We’ve all seen the effect that catnip has on most adult cats, but does catnip affect dogs too? And if so, can dogs have catnip without getting hurt? Surprisingly, eating catnip does work on dogs and has a calming effect on them. In addition, catnip is not only safe for canines to eat but it’s actually not bad for dogs either. As discussed below, catnip offers numerous health benefits for dogs.
For example, you may have seen catnip tea used by people to help relax their dogs. In fact, catnip is often used to treat nervousness and insomnia in dogs and many other animals. Let’s take a look at what catnip does to dogs (e.g. can dogs get high?), and how pets can benefit from this herb.
Health Benefits of Catnip For Dogs
Catnip has long been known to be a safe and healthy herbal remedy for many ailments that affect dogs. As a natural herb coming from leaves and stems, catnip won’t hurt your dog and can be useful or good in certain situations.
For instance, if your dog is nervous about going on rides in your car, you can sprinkle a bit of catnip on their food or in their water. This will help calm them down which will make the ride much less stressful for both of you! It’s best to discuss how much catnip to give to your dogs with your veterinarian.
How Catnip Can Affect Dogs
Several other ways that catnip may affect and help dogs include:
- Natural Sedative – Catnip can be very helpful for dogs that have trouble sleeping. Mix up to half a teaspoonful of catnip into their food or a small amount of catnip tea in their drinking water to help them sleep better
- Diuretic – Catnip is also a diuretic for both humans and dogs. The oil from catnip helps promote healthy urination, which expels excess water and unhealthy toxins (uric acid, waste from colds, etc.) from their bodies
- Intestinal Health – Catnip can also help relieve a number of gastrointestinal health issues including gas and flatulence. Catnip also helps to reduce cramps, diarrhea, and dyspepsia. A bit of fresh catnip, catnip oil, or catnip tea can help soothe your dog’s upset stomach
- Menstruation – Yes, dogs do menstruate, and they can experience similar cramps to human women. Catnip is often used by women to ease menstruation symptoms, and it can also be given to dogs for the same reason
- Natural Antiseptic – Catnip contains thymol which has certain antiseptic properties. It can be used to treats cuts and scratches, and can even be applied to sores to help them heal faster
- Repel Insects – Catnip can be used to repel mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects
How To Give Dogs Catnip
There are many ways that you can give dogs catnip. Owners can sprinkle it onto their dog’s food or mix it into some tea or flavorful drink. You can also rub catnip all over your dog’s favorite toys. However, be sure to keep the toys away from any cats in your home or your dog may never get a chance to play with them again.
Alternatively, you can use aniseed or anise which is oftentimes referred to as “canine catnip”. Anise is perfectly safe for dogs and gives them the same pleasure that cats get from catnip. It’s also something that cats don’t care for which means you won’t have to worry about your cat bothering or even attacking your dog.
Similar to catnip, you can sprinkle some anise onto your dog’s favorite toys. There are also dog treats available that are flavored with anise (a licorice flavor).
Generally, it’s best to avoid giving your dog catnip toys that’s made specifically for cats. These toys are often smaller and can pose serious choking hazards for larger dogs. In addition to fresh catnip, liquid catnip is also available in the form of a spray which can be applied to your dog’s food, toys, water, etc.
Yes, Dogs Can Have Catnip
Luckily, you have nothing to worry about if you’re concerned about your dogs eating catnip from your garden or stealing it from your cats. Catnip won’t hurt your dogs and it actually has many health benefits for them. If you choose to give your dogs catnip on a regular-basis, you can grow your own catnip at home or in your garden to ensure that you always have a steady supply available.