Catnip for dogs?

A reader asked if there was an herb equivalent to catnip for dogs. In my search for the answer to that question, I came across many articles claiming that although some dogs will actually respond to catnip, aniseed is to dogs what catnip is to cats. Foxhounds will reportedly follow the scent of anise oil in drag hunting and the artificial rabbit that greyhound dogs chase during racing is laced with anise oil.

Although I could not find a peer-reviewed source of information on this topic, there are many anise-flavored doggy treat recipes and products online, which apparently freshen their breath. For that reason alone, I may consider giving our dog anise-flavored treats!

Kowalchik C, Hylton WH (Ed). Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 1998.


  1. #1 Anthony
    January 20, 2012

    My personal experience with anise and dogs is that dogs find anise absolutely fascinating. They also appreciate licorice.

  2. #2 Mark LaRoux
    January 20, 2012

    Other dog’s poo and pee seems to work pretty well for mine. Am I alone in this?

  3. #3 Stem Cell Therapy in Dog
    January 21, 2012

    I tried it once and it was pretty good.

  4. #4 informania
    January 21, 2012

    Don’t know about anise, but I know for sure my dog doesn’t even seem to like the smell of fennel -which is quite close to anis-, at least as far my olfactory perception goes.

    Many cats also go a bit nuts on valerian root, rubbing themselves on it like crazy while purring loudly. It’s really fun to watch.

  5. #5 informania
    January 21, 2012

    They will smell feet-like afterwards, but I guess that might be an improvement considering their general smellyness:P

  6. #6 Hanan
    November 5, 2012

    my dog loves Rocca leaves

  7. #7 betty
    November 22, 2013

    glad to know that it’s ok for dogs to us catnip my dog likes it