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Will Catnip Hurt Dogs? What Are The Effects Of Catnip On Dogs?

catnip for dogs

Will Catnip Hurt Dogs? What Are The Effects Of Catnip On Dogs?



You might have known this already, but if you live in a house with both dogs and cats, you should be prepared for the possibility that they will occasionally swap toys with one another.

While watching your animals interact with one another and have fun is adorable, you might be worried about the potential for injuries.

For instance, if your dog plays with cat toys containing catnip, you may be concerned about its effects on their health. Is doing so risk-free? Should you be concerned if your dog chews on a catnip-stuffed toy?

What Is Catnip, Exactly?

The plant known as catnip is classified as a herb and is a member of the mint family. Nepetalactone is the component of catnip that is responsible for its psychoactive effects.


The pods, leaves, and even the coating on the plant’s stem all contain the chemical. This is the psychoactive component that sends your cat completely off the rails!

Cats that have been exposed to catnip may become relaxed, experience a buzz, or begin behaving in an excitable manner.

It is also frequently used as the foundation for tea, a beverage that can be consumed. Tea made from catnip may have a calming impact on certain humans, but it does not have the same feeling on people as it does on cats when it comes to elevating their mood.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Take Catnip?

Is it okay to give catnip to a dog? Yes! Not only is it harmless for dogs, but it also provides them with essential nutrients! Catnip is packed with a wide array of essential nutrients, including the following:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Tannins
  • Flavonoids
  • Essential oils

Benefits Of Catnip For Dogs

In addition to carrying many critical nutrients, catnip has the added benefit of calming your dog down. Other potential health benefits of using catnip include the following:

Better Sleep

Because catnip has a minor sedative effect, offering it to your dog approximately half an hour before bedtime will help him feel more relaxed and get a better night’s sleep. If he has difficulties maintaining a regular schedule, this can also help regulate his sleep and make it easier for him to get to sleep.

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Nerves and Anxiety

Catnip can help calm your dog down if they feel anxious about going to the groomer or the veterinarian before those visits. Give your dog a very small amount of catnip approximately thirty minutes before the event to assist in calming them down.

Helps the Process of Healing

In addition to having qualities that make it effective against infection and promote healing, catnip is also a natural antiseptic. Catnip oil should be applied topically to any minor cuts or scrapes your pet may have. However, you should not rely on this as a substitute for calling the veterinarian in an emergency.

Prevent Mosquitos and Fleas 

Catnip has been shown to repel fleas and mosquitoes, two pests that may be a nuisance to cats and dogs, and as a result, catnip can help keep your pets happy and healthy. If you notice that they are picking and biting at themselves, catnip may be able to help.

Using catnip on your dog is not only completely risk-free, but it has also been highly useful in treating many medical conditions. Think about how you could utilize it to improve your dog’s health!

Relaxing the Stomach

Catnip can help calm your dog’s stomach if it’s upset, just like drinking mint tea can help calm human stomachs when we have an upset stomach. If your dog has a stomach upset, try giving him some catnip. If you notice that your dog gets car sick regularly, try feeding him some catnip 30 minutes before you leave for your trip.

Natural Pest Repellant

Catnip’s ability to ward off pests such as fleas and mosquitoes is a bonus that will appeal to you and your canine companion. You can ward off fleas and mosquitoes by cultivating catnip plants in your yard, applying catnip oil or spray topically, rubbing fresh or dried catnip into your dog’s bedding, or planting some catnip plants in your yard.

You need to check that any commercial catnip products are safe for canine consumption and do not contain hazardous ingredients. To be safe, you should always check with your veterinarian to ensure that your canine companion does not have any allergies to the components.

The soothing and relaxing qualities of catnip do more than assist your dog in getting to sleep; they can also help calm him down during stressful events such as trips to the veterinarian, fireworks, thunderstorms, and other similar occurrences.

How To Administer Catnip To Your Dog

It is important to remember that catnip should not be given to dogs in any form as a dietary supplement if you want to take advantage of the benefits catnip offers canines.

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Instead, catnip should be saved for use in emergency situations in which your dog is experiencing severe pain.

If you believe your dog could benefit from catnip, you should consider dusting only half a teaspoon of catnip on their food daily. Alternatively, you can immediately put a few fresh catnip leaves in their water bowl. This is another option.

Keep a close eye on how your dog reacts to catnip because the behavior of each animal is unique in this regard. In this manner, you’ll be able to determine whether or not the one-of-a-kind catnip qualities can be useful to your canine companion.

As was mentioned, you may get catnip in several different forms, including dried, fresh, gel, oil, and in the shape of a spray.

You can administer catnip to your dog in the following ways:

  • The dry catnip should be sprinkled onto his food.
  • Put some fresh catnip leaves in his water bowl. He likes the flavor.
  • Fresh catnip should be applied to any minor cuts or scrapes.
  • Spray his mattress or the play area with it (especially important if you use it as a natural pest repellant).

Remember that giving your dog an excessive amount of catnip can cause stomach trouble, even though no specific amount should be given to a dog.

Because of this, we advise using no more than half a teaspoon of dry catnip or a few leaves at a time when administering it to your cat or dog.

Give your dog a dose of catnip approximately thirty minutes before the occasion in question if you want to use it as a tension reliever or sleep aid for him (car ride, fireworks, bedtime, etc.).

Especially the first time you give your dog catnip, you should pay close attention to how he reacts to the substance. Some animals may feel the impacts quite strongly, whereas others might not notice anything at all.

Immediately get in touch with your veterinarian if you experience any unfavorable responses.

In conclusion, it is imperative to point out that catnip should not be used in place of drugs or supplements that a veterinarian has advised. It is not planned to be used as a regular supplement but as occasional help.

How Do Dogs Respond When They Are Given Catnip?

Despite the name, cats aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the benefits of catnip. In cats, catnip is known to have an impact similar to that of a stimulant, while in dogs, it has the opposite effect and has been shown to have a calming influence.

It is important to remember that, similar to cats, not all dogs will respond to catnip similarly. Some people have no response at all.

In addition, canines should not be given catnip regularly as a dietary supplement. Instead, put it away for times when you have occasional restlessness or a stomach ache.

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Even though catnip isn’t harmful to dogs, giving them too much at once could cause even more stomach issues, which would be the opposite of what you want to do!


Questions People Also Ask: (FAQs)



What Side Effects Can Be Expected If Dogs Eat Catnip?

Despite its common association with cats, canines are perfectly OK to consume catnip. In cats, catnip produces an effect similar to that of a stimulant, whereas, in dogs, it often has a calming effect. Catnip has been shown to reduce anxiety in some dogs, make it easier for them to fall asleep, and function as a natural antibiotic.


How Much Catnip Can Be Given To A Dog Without Causing Harm?

According to Wismer, it is typically only administered once before the ride or during stressful circumstances. Even if they do respond to it (which not all canines do), they don’t require much preparation: Approximately half a teaspoon is recommended by Animal Care Clinic. Talk to your veterinarian first if you notice that your new puppy occasionally requires some assistance to settle down.


How Long Does Catnip Have Effects On Dogs?

“While some dogs do not respond at all, those that do become noticeably more relaxed and placid.” Because it takes most herbs, including catnip, about 30 minutes to begin exerting their impact, it is important to administer the herb at least half an hour before a stressful event.


Why Do Dogs Go Bonkers With Catnip?

Anise has been compared to “catnip for dogs” due to the exuberant and rowdy behavior that some dogs exhibit after consuming it. However, this has nothing to do with the plant that cats love, called catnip. Aniseed can be utilized in either its powdered or whole form, but it is also offered as an essential oil.


Is It Ok For Dogs To Play With Toys Containing Catnip?

While canines can safely consume small amounts of catnip, catnip toys do not have canine play in mind. Your dog could choke on squeakers, rattles, fillings, or other tiny components of a toy that was made for smaller animals (cats) to play with if you let your dog play with a cat toy. Toys designed for smaller animals (cats) tend to have smaller parts.


How Long Does The Effect Of Catnip Remain On Dogs?

What is the shelf life of catnip? The effects of catnip are inconsistent from one cat to the next because of differences in how cats react to the herb. The effects and behaviors associated with catnip typically last between ten and fifteen minutes for most cats. After the effects of the catnip have worn off, it could take anywhere from half an hour to an hour for your cat to react to it again.


Can Catnip Make My Dog Hyper?

As was said earlier, catnip has a calming effect on your canine companion. Catnip has the opposite effect on dogs as it does on cats; rather than making them more hyperactive, it will have the opposite effect and calm them down.


Does Catnip Have A Relaxing Effect On Dogs?

When administered to dogs, catnip has the opposite effect of what it does to cats: it has a calming influence. The easiest and most effective technique to calm your dog is to sprinkle around a quarter of a teaspoon on their food. Catnip can also be helpful when it comes to digestive system issues.

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