Is Catnip Safe for Dogs?

|5 min read

If you're a cat owner, you must have tried or at least heard about catnip. Chances are you've wondered if you can give a bit of catnip to your dog, too.

Well, you're not the only one. Many pet parents with both cats and dogs as pets have had this question.

The short answer to this is yes! Catnip is safe for dogs, and interestingly, it is even safe for humans to consume.

Today, we're going to discuss whether catnip is safe for dogs, what effects it can have on your dog, along with the pros and cons of catnip for dogs.

So stick around as we take you along to discuss this exciting crossover of canine and feline stuff and discover a whole new world of possibilities.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb that mainly belongs to the mint family. It has a particular chemical called nepetalactone, and this chemical is what makes cats channel a series of states from being extremely chill to being excited little furballs sprinting around the house.

You can easily find catnip in different forms, like dried catnip or even as a spray, gel, or oil. You also have the option to grow your own fresh catnip plant at home.

Is Catnip Safe For Dogs?

Absolutely, YES.

Not only is catnip perfectly safe for dogs, it can even be beneficial for them. Catnip is loaded with vitamins C and E, magnesium, flavonoids, tannins, and essential oils.

However, it is essential to know that just like with cats, there are dogs who won't react to catnip at all. So, giving your dog catnip might not be effective, but you can steer clear of it causing any harm to your dog.

What Is The Effect Of Catnip For Dogs?

You know, even though it's called "catnip," its use is not particularly limited to cats. Catnip also affects dogs, but its impact is quite the opposite of what it does to cats.

While catnip usually makes cats go all around the house excited, in dogs, it calms them down, like a mild sedative sometimes.

But here, it is important to know that not all dogs react the same way to catnip. Some might not react at all, just like with cats.

Now, the key thing to remember is that you shouldn't use catnip as a daily thing for your dogs. It's more like a special treat for when your dog is feeling restless or has an upset stomach or any other medical issue that is making them feel uneasy.

Here, it is important to mention that while catnip isn't a toxic herb for dogs, giving them too much can cause an upset stomach, which is really the last thing you want when you're trying stuff to help them feel better. Remember catnip acts differently on different dogs.

Pros and Cons of Catnip for Dogs

Let's dive into the ups and downs of this minty herb for your canine buddy.


There are several pros of giving catnip to your dog; let's look at them.

  1. Improved sleep

    Catnip has a calming effect on dogs, so if you give it to your dog about half an hour before bedtime, it can help them relax and sleep more peacefully. It's also helpful if your dog has trouble sticking to a regular sleep schedule or is generally having difficulty sleeping.

  2. Stress release

    Catnip can help your dog relax in stressful situations like visits to the vet, grooming sessions, noisy fireworks, thunderstorms, and other anxiety-inducing events.

  3. Stomach soothing

    Catnip can have a soothing effect on your dog's tummy. If your furry friend gets car sick, consider giving them a bit of catnip about half an hour before your car ride to help settle their stomach.

  4. Aid in Recovery

    Since catnip has natural antibacterial and healing properties, it can work as an organic antiseptic. You can gently apply fresh catnip to your pet's wounds or cuts.

    However, here, it is important to remember that this is not a substitute for professional veterinary care in case of an emergency.

  5. Natural pest repellent

    Interestingly, catnip naturally repels fleas and mosquitoes. You can use this quality of this herb in your favor and plant catnip in your garden. You can also apply catnip oil or spray to your dog's fur or even scatter fresh or dried catnip on their beds to deter these annoying insects.


While there are a lot of pros of catnip for dogs, there are a few cons that you should look out for. These include:

  1. Upset stomach

    While catnip is generally safe for dogs, overconsumption of catnip can lead to stomach issues in dogs, so it's essential to use it in moderation.

  2. Potential allergies

    Just like with any other substance, there's a slight chance of an allergic reaction in some dogs when they are exposed to catnip.

How Do You Give Your Dog Catnip?

When giving catnip to your dog, you've got a few options. You can sprinkle dried catnip on your dog's food or put fresh catnip leaves in their water. If your dog has a small cut or scrape, you can even use fresh catnip. And if you're using catnip to keep pests away, spray it on your dog's bed or play area. You can also give catnip tea to your furry friends.

While there's no exact amount you should use, it's important not to give too much catnip to your dog, as it can lead to an upset stomach.

To play it safe, it's a good idea to stick to no more than half a teaspoon of dried catnip or just a few leaves at a time. This way, your dog can enjoy all the health benefits without tummy troubles.

Final Words!

Catnip is a helpful addition for your dog, with benefits like better sleep, stress relief, tummy comfort, and keeping those pesky pests away.

But remember, it's all about balance. Too much catnip can give your pup a tummy ache, so it is vital to use it in moderation.

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