By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When deciding to choose a name for your dog or cat, pick one that means something special to you so you can start to create a bond and begin your connection with your new companion in a positive way.

Try to choose a name that’s easy for your pet to hear, pick up and recognize. Choose one that doesn’t sound too similar to another word to avoid any confusion in sound for your pet. A name containing a few syllables always seems to work best. Vowels can be elongated and easily understood. Don’t choose a name with a negative connotation as your energy is easily recognized, extended and sensed naturally; an unpleasant association can easily be carried over to your pet.

Be creative and try the name out on your dog or cat. They will most likely not respond initially as it may take a quite few times for them to make the connection that it pertains directly to them. Never use their name with a verbal correction, but always use it in a positive way and praise and reward any response in return.

If your pet had a previous name before adoption that you’d like to change for the better, you can do so successfully with consistence and patience and by making the association to the new name a very positive and encouraging experience. But if the previous name was easily and successfully accepted by your dog or cat and has no negative association, just keep it easy for them and keep the same name.

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