It is true that the majority of us will be familiar with what catnip does to cats… But, have you ever thought about what exactly catnip can do to dogs? Do you know if catnip is safe for dogs, or if catnip is harmful to dogs?
Do you know how catnip has an effect on dogs and whether this effect is positive or negative? Well, here we are going to outline how exactly catnip has an effect on dogs, along with the benefits that catnip has, and also the catnip equivalent that is out there for dogs.
What Is Catnip?
Before we get started on what catnip does to dogs, first we need to fully iron out what exactly catnip is.
So, it might surprise you to know that catnip is one of the several plants in the mint family, and like a selection of these plants catnip has an especially potent scent, and it also has a downy texture.
To get more science focus, catnip has an active compound of nepetalactone and this is contained within the leaves and also within the stems.
It is true that nepetalactone is responsible for producing the somewhat ‘high’ sensation that is felt by cats, and the effects can sometimes last for up to 15 minutes.
So, it is clear that while almost every cat will react to catnip, the precise way in which a cat will react can depend on not just the dosage of catnip that it is given, but also the breed of the cat.
The effects can really vary and it can range from sedating the cat right to the other end of the spectrum, it can be known to cause hyperactivity or restlessness.
It is important to note that catnip is generally safe if it is used in moderation, however, if it is used excessively or if it is used in large quantities then it can lead to vomiting or diarrhea, it can even lead to emotional problems too.
The plant is usually non-addictive and like we said earlier, it is harmless when it is used moderately through any kind of consumption.
To Answer The Question
Let’s get down to business here… Is catnip safe for dogs? Well, catnip has not been found to be toxic to dogs. It is strange to think about, especially because the plant is known to have some wild effects on felines.
It is actually pretty normal for a cat to react in some way to catnip and these reactions can be pretty wild. However, when it comes to dogs the way that they react to catnip is very different.
Catnip can be said to act as some kind of stimulant on felines, however on dogs it is much more of a sedative. This is why pet experts will only advise that catnip should be administered to dogs if particular conditions or if particular circumstances demand it.
Does Catnip Benefit Dogs?
Catnip has been proven to have a whole host of benefits for dogs and also for humans too. So, as we mentioned earlier catnip is a sedative for a dog. So, when your dog gets overly nervous or overly restless then catnip can help to calm them down.
Additionally, you can also put some fresh catnip leaves in your dog’s drinking water and then some dried leaves on its meal depending on what you think the best method of administering is.
In fact, catnip holds diuretic qualities when it is used by humans and in dogs it really works in the same way.
So, when it is added to water or to meals, catnip can help to encourage urination and it can also help to keep your dog’s system a lot clearer and a lot lighter. It is critically important that you do not use too much.
Catnip can also be used for its wound-healing qualities. This is all thanks to its thymol content, and thymol is a compound which is an antiseptic and also an effective treatment for external wounds.
You can treat an external wound with catnip by squeezing fresh catnip juice or catnip oil on your dog’s cuts, on your dog’s sores or even on your dog’s scratches and this will ensure that your pet has much faster wound healing.
And, catnip can also be applied to dogs when they are outdoors as a way of repelling insects that can bite them.
Similar to humans, dogs can suffer from gastrointestinal problems and they can also suffer from stomach issues. Catnip is believed to be a helpful remedy for these conditions.
These conditions can include gas, or it can include cramps, or it can even include diarrhea and dyspepsia. Additionally, fresh catnip or catnip oil can be added to water as a way of calming your dog’s stomach and also as a way to prevent vomiting.
Lastly, catnip contains a lot of beneficial compounds such as vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, flavonoids and also tannins. Catnip is also rich in oils which help to ensure that your dog’s digestive system is in good working order.
Additionally, catnip does hold a calming quality so it can improve your dog’s sleeping pattern and it can also help your dog calm their anxiety. If you find that your dog is experiencing insomnia then you should consider trying catnip just to ease their struggle.
Is There A Catnip Equivalent For Dogs?
So, there is actually a catnip equivalent for dogs and it is called anise. You can purchase this in a variety of forms, be it as a doggy biscuit or be it as anise oil or be it as a doggy licorice, there will be something out there that will suit your dog.
You can treat this in the same way that you would treat catnip, so it can be something they eat or it can be something that is added to their drinking water.
Anise is completely safe for dogs and it can be used as food, or it can be used in their food and in their drinks.
It should only be given to your dog in moderate amounts, because if it is used in an excessive manner then anise can lead to stomach upsets or it can even lead to depression.
Anise contains the active compound of anethole, which is available naturally in a lot of plants and in essential oils. Anise has a very potent scent that really attracts dogs, but aside from this, anethole does make up a significant percentage of anise.
Anethole really helps with important bodily functions and this includes acting as a natural inflammation suppressor and it also boosts the nervous system. It also eliminates free radicals and it can even be enjoyable as a flavoring to your dog.
Overall, we know how catnip can affect cats – but what is far from common knowledge is just how it affects dogs. Here, we have definitely outlined how catnip can have an effect on dogs, especially as a contrast to cats.
Unlike the effect that it has on cats, for dogs catnip acts as a sedative rather than a stimulant. We are not saying that all dogs will react in this same way, but this is definitely the way that the majority of dogs will react to catnip.
We have also outlined how the doggy equivalent of catnip is anise, and there are a lot of stimulating qualities and health benefits to behold with anise.
So, if you are looking for a new remedy for an anxious dog then catnip could be a good one for your four-legged friend to try.
Alternatively, if you are needing more of a stimulant for your dog then you should definitely try anise. Like everything, this is a trial and error process – so you will need to work out what ingestion methods work well for your dog.