Catnip is essentially marijuana for cats. When you treat your cats to catnip, they roll around on the floor, bat at imaginary birds, zoom around the house, and generally have a great time. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give your dog their own form of catnip? Sadly, catnip doesn’t do much for dogs, but many dog owners don’t realize that there’s already a dog equivalent to catnip–and you might have it sitting around in your pantry.
Something about anise makes dogs go crazy. Every dog reacts differently, but some dogs get hyper and giddy after they eat anise. Others get calm and mellow and lie around the house for a while. Whatever the case, anise is a safe, natural ingredient that you can give your dog to improve their mood. You don’t want to give your dog anise every day, but it’s a fun once-in-a-while treat that gives your dog the sensation of being “high.” Buy anise at your local spice store if you don’t already have it in your kitchen.
Anise is a natural ingredient, but like anything else, you’ll need to show precautions before you give it to your dog. Here’s everything you need to know about anise (also known as “dognip.”)
What is Dognip?
Anise is a spice that essentially acts as dognip. When your dog eats anise, they become excited and giddy or calm and mellow–just like your cat when you give them catnip. Currently, this is the only ingredient that’s known to cause this kind of reaction in dogs. You can give your dog raw anise or bake it into a treat.
Where Can You Find Dognip?
Some stores sell anise dog treats, but it hasn’t caught on quite like catnip. You might have to go online to find dognip for your pet. You could also visit a spice store and pick up a bag of anise seed. If you can’t find it in person, hundreds of online stores sell raw anise.
Is Raw Anise Safe for Your Dog?
Raw anise is 100% safe for your dog when you use it in moderation. Treat your dog to anise once in a while for an afternoon of fun and relaxation. However, you shouldn’t give your dog anise every day, as too much anise can cause stomach problems and issues with their nervous system. You wouldn’t give your cat catnip every day, so show the same moderation with dognip.
What About Star Anise?
Star anise is similar to anise, but it has a different shape and a milder flavor. Note that star anise and anise are not the same ingredients. Star anise may not have the same effect on your dog, so use it for tea and hot meals rather than dog treats.
How Do You Give Your Dog Anise?
Dogs eat or chew on anise to get the benefits. Here are a few ways you could give your dog anise seeds:
- Mix it in with their dog food.
- Sprinkle it on a favorite chew toy.
- Place it in an area that your dog visits frequently, like their dog crate.
- Stick it in a “pill pouch” treat.
- Make homemade dog treats with anise.
- Give your dog anise extract, or drizzle it on their food.
Since your dog can only handle anise in moderation, you might want to save it for special occasions or use it as a reward for training milestones. For example, if your dog masters the behavior that you’ve been working on for the past few weeks, you could treat them to a dose of anise. You could also give your dog a little anise when you cook with this spice–just don’t give them too much.
How Does Your Dog React When They Eat Anise Seeds?
Every dog reacts a little differently. Some dogs get excited and start jumping around, running around the house, and going crazy in the backyard while using their wireless dog fence. Your dog might engage in silly antics that you wouldn’t see otherwise. Other dogs chill out and lie around the house, enjoying the mild sedative effect. Still, other dogs don’t have much of a reaction. If your dog doesn’t seem to react to it, you could feed them a little more, but don’t give them a huge dose. Anise just might not be the right ingredient for your dog.
Once you’ve given your dog anise the first time, use their reaction to gauge how you’ll use anise in the first place. If your dog mellows out when they take anise, it might relieve your dog’s anxiety in stressful situations. On the other hand, anise could help your dog perk up and get more exercise.
If you have multiple dogs, you might not want to give them anise all at once. Otherwise, you might have multiple crazy dogs running around the house.
What Does Anise Taste Like?
Anise tastes similar to licorice, making it a popular spice for specialty dishes. Some dogs will eat just about anything, so the taste isn’t necessarily a factor. Just keep it in mind if you plan on using anise for cooking.
Can You Cook with the Leftover Anise?
Absolutely! You can make cookies, pancakes, curry, baked tofu, roast vegetables, biscotti, ice cream, and other tasty dishes. Anise is a common ingredient in Asian, Indian and European dishes, and makes a great licorice-flavored tea. You might like it so much that you keep two packages of anise on hand— one for you and one for your dog.
Can You Give Your Dog Regular Catnip?
Regular catnip is safe for dogs, but they probably won’t react to it. At most, some dogs feel tired after they ingest catnip. However, you could use catnip to keep bugs and other pests away from your dog when they play outside in a GPS dog fence.
What About Similar Spices Like Fennel?
Similar spices and ingredients don’t have the same effect as anise. However, fennel and licorice can ease the symptoms of certain health conditions in dogs. Do some research, and think about picking up multiple spices for your dog when you go to the supermarket. Not every dog has the same reaction, but these spices are safe for dogs as long as they don’t have an allergy.
Could You Use Anise As Dog Treats While Training?
Anise has a long history as a stimulant for active and training dogs. You don’t want to give your dog anise every time you have a training session, but a little anise may give them a boost of energy. Some dogs also find it easier to focus when they have a dose of anise (1).
You don’t have to leave your dog out when you give your cat catnip. With dognip, your dog can join in on the fun. Anise is a natural spice that many people use in sweets, teas, hot meals, and other dishes. Anise also has a strong effect on dogs. Some dogs get a boost of energy and hyperactivity while others relax for the rest of the day. Not all dogs react to anise, but if your dog is one of the lucky ones, you’ll have a special treat that you can give them once a month or so. Essentially, anise seed is catnip for dogs.
Anise is generally safe for dogs, but give your dog anise in moderation. If you give your dog anise all the time, they could suffer from stomach issues, respiratory illnesses, and problems with their nervous system. Even if you’re training your dog, use it for an occasional boost of energy, not a regular dose that you feed your dog every time they train. You could give your dog anise extract, make homemade treats, sprinkle anise over their food, or simply give your dog raw anise seeds. Either way, they’ll eat it up and enjoy the “high” effect that they get afterward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there such a thing as dognip?
Yes! When you give your cat catnip, you can also treat your dog to dognip made from a different ingredient. Like catnip, dognip is 100% natural and made from an ingredient that you could pick up at your local spice store.
Do dogs have a version of catnip?
Anise is essentially catnip for dogs. Not all dogs react to anise, but if your dog has a strong reaction, they might become giddy, excited, and hyperactive. Other dogs are calm and relaxed after a dose of dognip.
Do dogs get high on catnip?
Most dogs don’t have much of a reaction to catnip. It’s safe to give your dog catnip, but they probably won’t experience more than mild fatigue. Your dog’s genes determine whether they react to catnip or not.
What is dognip made of?
Dognip is made from a spice called anise. Anise is a popular spice for Asian and European food and makes a great licorice-tasting tea. You can give your dog raw anise or make homemade treats with anise and other ingredients.