Pets' Names: How We Choose Them, How We Use Them, and How to Change Them

The Pawsitive Post in Conversation (Episode 5) with Zazie Todd and Kristi Benson talking about about the names we give our pets.

Kristi Benson (left) and Zazie Todd (right) chatting about how we name pets, how to change a pet's name, and how we use their names

By Zazie Todd PhD

Episode 5 of The Pawsitive Post in Conversation sees Zazie and Kristi talk about the names we give our pets. We chat about how we choose them, what makes a good name, how we use our pets' names, how to change a pet's name, and whether they know their own and each other's names.

As well, we talk about the books the book club is reading right now and our own choices of books we love. (There may be some spoilers in this discussion).

Watch it below or on Youtube


Show Notes

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Pet cats know their fellow cats' names, study shows (Psychology Today)

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy by Zazie Todd

Plenty in Life is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace by Kathy Sdao

Happiness: A Novel by Aminatta Forna

Heroes Month is taking place at the Academy for Dog Trainers in June 2022.  (On Facebook


The books are available from all good bookstores and the Companion Animal Psychology Amazon store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/animalbookclub

Subscribers to The Pawsitive Post got early access to this conversation. 


Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, writes The Pawsitive Post premium newsletter, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

Useful links:

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). She also has gained her PCBC-A credential from the Pet Professional Accreditation Board. She has recently moved to beautiful northern British Columbia, where she will continue to help dog guardians through online teaching and consultations. Kristi is on staff at the Academy for Dog Trainers, helping to shape the next generation of canine professionals. Kristi’s dogs are rescue sled dogs, mostly retired and thoroughly enjoying a good snooze in front of the woodstove.

Contact her through her website and check out her blog, Facebook page, or Twitter for training tips, articles about dogs and training, and more.

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