Category Dogs

Yes! Catnip is safe for dogs (and beneficial)

Catnip is a herb that’s well-known among cat parents, but did you know that catnip is also safe for dogs? Despite the name, catnip is safe and non-toxic for dogs and can be used in toys, and as a supplement to improve sleep and help control anxiety.

Catnip is a member of the mint family that’s readily available and can even be grown in your garden. Cats have varying reactions to catnip and most of them get a little silly when they’re given a sprinkle to play with. So what happens when you give a dog catnip? The surprising answer is, that dogs react the opposite of what cats do. Where catnip is a stimulant for cats, it’s actually a sedative for dogs.

So, what are some of the reasons you might want to offer catnip to your dog?
  • Catnip contains magnesium, Vitamins C and E, plus tannins, flavonoids and essential oils that can help with digestion.
  • Catnip can be used to calm dogs with anxiety and to improve sleep.
  • It’s a natural antiseptic and fresh catnip can be applied to minor cuts and scrapes.
How do you use catnip?

Some pet parents sprinkle small amounts of dried catnip on their dog’s food and use it as a supplement. If you’d like to explore that further, talk to your veterinarian first to ensure you know the best amount of offer, how often, and to be sure your dog doesn’t have any conditions that might be aggravated by catnip.

Try offering your dog a refillable catnip toy. Doggijuana is a company that offers dog toys that can be filled with catnip to give your dog. Click here to see Blue Barn’s Doggijuana selection.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions from the Doggijuana website.

How Does Catnip Affect My Dog?

Dogs have catnip receptors in their faces and stomachs, similar to cats. Nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, binds to the receptors and induces a response that is so relaxing, it’s drool worthy. Dogs don’t get “high” from catnip like cats do. Instead, it is a calming agent when eaten and a great way to encourage your dog to play longer through smell!

So why don’t dogs get that euphoric response? Well cats also have receptors in their cheeks and the roof of their mouths. This is why dogs don’t get the same reaction from catnip that cats do.

Is Catnip/Juananip Safe for My Dog?

Yes! Catnip is safe and non-toxic for dogs. The worst that could happen if they were to ingest a large amount is an upset stomach or being drowsy. The effects will wear off after about an hour and do not pose any long term health risks. If your pet is on medication or pregnant/nursing, we recommend asking your vet.

Can My Dog Consume Too Much Catnip?

Eating a large amount (like the whole bottle!) could cause your dog to have an upset stomach. We recommend only giving them a small amount, about 1/4 – 1 tsp. The worst thing that can happen is that it will lose its effectiveness if used too much or your pet can become a tad bit too hyper or calm. The good news is that the effects wear off in about an hour.

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