Is Catnip for Dogs Safe? Unraveling the Canine Curiosity

Is Catnip for Dogs Safe

Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Fumipets

Is Catnip for Dogs Safe? Unraveling the Canine Curiosity


Catnip can be safe for dogs in small amounts, but it primarily affects cats. While some dogs may exhibit mild reactions to catnip, it’s important to use it in moderation to avoid digestive issues.

Dog-friendly catnip products are available for those who want to provide their dogs with the benefits of this herb. Always monitor your dog’s response to catnip and seek veterinary advice if any adverse reactions occur.

Catnip for Dogs

Catnip, a mint family plant, is well known for its effect on our animal companions. Some cats respond to catnip in a variety of ways, from becoming completely delirious to only mildly restless to completely calm. But what happens if your dog snuck into the cat play box? Is catnip for dogs safe?

The good news is that, unless your dog eats a lot of the herb, it shouldn’t affect them. The even better news is that it might even be beneficial in some circumstances. Let’s examine catnip for dogs in more detail. 

Is Catnip for Dogs Safe?

In general, sure. Dogs are thought to be secure around catnip, both fresh and desiccated.

However, if your canine eats a mint shrub, its essential compounds may make him feel unwell. There is always a slight chance that feeding plants to dogs will distress their stomachs. However, there is no true reason to be alarmed if a mint shrub appears in your yard. Your canine won’t really be drawn to these plants, and it’s doubtful he’ll consume a lot of them and become unwell. 

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What Does Catnip Do for Dogs?

Nepetalactone is a chemical found in catnip. According to Wismer, between 50 and 80 percent of cats older than 12 weeks are naturally predisposed to respond to it.

The cat’s vomeronasal organ, which is found in the rear of the nostril, is bound by this substance. It frequently goes hand in hand with hormones. These behaviors are displayed by cats when they are “high” on catnip, and both male and female cats show these behaviors. The substance is comparable to a female cat being in ovulation.

Vomeronasal glands are not unique to cats. They are present in dogs, along with more than 100 million smell sensors. But unlike cats, they are not affected by catnip. Since each canine reacts differently to these chemicals, many of them either have no effect or, at most, cause moderate drowsiness.

Should You Give Catnip to Your Dog?

It’s interesting to note that some vets advise chamomile for canines because of its calming effects. Herbal remedies are an option that may be a successful type of therapy for some puppies’ illnesses or behavior in natural veterinarian care.

Dogs may occasionally be able to tolerate a small amount of catnip. It includes magnesium, which some early rodent studies indicate may have a soothing impact on the brain, as well as vitamins A and E.

Combined with instruction that uses positive reward, catnip might be beneficial for your dog if: 

Is scared of thunder

Experiences anxiety

Has trouble sleeping

Isn’t a fan of road trips

How To Give Catnip To Dogs

Usually, it’s provided to them in pill form or spread over their meals. Usually, it is only administered once, just before the journey or tense circumstance. They don’t need much if they’re going to react to it (and not all canines do); the Animal Care Clinic suggests about 1/2 tsp.

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Speak with your veterinarian first if you think that your dog occasionally needs some assistance to relax. They might suggest canine catnip in addition to dog pheromone goods like Adaptil, dietary supplements like Rescue Remedy, or other anti-anxiety items.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can dogs safely consume catnip?

Yes, catnip is generally safe for dogs to consume in small quantities. While it primarily affects cats, some dogs may also experience mild reactions, like excitement or calmness when exposed to catnip.

Are there any potential risks associated with giving dogs catnip?

In most cases, there are no serious risks. However, excessive consumption of catnip can lead to digestive upset in dogs, including vomiting or diarrhea. It’s essential to offer catnip in moderation.

Can catnip be used as a training aid for dogs?

Some dog owners use catnip as a training tool to reward good behavior or to encourage playfulness. It can be a useful tool, but not all dogs react to catnip in the same way, so individual responses may vary.

Are there specific dog-friendly catnip products available?

Yes, there are catnip-infused dog toys and treats on the market. These products are typically formulated to be safe for dogs and can provide a source of entertainment and mental stimulation.

What should I do if my dog shows adverse reactions to catnip?

If your dog experiences any adverse reactions, such as vomiting or diarrhea after consuming catnip, discontinue its use immediately. Consult your veterinarian if the symptoms persist or worsen.



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