PETS, Australia — Chia pet owner Peter Riley is among a growing number of people who are choosing names to help distinguish themselves in a country where names have become increasingly difficult to pronounce.
“I always wanted to have a name that was easy to pronounce, but still had some of the charm,” he said.
Riley, who lives in Australia’s Sunshine Coast, has named his two chia pups after his own children.
“We have a little bit of a history with them, and it is just fun to play with them,” he joked.
Riley said he is one of many people who, in recent years, have taken their chia names from his children’s names.
He said it’s a way to help his children know who they are and what they have become.
“You don’t want them to feel like they are a weirdo, you want them really to be the cool kids,” he told ABC News.
Riley also has a “pup name” for his two dogs, which he calls Chia, and a pet name for his wife, Chia-Poo.
“It is a little harder to pronounce now that I have them, but I’m not going to change it for them,” Riley said.
He has tried to keep his chia name, Chiao, as “the same as it was when they were young.”
But Riley has recently started to look to his own kids for his chias, and the name Chia has changed quite a bit since he and his children were kids.
“My wife is actually the one who has gone through the whole process with me,” he explained.
“She’s a big fan of the chia and it’s been so great for me.”
Chia pets named after Australian people source ABC NEWS “There are now a lot of Australian people who will have a chia named after them,” said Riley, adding that he’s noticed an increase in the number of Australians who have adopted chia as pets.
Riley says he has adopted at least 10 chia pets from overseas.
“If I see a pet with a chi name, I am not going anywhere with it,” he added.
The ABC has contacted Australian pet owner Pet Name Search and Pet Name Quiz for comment.
Australian pet owners have been known to change pet names after their pets are born Source ABC News’ Peter Riley, Pet Name search and Pet name quiz