OK yeah I know what you’re thinking, Catnip(Nepeta cataria) for my dog? When most people think of Catnip they think of silly antics cats exhibit when exposed to a catnip filled toy. While most cats love it, catnip is also a safe, healthy herb for your dog as well.
Catnip is a woody perennial member of the mint family(one of it’s other common names is Catmint). The plant itself is beautiful and aromatic with it’s lovely heart shaped leaves and small white or lilac colored flowers and easy to grow.
So how does catnip benefit my dog?
- Relaxing – Catnip has the opposite effect on dogs as it does cats, it relaxes them. It’s often used to reduce anxiety from stressors such as thunder, fireworks or that pesky trip to the vet.
- Digestive Health – Helps with gas and other intestinal issues such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and motion sickness
- Anti-Fungal – When applied topically as a tea or infused oil, Catnip can help with ringworm and yeast infections.
- Antibacterial – Catnip contains the compound Thymol which has both antibacterial and anti-fugal properties. Along with it’s anti-inflammatory properties Catnip is a great choice topically for minor wounds, cuts and abrasions.
- Insect Repellent – Catnip also contains Nepetalactone which, according to the Humane Society Of America is 10 times stronger than DEET(diethyltoluamid) for repelling insects. Catnip also contains citronellal, citral, carvacrol and pulegone which are known to repel insects as well.
I personally have used Catnip made into a tea for my rescue Boxer Kippah. I tried a few other things but I found Catnip along with Passionflower(read my post Benefits Of Passionflower For Dogs) worked the best for her.
I have also used Catnip along with Plantain(read my post on the Benefits Of Plantain For Dogs) made into a tea to treat Kippah when she had a bout of diarrhea, it worked really well.
Catnip, because of it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties I also include it in my Organic Healing Salve. If you haven’t tried one yet you should! I use the healing salve for everything skin related, minor scrapes, cuts, burns, dry skin(or paws and noses), and wound healing for all my animals and myself.
So why not try growing Catnip in your garden. It’s easy to grow, comes back every year, repels insects, is a very versatile herb to have around and also looks and smells great! Your dogs will appreciate it!
Catnip is considered a safe herb but should not be given to pregnant dogs