Does Catnip Work On Dogs?

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Catnip, a member of the mint family, is a natural herb that is both safe and effective when used on cats. While not having the same effect on dogs, it can nevertheless create a calming effect and even reduce anxiety. Its active ingredient, nepetalactone, is known to interact with certain receptors located in the olfactory bulb in cats’ brains, resulting in a temporary euphoric state and an increased reaction to both smell and touch. For dogs, however, this response is not triggered due to the olfactory receptors in their brains being different than those in cats. Regardless, the herb still has many beneficial effects on dogs and can be used to help soothe them in stressful situations.

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Catnip does not work on dogs the same way that it works on cats. Catnip acts as an attractant to cats, stimulating them through its aromatic oils. In dogs, however, it acts as a sedative, calming the canine’s nerves. This might explain why cats find catnip so pleasurable and why dogs tend to sleep after chewing on a catnip toy.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip, also known as Nepeta Cataria, is an aromatic herb from the mint family. It has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy in folk medicine and is now known to have a stimulating effect on cats. Catnip contains the active ingredient nepetalactone, which acts as a natural cat attractant. When cats sniff this molecule, it binds to receptors in their nose and produces a feeling of euphoria. It is known to make cats become more active and playful, and may even help them to relax.

Catnip for Dogs Anxiety

Catnip can actually be used to help lessen the symptoms of anxiety in dogs. It has a calming and soothing effect, as it contains a compound similar to valerian root which is known to act as a sedative. For anxious dogs, simply offering some chopped-up catnip or planting some in the garden may be enough to bring about relaxation. It is important to note, however, that cats and dogs metabolize catnip differently so it is important to speak to your vet before using it for anxiety in your pet.

Catnip can help Cure Motion Sickness

Catnip can help to ease motion sickness in dogs because it contains menthol, which has mild sedative and anti-nausea effects. The menthol may give off a cooling sensation that relaxes the stomach muscles and helps to alleviate the discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract, which can reduce the feeling of nausea. Additionally, catnip has been found to be especially effective in calming anxiety, which may be a contributing factor to motion sickness in some cases.

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Catnip is a natural herb that is known to have many benefits for cats. It can provide a level of stimulation and relaxation, as well as help with digestive issues. While it is most commonly associated with cats, catnip can also have a positive effect on dogs.

The leaves and flowers of catnip contain an oil called nepetalactone, which dogs can sense and respond to. When a dog sniffs or ingests the oil, it can trigger a response in some dogs, similar to the one a cat might experience. Many dogs will become excited, playful, and energetic when they are exposed to catnip.

In addition to providing a boost in energy, the nepetalactone in catnip can also help to reduce anxiety in some dogs. It is believed that the calming effect of the herb helps to relax the dog and can be especially helpful with those who are nervous or suffer from separation anxiety.

Catnip can also be used to treat digestive issues in dogs. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties and can be helpful in settling upset stomachs. It can also help to eliminate any gas or bloating due to intestinal inflammation.

Finally, catnip can be used to encourage more physical activity in dogs. If your pup isn’t getting enough exercise, a little catnip can help stimulate them and encourage more movement.

Overall, catnip is a gentle and safe way to help your pup feel better, both mentally and physically. It is important to note that even though the effects can be beneficial in some cases, not all dogs will respond in the same way. It is best to introduce catnip gradually and observe the results to ensure that your pup is getting the best outcome.

Nutrients in Catnip

Catnip is an herb that can provide many essential nutrients for cats. It has a number of vitamins and minerals that support feline health. These include:

  • Vitamin A: This essential vitamin helps the body fight infection and supports good vision, healthy skin, and fur growth.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps support the immune system, as well as the body’s ability to absorb iron from food.
  • Riboflavin: Riboflavin helps to convert carbohydrates into energy and supports the metabolism.
  • Calcium: Calcium is essential for bone health and plays a role in muscle development. It also helps the body regulate blood pressure.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is important for healthy bones and blood vessels, as well as for healthy nerves and muscles.
  • Iron: Iron assists with the transport of oxygen in the blood, and supports healthy hair growth.
  • Potassium: Potassium helps regulate body fluid and plays an important role in nerve and muscle function.
  • Phosphorus: Phosphorus helps the body synthesize protein and plays a large role in bone metabolism.
  • Sulfur: Sulfur is necessary for the production of keratin, which is the main component of catnip.
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Catnip also contains essential oils and terpenes. These compounds have a calming and stress-relieving effect. They also help cats to feel more relaxed and may help them to exert more energy and show more playful behavior.

How Might Catnip Affect Dog Behavior?

Catnip usually does not affect dog behavior in the same way it does in a cat. The phytochemical in catnip (nepetalactone) interacts with cats at the genetic level to create their euphoric response to it, which is why most dogs do not have the same response. Dogs are likely to ignore catnip unless they consume a large amount, in which case it could have the same sedative effects that it has on cats, making them sleepy and calm.

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The effect of catnip on dogs is not the same as it is on cats. Cats usually become more active when they sniff or ingest catnip, but the reaction of dogs to catnip is much more subdued. The oil in the plant may have a mild calming or sedative effect on dogs, but it is not as stimulating as it is to cats. Anecdotally, some pet owners report that catnip can help to calm down a dog who is over-excited or anxious. However, it is important to note that catnip should not be used as a substitute for professional veterinary care if your pet has a mental or behavioral issue.

What Potential Risks or Other Concerns Should I Know About Before Giving Catnip to My Dog?

  • Catnip can cause stomach upset and vomiting in some dogs, so it is best to only give your dog small amounts at a time or have them monitored by a veterinarian while using it.
  • Too much catnip can make your dog overly excited, and they may become aggressive or hyperactive.
  • Excessive licking or ingestion of catnip can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, drooling, or other gastrointestinal issues.
  • Catnip can cause drowsiness, so it is not recommended for dogs that need to stay alert and active, such as herding or guard dogs.
  • If your dog has allergies to some plants, they may also be allergic to catnip, so make sure to watch for any signs of irritation or discomfort.
  • Catnip can interact with some medications, so always check with a vet to see if they can safely take catnip.
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How To Feed Your Dog Catnip

Catnip is a herb that can be given to both cats and dogs. It has an aromatic smell that cats find irresistible and dogs may find mildly stimulating. There are different ways to use catnip with your dog, including fresh, dried, or sprayed.

  • Fresh catnip: This can be sprinkled on the ground or in your dog’s food bowl. Your dog may find the smell stimulating.
  • Dried catnip: You can purchase dried catnip in pet stores or online. Sprinkle a bit on your dog’s toys, bedding, or favorite resting spot. Most dogs love the smell of dried catnip and will go crazy when exposed to it.
  • Sprays: If you don’t want to give your dog the fresh or dried version, try using a catnip spray made specially for dogs. Spray it lightly over toys or furniture surfaces, and your dog may just go crazy!

It’s important to note that too much catnip can cause your pooch to overstimulate, so it’s best to use it sparingly and monitor your pet’s reaction.


Q. What does catnip do for a dog?

A. Catnip does help alleviate anxiety symptoms in dogs.

Q. Can I give catnip to my dog?

A. Yes, you should give catnip to your dog. Catnip is safe for dogs.

Q. Is there a Dognip?

A. Yes, there is a Dognip.

Q. How fast does catnip work on dogs?

A. Catnip takes about 30 minutes to begin working on a dog.

Q. Is Catnip Safe for Dogs?

A. Yes, catnip is safe for dogs.

Q. How long does catnip last on dogs?

A. Catnip can last for up to an hour or two on a dog.

Q. Is There a Catnip Equivalent For Dogs?

A. No, there is no catnip equivalent for dogs.


In conclusion, it appears that catnip does work on dogs although not the same way as it works on cats. While certain dogs may respond to catnip in terms of excitement, it appears to not have the same effect that it has on cats. It is recommended to give catnip to a dog in small amounts because it has the potential to cause vomiting or diarrhea.

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