What is it with dogs and anise seed? They love this stuff! Anise or Aniseed is a plant that is native to parts of Asia and the Mediterranean. It is primarily used in cooking and herbal medicine. You can also find it in essential oils. So we know the uses and some of the benefits of anise seed on humans. This herb has similar tastes to that of fennel or licorice and is used for various issues such as sleeplessness.
However, why are dogs so fond of this herb too? Most dogs just go a little crazy over anise seed. Let’s look into this just a bit more and find out why.
The Root of the Behavior
Well, if you have not figured this out just yet, anise seed is like catnip for a dog. Dogs are drawn to it just like cats are with catnip. Dogs are much more scent-oriented than humans, whereas, humans are more visual. This is part of why dogs love smelling things and why anise seed is something they enjoy immensely. An example of them being scent-oriented is when they roll in stinky things or dirt. This odd behavior just stimulates their sense of smell. It might seem gross to us, but that’s what dogs love to do.
Anise seed should be given in moderation like anything else. You can find it in treats, or various forms at your local pet store. Anise seed actually gets your dog excited and moving. So, it can be used in training to get your pooch to do things. However, overexposing your dog to anise seed in larger amounts can cause an upset stomach or even diarrhea.
Anise seed can also suppress a dog’s nervous system when taken in larger amounts causing issues such as low heart rate, unconsciousness, or even death. If you notice any signs of your dog's heart rate or breathing rate rapidly decreasing contact, your vet immediately. Keep in mind that small amounts of anise seed is perfectly okay for your dog though and can also be used as a holistic approach to your dog's health. This herb has some great health benefits for dogs. It can also be used to help with digestive issues such as nausea or gas. This herb is also helpful to treat respiratory problems such as congestion or coughs. Anise seed has always been used to treat seizures in dogs. However, always consult your vet before trying any holistic remedy on your pet. It’s important to know how to properly use anise seed and how often to give it to your beloved dog.
Encouraging the Behavior
As stated earlier, using the herb anise seed should be done in moderation. Also, be sure to keep it out of your dog’s reach in order to prevent over exposure. Anise seed is a great aid to use in training. It is recommended that you get treats at your local pet store that contain some anise seed in them. Greyhound dog races actual use an anise seed spray to help train their race dogs. So, this can be a good tool in just about any training you do with your dog. Just don’t give him or her too many treats to be safe and if you want your dog to calm down, do not give him anise seed as it will have the opposite effect.
Also, keep in mind you can find numerous recipes on dog treats with anise seed that you can make on your own and store in a sealed container for your dog. Not everything you give your pooch has to be store bought. So, if you are into baking you just might want to try your hand at making homemade dog treats. Sometimes this is even more cost-effective than buying store bought treats! So, it is definitely something that is worth looking into for yourself!
Other Solutions and Considerations
It has been suggested that you can use anise seed essential oil on dogs. Some people say it’s safe, while others have said never to use essential oils on a dog. So the jury is out on this one. However, if it is something you want to research further for yourself, start by asking a veterinary professional. It’s always good to know all the facts before starting any holistic approach. You may even want to consult a vet that is known for using holistic approaches on dogs to get a deeper understanding before trying the essential oil. It’s better to just play it safe when it comes to your pet.
So we have learned anise seed is the dognip for dogs. It can get them excited and even motivated to do things. Always use it in moderation and discuss it with your vet. The bottom line is this, anise seed might be fun for dogs and they may love it but too much of anything can be a bad thing.
By Darlene Stott
Published: 03/24/2018, edited: 05/26/2021