dog breeds. These smart pups do well with obedience training and make great hunters.Learn more

  • #5National Ranking

German Shepherd

Intelligent and protective, German shepherds make loyal companions. These dogs bond well with their owners through physical activities like herding, tracking, and agility.Learn more

  • #6National Ranking

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are true terriers: funny, feisty, and braver than their size implies. Known as “the tomboy toy,” Yorkies are also quite affectionate and favorites of city-dwellers worldwide.Learn more

  • #7National Ranking

Shih Tzu

Known as the “little lion dog,” the shih tzu is an outgoing and affectionate breed. Mischievous and playful, you’ll never have a dull moment with a shih tzu around!Learn more

  • #8National Ranking


These spunky pups are full of personality. Ever curious and alert, dachshunds are notoriously stubborn and require patience to train, though the results are totally worth it.Learn more

  • #9National Ranking


Fun-loving and protective of their people, boxers make great companions. Consider a boxer if you’re an active individual looking for a playful, high-energy dog.Learn more

  • #10National Ranking


The goldendoodle is a fairly new crossbreed that’s growing in popularity. They’re known for their teddy bear looks, low-shedding coats, and friendly personalities.Learn more

  • #11National Ranking


From toy to standard sizes, poodles are intelligent, athletic dogs. Bred originally as hunting dogs, these pups especially enjoy retrieving toys, swimming, and long walks or jogs.Learn more

  • #12National Ranking


With their pleading expressions and funny personalities, it’s hard to resist a beagle. They make excellent hunting dogs and tend to be very loyal to their people.Learn more

  • #13National Ranking

Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds are tireless partners and working dogs through and through. This incredibly smart breed makes an excellent companion for experienced dog owners.Learn more

  • #14National Ranking

Siberian Husky

Quite friendly and social, Siberian husky dogs can make great family dogs. They do well with owners who can keep them busy and active on daily walks.Learn more

  • #15National Ranking


Outgoing and affectionate, Maltese dogs make charming companions. Requiring only moderate exercise, these pups can be sweet, if at times stubborn, family pets.Learn more

  • #16National Ranking

American Pit Bull Terrier

With naturally gentle, loyal dispositions, pit bull terriers can make great family pets. This breed responds well to training and are popular obedience and agility competitors.Learn more

  • #17National Ranking


Charming, funny, and mischievous, pugs make loving pets. Small yet solid, they’re the ideal house dog and happy in just about any home—city or country, kids or none.Learn more

  • #18National Ranking

French Bulldog

Stocky like an English bulldog but not as large, Frenchies are great for homes of all sizes. They don’t need a ton of exercise—nice walks and trips to the dog park work well.Learn more

  • #19National Ranking


With their foxy faces and big dog attitudes, Poms command attention wherever they go. They’re also smarter than their cute appearance may imply, mastering tricks with ease.Learn more

  • #20National Ranking

Border Collie

This energetic workaholic is not for the novice dog owner. At the end of a long day, however, they’ll happily snuggle up with their favorite person to celebrate a job well done.Learn more

Learn more

Find the Right Breed for You

Looking to adopt a dog? Congrats! In a survey of over 1,000 dog parents, we found that nearly 80% considered their own lifestyle in the process, including their living situation (50%), family (42%), schedule (39%), and activity level (30%). Though every dog has its own personality and mixed breeds are the most popular, this tool can help you discover which dog breed traits best fit your lifestyle. Answer questions about your preferences and we’ll match you with compatible breeds from Rover’s list of the 50 most popular dog breeds.

Take the quiz

10 Common Dog Breed Misconceptions

We at Rover love dogs of all breeds—purebred or mixed. Though dogs tend to have specific traits with their own personalities, certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert Nicole Ellis shared with us 10 common breed misconceptions to watch out for.

Keep reading

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