Don't confuse Catnip and Dognip

Don't confuse Catnip and Dognip


Catnip is a plant in the mint family that has a very strong odor. It’s known for its ability to make cats “high” similar to humans when taking certain drugs. 

While this popular plant is most famous for its stimulant effect on cats, catnip is also a popular ornamental plant for gardens and typically provides a mellowing effect in dogs. 

When cats are exposed to catnip, those approximately 6 months and older will show altered behaviors such as rubbing themselves on the plant, vocalizing, salivating, and rolling around. The effect of catnip lasts for about ten minutes after which a cat is immune to further effects from the plant for approximately 30 minutes.

Dogs are attracted to catnip, which may seem strange considering its name. We know catnip isn’t toxic for dogs, but its use should still be minimal. Catnip for dogs is more of a relaxant. It is not for everyday use. Typically, catnip is great for anxious or nervous dogs. Giving a small dose of catnip during a stormy night, a fireworks display, or even a trip to the vet will help calm your dog so their experience isn't so stressful. You should not give a pregnant dog catnip.


Dognip isn't really a thing. Once dog owners realized their dog didn't react to catnip the way cats did, they went seeking something they could give their dogs to make them playful and energized. Hello Anise. Some dog owners are now claiming that anise is dognip.

Aniseed, or anise, is a plant from the same family as carrots and celery. Anise has a licorice-like flavor and has been used in human medicine for pain relief. It has been used in holistic vet medicine to treat issues like coughing.

It is not known how, but someone discovered that when exposed to anise, dogs have a reaction similar to that of cats to catnip. Thus the rumor started that anise for dogs is like catnip for cats. However, there are dangers associated with giving anise oil, anise seeds, and anise treats to your dog. Keep the doses small and infrequent. Larger or frequent amounts of anise will cause your dog issues such as diarrhea and upset stomach. Too much anise and your dog will show signs of nervous system depression, which can possibly lead to death. 

Speak with your Vet to know what is the right amount to give your dog. If you still aren't sold on anise for dogs, then avoid giving it to your dog altogether. Better to be safe...

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