Is Doggijuana Really Just Catnip for Dogs? The Surprising Truth

What is Doggijuana?

Doggijuana is a brand of dog toys and treats made with a proprietary blend of herbs, including valerian root, that are designed to have calming effects on dogs similar to how catnip affects cats (Source: The name Doggijuana is a play on the slang term “marijuana,” but it does not actually contain any cannabis. Doggijuana products can come in various forms like stuffed toys, bones, or chews.

According to the Doggijuana website, their products use natural ingredients to help relax dogs, reduce anxiety, and encourage playtime. The main active ingredient is valerian root, an herb that has been used for centuries to help relieve stress and induce sleep. Valerian root contains compounds like valerenic acid and isovaltrate that interact with receptors in dogs’ brains, causing mild sedative effects when smelled or consumed (Source:

In summary, Doggijuana refers to dog toys and treats infused with valerian root and other calming herbs designed to have catnip-like relaxing effects on canines.

What is catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a type of mint native to parts of Europe and Asia. It is a perennial herb that grows to around 3 feet tall and has soft, heart-shaped, greyish-green leaves with scalloped edges and small, tubular whitish-lavender flowers that bloom in spikes. The plant contains an essential oil called nepetalactone [1], which is particularly attractive to cats.

Catnip contains terpenoids that mimic feline “happy” pheromones. When cats sense the nepetalactone in catnip, it binds to receptors in their noses and elicits a euphoric response—similar to the effects of marijuana in humans. About 50-70% of cats are strongly affected by catnip. Reactions can include sniffing, chewing, head shaking, chin and cheek rubbing, head rolling, pawing, licking, and other odd behaviors. The effects usually last between 5 and 15 minutes before wearing off.

In addition to being a stimulant for cats, catnip is used by people in herbal teas, as a flavoring, and for its calming effects. The plant has also been used historically for medicinal purposes [2].


Active ingredients

The active ingredient in both doggijuana and catnip is nepetalactone, which is an essential oil derived from plants in the Nepeta genus. Nepetalactone binds to olfactory receptors in cats, causing a euphoric effect. Dogs also have these receptors, so nepetalactone has relaxing and calming effects on them as well (1).

a dog sniffing doggijuana treats

There are a few key differences between the nepetalactone content of catnip and doggijuana:

  • Catnip contains a higher concentration of nepetalactone, around 3-7% compared to 1-2% in doggijuana (2).
  • Catnip usually contains only one isomer of nepetalactone called nepetalactone E, while doggijuana contains a blend of E and Z isomers (3).
  • The lower concentration and different isomer blend in doggijuana provides a milder experience for dogs compared to the intense response cats have to catnip (3).

So in summary, the active ingredient is the same (nepetalactone) but the concentration and composition differs between catnip and doggijuana to create a product tailored for dogs.




Effects on dogs

Doggijuana contains an active ingredient called nepetalactone that has a calming effect on dogs. When ingested, Doggijuana can help relax anxious or nervous dogs. It may also stimulate appetite in dogs. According to Doggijuana’s FAQ page, Doggijuana “produces a calming effect that helps dogs chill – naturally!.” The calming effects are similar to how catnip relaxes cats.

a relaxed dog lying down

However, the effects of Doggijuana can vary between individual dogs. Some dogs may become more playful or energetic after ingesting Doggijuana. The effects also depend on the dosage. It’s recommended to start with a small amount and adjust as needed.

Overall, Doggijuana provides a natural way to help dogs relax and can be a useful tool for anxious or high-strung dogs. It should be used responsibly and under supervision to ensure the proper dosage and effects for each individual dog.

Effects on cats

Catnip contains an oil called nepetalactone that can produce a range of reactions when cats smell it. The most common reaction is referred to as “catnip response” and involves behaviors like sniffing, licking, chewing, head shaking, rolling, and rubbing.

Catnip stimulates cats through their olfactory system and acts on receptors in the cat’s brain, producing feelings of pleasure and euphoria. However, cats’ sensitivity to catnip peaks between 3-6 months old and then declines, with about two-thirds of cats retaining their reaction to catnip into adulthood.

While catnip does not have hallucinogenic properties, it can make cats hyperactive. They may meow loudly, zoom around, roll on the floor, salivate, scratch furniture, and playfully attack other pets or toys. The effects usually last between 5-15 minutes. Some signs of catnip overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty walking.


Both doggijuana and catnip are legal in the United States for pet usage. Doggijuana’s website states that their products do not actually contain marijuana, THC or CBD. Rather, doggijuana contains catnip, which produces marijuana-like effects in dogs but does not contain any illegal substances (

Catnip is legal for sale in all 50 states. While catnip does contain the chemical nepetalactone which causes a high in cats, it is not regulated as a controlled substance. Both catnip and doggijuana products containing catnip can be purchased legally online or in pet stores (

In summary, doggijuana and catnip are comparable in that they are both legal substances for pet usage that produce cannabis-like effects. Neither contain illegal substances like marijuana or THC.


Both catnip and Doggijuana are considered safe for pets when used appropriately. According to Doggijuana’s FAQ page, “Catnip is safe and non-toxic for dogs. The worst that could happen if they were to ingest a large amount is an upset stomach or diarrhea” (

a dog playing with a doggijuana toy

However, there are some precautions to keep in mind. Giving a dog too much catnip or Doggijuana can cause overstimulation and anxiety. It’s recommended to start with small amounts and monitor the dog’s reaction. Pregnant dogs should avoid catnip and Doggijuana, as the effects are not well studied. Finally, never give a dog catnip/Doggijuana without supervision – chewing these products could potentially cause choking.

Overall, catnip and its doggie counterpart Doggijuana appear to be safe when used responsibly. As with any supplement, owners should exercise caution and stop use if any concerning side effects develop.


Both Doggijuana and catnip can be used in a variety of ways to provide a calming effect for pets. Some common usages include:



    cat playing with catnip toy

  • Rubbing it on toys, scratching posts, beds to encourage playful behavior in cats.
  • Mixing it into treats or food for a soothing effect.
  • Sprinkling it on the floor or on cat trees to attract cats.

Both can be used topically or orally to help calm pets in stressful situations like travel, vet visits, or introducing new environments.


Although Doggijuana and catnip have similar effects, there are some key differences between the two.

The active ingredient in catnip that causes euphoric effects in cats is called nepetalactone, while the active ingredient in Doggijuana is called actinidine. Actinidine affects dogs in a similar way that nepetalactone affects cats 1.

One of the biggest differences is that catnip can actually have a sedative effect on dogs, while Doggijuana energizes them. Doggijuana contains higher levels of actinidine, specifically formulated to induce a euphoric state in dogs 2.

Additionally, Doggijuana is designed to be long-lasting in toys and treats for dogs. The actinidine maintains its potency much longer than nepetalactone in catnip products. This allows the effects of Doggijuana to last longer when dogs play with infused toys 3.

In summary, while Doggijuana and catnip have some overlapping effects, Doggijuana is specifically formulated with dogs in mind, using higher levels of the active ingredient actinidine to create a longer-lasting euphoric state.


Based on the research and analysis in this content, Doggijuana and catnip do share some similarities but ultimately are different substances. While they both contain nepetalactone and can induce a “high” in pets, Doggijuana is specifically formulated for dogs while catnip is intended for cats. The herb species, dosage, and effects also differ between the two. Doggijuana contains higher levels of the active ingredient and causes more intense neurological reactions in dogs. Meanwhile, catnip elicits a milder euphoric state in cats. Legally they are also regulated differently, with catnip unrestricted but Doggijuana facing greater scrutiny. Ultimately, Doggijuana should not be considered equivalent to or interchangeable with catnip. While the two share similarities, they are distinct substances tailored to different species.

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