18 Dog friendly plants that always look great
- By: Ashley Saunders
- August 2019
Dogs are always extremely playful, especially in the garden as they love to explore new space, sniff plants and dig up flower beds. So it’s important to consider how you can incorporate dog friendly garden designs in your outdoor space, to allow you and your pets enjoy being outside.
Part of a successful and inviting space for your pooch includes adding dog friendly plants. However, given half a chance, a dog will try its best to destroy any plants and shrubs within sight!
So unless you like constantly try to negotiate with your dog, you’ll want to incorporate a few dog friendly plants into your garden.
Are some Plants Harmful to dogs?
Many plants, while having a pleasing look, are harmful to dogs and pets. It’s therefore worth doing some research before you plant anything in your garden.
If you already have plants in your garden, then you’ll want to double-check they are dog friendly plants and won’t cause any harm.
The best place to start is with Rover’s The Dog People blog. Using their comprehensive database of pet poisonous plants, you can search hundreds of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats. Each plant listed includes its type, a toxicity level, common symptoms and it’s Latin name.
Of course, if you’re still unsure, then it’s worth calling your vet or asking at your local gardening centre.
Basil is both tasty and healthy for dogs in small quantities. The plant’s many benefits include preventing cellular damage, eases arthritis pain and has a calming effect on anxious dogs.
Also, Basil is anti-inflammatory and contains a high level of antioxidants that help prevent many types of illness including cancer.
Surprisingly easy to grow, Basil looks superb all year round and can be used in your kitchen! There are many varieties of Basil to choose from and all are safe for your pets.
Your dog will be captivated by the smells of the wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca). Another dog friendly plant that safe to eat. You’ll want to limit the amount you pooch eats as too many of the tasty berries can lead to a bad belly.
If your dog does eat too many, then you’ll want to give them plenty of water but no food for up to a day. After the fast, encourage your pooch to eat with a bland diet (such as boiled rice and chicken) for a few days.
You’ll want to visit the vet if your dog is still ill after 2 or 3 days.
As one of the most affordable plants, Bamboo has several uses and is superb both indoors and out. In the garden, you can use this highly decorative fast-growing plant to screen areas and create privacy.
Bamboo is often found in flooring, furniture, baskets and toys, among other products. All species are completely safe for your pooch and off-cuts make fantastic chew treats.
You probably grew Sunflowers as a kid, well attempted to! Sunflowers are incredibly easy to grow and always look fantastic.
As another of our dog friendly plants, Sunflowers are safe for small kids and pets! While your pooch might eat the whole thing, they’re really after the seeds.
So if you snack on pesticide-free, unsalted sunflower seeds now and again, you can treat your dog to some as well!
A stable of the English garden, Roses (Rosa spp.) aren’t hazardous to pets. That said, if you treat your Roses insecticides or other garden products, they might be harmful. So check any products before applying them.
However, it’d be a shame for the dog to munch on the most romantic of flowers!
Often found in dog food, Rosemary is not only healthy for your dog to eat but is also a natural flea repellent. Plus as a herb, it’s very easy to grow.
Rosemary contains antioxidants that prevent cancer and heart disease. Also, it’s antimicrobial properties help with your dog’s digestive issues.
It’s well known that Rosemary can improve memory and mood. It’s a fantastic plant for your home and garden.
Venus Fly Trap
Despite their sharp incisors and dangerous reputation, a Venus Fly Trap won’t harm the family pooch! Unless they become fly, of course!
While generally considered as pet-friendly, different plant species may have slight variations which may cause issues. So it’s worth checking individual types before planting.
Beautiful in bloom, Orchids (Phalaenopsis sp.) are a pet-friendly and fragrance plant. Your dog will enjoy being around Orchids as much as you do!
There are over 25,000 species of orchids and many more hybrids on the market and in the wild, luckily they’re all dog friendly plants.
Dill is another fantastic herb that’s easy to grow. Unlike parsley, which is toxic to cats and dogs, Dill is an edible plant that’s safe for dogs.
If you have space, start your own DIY herb garden and grow some Dill. It goes well in creamy dressings, soups, and meats. Yum!
Ideal for hanging baskets, Fuchsias are elegant pink and purple flowers. They’ll be interesting for your dog to look at and smell but won’t cause any harm.
If you’re looking for easy to grow plants then Thyme is ideal. It’s another herb that won’t harm your pets and doesn’t need a lot of attention. Make sure you water and trim it occasionally.
Thyme goes well with roasted vegetables, meat, soups, and potatoes.
While not an actual Ivy, Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus) is ideal for hanging baskets because of it’s trailing stems. It’s worth noting that true ivy plants are poisonous to dogs. So use Swedish Ivy instead, it’s just as impressive.
When most people think of magnolias, they picture large, stately trees. However, this plant also grows as a bush. Most magnolia bushes offer spectacular flowers in purple, pink, or white.
These dog friendly plants enjoy full sun and occasional watering. You and your pooch will enjoy their colourful blooms.
Available in a variety of hues, the African Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) instantly adds a splash of colour to the garden. The plant also grows well indoors in ample sunlight.
It’s a dog friendly plant and doesn’t cause harm after ingestion. Plus, who doesn’t love to look at Daisies!
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) always seem to be in bloom and don’t need that much care. They grow quickly and are quite resilient. They prefer full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
Daylilies are not toxic to dogs, but they are to cats. True lilies (Lilium spp.), which are similar in appearance to daylilies, are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure in less than two days.
So be careful when buying seeds or plants that you have the right variety.
Marigolds have a beautiful sun-like bloom, which is superb to look at. They help bring bees to your garden and protect your vegetables, should you have a patch!
Their strong scent deters beetles and other harmful bugs from infesting your edible plants. Your pooch will love sniffing them!
Not the easiest shrub to plant, Camellias do take some work to establish. However, once firmly rooted in your garden they’ll keep coming back each year without need much help from you.
These flowering shrubs prefer partial shade and only need watering to start with. Mature plants can survive off of natural water quite happily.
Simple to grow plant Geraniums are a beautiful dense shrub which blooms with stunning purple flowers. There are non-threatening to greedy dogs, so are an ideal addition to your pet-friendly garden.
Watch out for pelargoniums as these can be toxic and dangerous to animals who eat them. Stay safe and plant Geraniums, they’re an English favourite!
Bonus: Busy Lizzie
Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana). Another classic English flower. They have beautiful vibrant colours and are ideal as foliage in the back garden. As a safe plant for pets to explore, they’ll enjoy sniffing and playing amongst them.
Adding dog friendly plants to your garden
Any of our dog friendly plants will improve your garden while curbing your pet’s desire to destroy anything in sight! You might want to add a few these plants into your garden and incorporate them into your existing flower beds.