Can Dogs Eat Catnip? Here’s why it’s worth the risk

You must have heard that cats go wild for catnips. So, if you want to check out how your dog will react after tasting it, then first, you’ll have to know if dogs can eat catnips or not.

Yes, fortunately, dogs can eat catnip and also reap several health benefits from it. Catnip is safe for dogs to consume, and carries nutrients like vitamin C to boost their immune health. Plus, it includes magnesium which is suitable for a dog’s bones and muscles.

However, make sure to use it only as your furry baby’s snack but not as a daily supplement. If you still want to use it daily to help your dog with behavioral or medical issues, then make sure to consult the vet beforehand.

Moving forward, we will also let you know about some effects of catnip on a dog and how you can safely feed it to your pup. Additionally, we will also tell you about a secret alternative to catnip for your puppy. So, get ready and jump in.

What Does Catnip Do To A Dog?

Catnip plays a pretty positive role in dogs’ life as it helps them with their health issues and acts as a natural antiseptic that improves sleep.

Apart from the aforementioned nutrients beneficial to their health, we have listed some calming effects of catnip on dogs.

Heal Wounds

Catnip comprises thymol, which is commonly used as an antiseptic. This one ingredient makes it ideal for treating the external wounds of your puppies. Moreover, you can apply fresh catnip or oil to the scratches and cuts that dogs usually get when playing.

Also, you can make catnip oil and then apply it to the places where the mosquito has bitten your dog to cure that itchiness. You can also use it for your dog’s skin as it also repels mosquitoes and other insects.


This miraculous plant has opposite effects on dogs compared to cats. Sometimes, you can use catnip plants as a nerve tonic for your pups. Usually, it happens that canines get nervous when getting in the car or visiting the vet.

You can just sprinkle ⅛ to ½ teaspoon dried catnips in your fur ball’s food or some fresh leaves in the drinking water. It will perform as a sedative and will calm your puppy’s nerves. Besides all this, it will also help dogs fighting with restlessness and anxiety attacks,

Intestinal Comfort

You must have suffered from stomach ailments and intestinal discomfort, and you know how painful it is. The same goes for the dogs when they suffer from it, but catnips can also help them here. Catnip can help in relieving gas, and this is what makes them ideal for treating flatulence.

Get your pup a small amount of catnip oil, fresh catnip leaves, or catnip tea. It will help in calming your sick pup’s stomach and prevent it from vomiting. Moreover, it comes with some antispasmodic properties, which can help your dog reduce diarrhea, dyspepsia, and spasms.


The most remarkable property of catnip is that it acts as a diuretic for dogs and promotes urination. It will help your puppy relieve the excess water from the body and toxins like uric acid.

Moreover, catnip oil also helps in treating your dog for relieving the wastes from allergies and colds. You can sprinkle some dried catnips in dog food, not daily but after every 2 to 3 days, to keep your pup’s system regular.

Will Eating Catnip Hurt Your Dog?

Rolling or sniffing into catnip will never hurt your dog. In fact, eating or licking it will also not bring any harmful effects to your furball.

However, a small amount of catnip is acceptable for dogs, but it is not safe enough to play with catnip toys. Here’s why you shouldn’t let your pup play with catnip toys.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Pup Play With Catnip Toys

The most important factor for not letting your pooch play with cat toys is that they can choke themselves by swallowing catnip rattles, mice, fillings, squeakers, or any small part of it.

According to doctors, many catnip toys are small in size, and dogs are usually like, “let’s eat this, let’s eat that.” And, swallowing small catnip toys can lead to gastrointestinal problems that will require surgery to be treated.

Therefore, do not leave your dogs with cat toys to keep them safe and healthy, whether it comprises catnip or not. Because catnip might not hurt your dog, but catnip toys can surely do so!

Safe Ways To Provide Your Dog With Pleasure Of Catnip Toys

If your dog is suffering from extreme sleeplessness and not eating and drinking, there’s are some safe chances to provide your canine with catnip toys so that they get relaxed:

  • Supervise the playtime when your puppy is playing with a catnip toy.
  • Apply a small amount of catnip on your fur ball’s favorite toy. Make sure that the toy is composed of a soft material, for example, a plush toy.
  • Rub some catnip oil drops on your hands, then apply them to your canine’s bedding. It will let your dog enjoy its bed and get a peaceful sleep time.

How To Safely Feed Catnips To Your Dogs?

You can mix catnip with your dog’s food or water and let the canine enjoy its taste as well as its benefits. 

For whatever reason you’re providing catnips to your dog, it is essential to feed with care. Here is a brief of how to do it, how many catnips your canine can have, and how long it takes to affect dogs.

Mixed With Food

The most common way of feeding your pooch catnip is mixing a particular dose of catnips with your dog meal. It is not a very hard task as you just get a ground catnip’s bag and sprinkle it on their food. However, make sure you mix your pup’s meal properly.

Other than that, the general dosage recommended by doctors for giving catnip to your dog is an average of ¼ teaspoon for every pound weight of a dog. You can also buy catnip oil and add it to your dog’s food.

Mixed With Water

For any reason, if you don’t prefer mixing catnips with your dog’s food, then add a few dry leaves to your canine’s water bowl. Set it for 5 to 10 minutes, then let your dog reap the benefits of it.

Catnips, either in food or water, kicks in within 25 to 30 minutes maximum. As a result, your dog will stay relaxed and calm! If you want your pup to be relaxed at the vet’s clinic, you can give it 30 minutes before visiting the vet.

Recommended Quantity Of Catnip

Whenever the topic of dosage is brought up, always consult your vet about it first. Let your vet know why you’re considering catnip for your pup, and tell them if any of the health issues your dog is suffering.

When all these stuff and issues are brought up in the conversation, your vet will let you know in the first place whether giving catnip to your pup is good or not. If it is okay, then the vet will prescribe you a good amount of catnip for your dog to help fight several health problems.

When Should You Not Give Catnip To Your Dog?

You must never give any dose of catnip to your dog on your own if it’s for a medical reason. If you provide the wrong amount to your little friend without consulting your vet, it can badly affect your canine’s health.

If your dog is struggling with any of the cases described below, then avoid giving catnip to your pup.

  • If your pup is pregnant
  • Lactating
  • Currently on medication

Is There Anything Like Catnip, But For Dogs? 

Yes, there is an equivalent to catnip for dogs, called anise. It is a licorice-tasting spice that works as a dog’s catnip.

Just like how cats go on high when they taste catnip similarly, dogs go completely hyper when they get anise treats. Let’s get to know if anise is safe for dogs or has some side effects.

Anise is commonly safe to have some afternoon fun with your furball. However, according to research, anise should be provided to dogs in moderate amounts. It is because an excessive amount of it can become toxic to your canine and lead to severe physical diseases.

Other than that, for safer application of anise, make sure you distinguish between fennel, anise, star anise, and licorice. All of these can be beneficial to your dog but again, keep it to a moderate amount.

Effects Of Anise On Dog

Anise can get your dog high, but it usually does not affect every dog, just like how catnip does not affect every cat. In case your puppy reacts to it, then there are two situations. Either your canine will become extremely mellow or highly hyperactive. There is no middle ground.

But, anise also comes with some health benefits for dogs of all ages. Here, we have listed some of the effects that it can have on your puppy.

Treats Digestive Problems

Dogs rarely get gastrointestinal issues, but it ultimately brings trauma, anxiety, and restlessness to the puppy’s life when they suffer. Therefore, a small amount of anise powder can help your dog alleviate the digestive issues and reduce stomach pain, irritable bowels, and bloating.

Treats Seizures

In case your canine contacts the poison, it will end up with seizures. The most common symptoms of attacks are disorientation, temporary blindness, and fear. Anise contains anticonvulsant and neuroprotective factors, and both are pretty effective in treating seizures.

Treats Respiratory Problems

Respiratory issues are common in dogs due to pneumonia, injury, smoke inhalation, and lung infection. However, the good news is that these issues can be treated easily in dogs with just minty herbs.

Anise comprises antiviral and antibacterial factors which help the immune system in eliminating infections. Moreover, anise also contains anethole, thymol, and terpineol that help in easing chest congestion.

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