Why Do Dogs Like Anise?

Also known as aniseed, anise is a plant seed closely related to cumin caraway and fennel seeds. It is used in food and drinks worldwide. It has an herbal, earthy smell and flavor perfectly matched with its sweetness. Not to be confused with star anise, aniseed is loved for its potent taste and scent that closely resembles that of black licorice.

Its most common use with dogs is for nose work training. It works together with clove and birch to train scent dogs.

Anise is also referred to as catnip for dogs because of the playfulness and excitement it causes in them. You can, therefore, give it to your dog in small doses to boost their mood.

Anise And Dogs

The scent from anise is most noticeable by dogs because of their advanced sense of smell. In most dogs, anise stimulates them, making them hyperactive.

The effect anise has on dogs varies depending on the dog, with some loving the scent, others disliking it, and others having no interest in it. The hyperactivity it causes in them can last a few hours, so be ready to deal with an overstimulated dog.

However, once the effect wears off, most dogs become sleepy as it exhausts their energy. It is best to put anise far from dogs to avoid constant exposure and over-stimulation as it can zap their energy.

Aside from the excitement, you can also use aniseed to treat your dog’s skin conditions and digestive problems. Additionally, it is a herbal remedy for stimulation and pain. Nonetheless, it is important to consult your vet before using it on your dog, as too much of it can harm your pup.

Using Anise For Dogs

Because of its strong impact, you have to be moderate when using anise with your dog. It has a strong aroma such that using too much can overpower your dog’s senses.

Anise takes about 15 to 2 minutes to kick in, so you can give it to your dog, then take them to the park or play and exercise them for about two hours after using it.

Avoid using it close to bedtime; otherwise, you can be up for hours trying to exhaust your dog. Also, avoid it if your furry friend has liver or kidney problems, a sensitive gastrointestinal system or anxiety.

Ingesting or exposure to high amounts of anise can result in:

  • Inappetence
  • Collapse
  • Lethargy
  • Unresponsiveness or change in demeanor
  • Lowered breathing rate

What Is The Best Aniseed Form To Use?

You can use both ground and whole aniseed. Crushing it results in a more potent aroma and reduces the number of seeds you need. You can sprinkle a little powder in your dog’s treats or foods to boost their flavor and aroma.

You can also apply it on their toy or fill a sachet with the ground or whole aniseed and tie it on their toy. This makes it fun for them, especially when outside, for maximum exercise.

Aniseed essential oil is also another form you can use. You, however, need to be extra careful with it as it is more concentrated. Do not let your dog ingest it or directly apply it to their skin. These can result in bowel disturbance and skin irritation respectively.

Put only a drop of it on their collar or bedding instead, for the aroma. You can also dab a drop on their toy during playtime.

Related: What Essential Oils are Bad for Dogs?

Dosage For Dogs

The amount of anise to give to dogs depends on the kind of dog. Your vet can help you identify the correct dosage for each dog. They may also provide you with alternative supplements that you can use instead of anise.

If you own more than one dog, it is crucial to give them anise separately as some can have a lower tolerance than others.


Aniseed has strong properties that can give your dog a boost of energy. However, you have to be careful when using it with your dog to avoid over-stimulation. Also, note that some dogs may react negatively to it. Consult your veterinarian to know whether you can use it with your dog to be on the safe side.

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