Catnip for Dogs - Does it Work on Dogs Like it Does on Cats?

Catnip for Dogs - Does it Work on Dogs Like it Does on Cats?

Author WDF Staff


As animal lovers, we are keenly aware of the effect catnip has on cats. As dog owners, we were curious to find out if catnip for dogs has the same effect. If it doesn’t, are there any plants that affect dogs the same as catnip affects cats? If you wondered whether catnip for dogs exists, here is what you should know.

What is catnip?

Most of us refer to catnip as “drugs for cats,” and we were somewhat disappointed to learn cats don’t sneak around and plant catnip in hidden locations. Instead, we learned that catnip is a perennial herb that comes from the mint family. It is related to the peppermint plant, and if you have a chance to smell catnip, you can definitely smell the minty freshness.

This plant originated in the Meditteranean area, but it was carried all over the world and is now naturalized all over the northern US, Canada, and northern Europe. Many dog owners and cat owners even plant it in their gardens. Cat owners grow it for their cat’s pleasure, and dog owners love it because it will keep the mosquitoes away. You can even make your own mosquito repellent from catnip.


How does catnip affect dogs?

You probably saw videos of cats high on catnip - cats’ pupils are dilated, they are tripped out, and mellow. This plant contains a particular chemical that has this effect on cats, and it is called nepetalactone. However, most dogs are indifferent to catnip, and they don’t feel any effects at all. Dogs are immune to nepetalactone due to the gene that regulates the effect this chemical has on the dog’s body.

There is a chance your dog can have a mild reaction, but it is usually extremely mild, and your dog will want to take a nap. That is completely the opposite of what catnip does to cats. Plus, catnip is entirely safe to give your dog. If it has no effect on your pooch, it will at least keep them safe from those pesky mosquitoes.

Catnip for dogs is anise

You might have heard about anise; if you haven’t, it is a plant with a unique smell you either love or hate. Anise is catnip for dogs. They react to it the same way cats respond to catnip. Anise is a spice, and it tastes like licorice. It is used in absinthe (alcoholic beverage), and anise is a plant that will make your dog absolutely crazy.

If you haven’t seen a dog react to anise, we urge you to go on YouTube and check out many videos of dogs responding to anise. There are even dog treats that have anise seeds in them. Believe us, you will be thoroughly entertained. If you want to get some anise for your dog and maybe make a funny video yourself, here is what you should know about this catnip for dogs.

anise seeds closeup

Is anise safe for dogs?

The good news is - YES, anise is safe for dogs. However, you shouldn’t give your dog a whole bowl of anise seeds they can take whenever they want. Dogs will get addicted to it. There were many cases where dogs abandoned their families, went in deep with loan sharks, lied, and cheated. They do all that to get some anise. OK, that might not be true, but too many anise seeds will cause gastrointestinal upsets, and the dog will start throwing up or having diarrhea. Plus, they will lose their appetite for about a day.

Where can I get anise for my dog?

Most of this catnip for dogs is distributed by a gang of dogs whose leader is a ruthless Yorkshire Terrier named Ace. He might be small, but he makes up for it with his bold character and exceptional organizational skills. Of course, if you don’t know how to find Ace, you can always look for anise in your local pet stores. Plus, if your cooking skills are better than ours, you can make anise dog treats at home.

In conclusion

Whenever you give your dog treats, keep in mind that moderation is the key. You don’t want to overfeed your dog and cause them gastrointestinal issues. The same goes for anise - the catnip for dogs. Your dog will love it, but it is up to you to make sure there are lines and amounts your dog doesn’t cross.

World Dog Finder team

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