Is catnip bad for dogs?
Your cat is busy playing around a toy that contains catnip when your dog is trying to play. A question comes to mind: is catnip safe for dogs?
Basically, catnip (Nepeta cataria) is just an herb in the mint family that contains nepetalactone, a chemical compound known to excite cats when it comes into contact with their olfactory receptors (i.e. when they smell it).
While it probably won’t give your canine companion the same feeling of euphoria, it shouldn’t have any ill effects, unlike chocolate, coffee, and many other common substances that aren’t suitable for dogs.
In fact, as the Kansas-based Animal Care Clinic explains, catnip has an impressive list of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can boost your dog’s health. These include vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, flavonoids, etc.
How Does Catnip Affect Dogs?
Not all cats end up bouncing off walls when they catch a puff of catnip. Some act more “buzzy” than outright hyper, while others seem totally immune to it.
For dogs, meanwhile, catnip usually works as a very mild natural sedative. This makes it a great way to calm your dog during thunderstorms, fireworks, vet visits, or any other stressful situation. It can also help them sleep or ease a stomach ache. The Dog People of Rover.com recommends topping your dog’s meal with up to half a teaspoon of dried catnip or putting a few catnip leaves in his water bowl.
While the herb is, again, safe for canine consumption, it’s never a bad idea to have your veterinarian run the plan before offering it to your particular dog.
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