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Is Catnip Safe for your Dog?

What exactly is catnip?

The scientific name of catnip is Nepeta cataria and is in the same family as mint, Lamiaceae. Catnip was brought to North America by settlers from its native locations of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Today, catnip is a popular herb grown in gardens and purchased in pet stores.

Does catnip get your cats high?

Catnip has an interesting effect on cats, that is if you cat responds to it at all. An estimated 30% of cats will not respond to catnip and kittens younger than 3 months may have not developed a response yet. For the majority of cats, they can get the slightest smell of catnip and begin to go crazy. The general behaviors of smelling catnip include sniffing, head-shaking, licking the catnip, and lots of rolling around. It is believed that when cats sniff catnip that is has effects similar to marijuana or LSD, while when it is ingested it acts as a sedative.

Is it safe to give catnip to your dog?

The short answer is yes. Catnip does not have the same effect on dogs as cats, but there are benefits to giving your dog small doses of catnip. Some of the benefits include being a sedative, being a digestive aid, and assisting with urinary and kidney health. For your dog to experience the health benefits, you need to provide a very small dose between 1/8 to 1/4 tsp in their food or water depending on their size. Do not give your pregnant dog any catnip because it may cause premature birth or birth complications.

Is anise the catnip of dogs?

Anise is being called the catnip of dogs. Anise is of the same family as celery and carrots. Like cats responding to catnip, not all dogs will respond to anise. Anise should be used in very small doses and it will typically generate an energetic and playful response from your dog.

It is recommended to contact your vet about dosing and to do more research on the side effects of catnip or anise on your animal.

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