VET’S VIEW: Think carefully about getting a pet...

LAST week, Battersea Dog’s Home revealed the ‘unluckiest’ names for pets.

Based on the 9,000 animals they rescued last year, they said the commonest dog names were Max, Charlie, Buster, Bailey and Alfie, while the most frequent cat names were Coco, Tigger, Princess, Daisy and Frankie.

I thought I’d check what names were popular in our practice: all the dogs names Battersea gave made it into our top 20 names, but among the cats Coco, Frankie and Princess didn’t feature.

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However, we have more than 3,400 different names for cats, compared with 2,800 for dogs, so I guess cat owners can afford to be a lot more inventive when they do not have to call out the name in public!

Of course, these are popular names anyway, so please don’t worry that you may have jinxed your pet.

However, it got me thinking about the sheer number of pets that have to be rehomed every year.

The Dogs Trust publishes a survey of stray dogs which estimates that more than 100,000 stray dogs were picked up last year.

Of these, only about half were reunited with an owner, and although most of the remainder were re-homed, around 5,000 dogs that were otherwise healthy and not considered dangerous had to be destroyed.

It’s a sobering statistic that should make us all think carefully before taking on the responsibility of a pet.

Dogs in particular require a significant time commitment from their owners, and you need to consider carefully whether the breed’s temperament is suited to your lifestyle.

If you’re not sure, there are many online guides that can help you, and if you’re serious about getting a pet, don’t forget all those stray animals out there.

It would be marvellous if fewer animals had to be destroyed needlessly.

Maybe then we’ll be seeing more animals called Lucky!