With spring on its way, it’s time to spruce up your garden, balcony, or raised beds with beautiful plants. This list of dog-safe plants, shrubs, and garden greenery will add pops of color to any garden while keeping your best dog safe.
If you use a landscaper for your garden, make sure to mention you have pets. They can make recommendations and help you in finding dog-safe greenery and florals for your yard.
“The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) website is a good resource for indoor and outdoor plants that are safe for dogs,” said Luis Simón, CEO of Simón Landscape in Georgia. “I would recommend bottlebrush, camellias, canna lilies, star jasmine, crepe myrtles, salvias, white ginger and roses, as they perform well,” he told betterpet.
You can also refer to our list: these are some of our favorite pet-safe plant, shrub and flower options for your garden.
The bottlebrush is a leafy evergreen that is either a tree or shrub. This gorgeous greenery is pet-safe and is a popular addition to your landscape.
Camellias are broadleaf evergreens that are often used as houseplants or hedges. They have no known toxins and blooms with pink, red, white, lavender, and yellow flowers from fall to spring.
This low-maintenance perennial is perfectly safe for your pups to be around. Canna lilies add pops of tropical colors like red, yellow, and orange.
This shrub hosts pink, red, lavender, and white flowers that are perfectly safe around animals.
These bright golden bells bloom in spring with little maintenance needed: they just need partial sun. They are often used as a pop of color or a hedge and are non-poisonous to dogs. Since these safe plants are deciduous, they shed their leaves in fall.
These regal purple and pink flowers are typically found in hanging baskets at any garden center. Fushias bloom from late spring to late fall and are a pet-safe addition to dogs.
Lilac bushes bloom gorgeous purple flowers. If your dog is lured in by the fragrant flowers, don’t fear: these safe plants are not poisonous (the lilac flowers are even edible, according to the Colorado State University Extension). They require full sun for at least six hours per day.
Magnolia bushes are dog-safe because they are non-toxic. These bushes bloom purple, pink, and white and need full sun.
Marigolds are beautiful flowers that serve a purpose: they bring bees to your garden that deter harmful bugs from infesting other plants. These golden blooms are a pet-safe way to bring color to your garden beds.
The green leafs and red, orange, and yellow flowers likely won’t appeal to your pooch, but if they take a taste, no worries: nasturtiums are non-toxic and a bite will just give them a boost of vitamin C.
These cool annual plants are low maintenance and are often used to drape over garden boxes.
Polka Dot Plant
The polka dot plant looks like it sounds: a houseplant freckled with green and pink spots. This shade-loving perennial is harmless for dogs.
Rosemary is a popular culinary plant that can provide an evergreen feature to your raised bed or landscaping. It’s a good groundcover that’s part of the salvias plant family. Rosemary is dog-safe because it’s non-poisonous.
These delightful yellow, red, white, and pink blooms turn blue/green in the fall. The cool season annuals look good in bouquets and containers. They’re perfect for vertical gardening and require full sun. They are an important nectar plant for bees and are safe for dogs.
Star Jasmines are the perfect non-poisonous trellis plant. These evergreens bloom with fragrant flowers as they grow to be 30-feet long.
Sunflowers can create a natural border around your home without causing harm to your pup. They grow several feet tall and turn during the day to face the sun. After they lose their petals, the seeds attract birds in the fall.
This low maintenance herb is safe for you and your pooch to ingest. Thyme needs some sun and is perfect for adding flavor to your dishes.
Viburnum are pet-friendly evergreens that bloom white and pink flowers in the spring that become beautiful fall foliage that range from yellow to red to orange. These hardy plants are low maintenance as they can withstand drought.
White Ginger is a fragrant white flower that’s completely innocuous. This plant is also known by the common names of Butterfly Ginger, Cinnamon Jasmine, and Ginger Lily.
Dog owners need to avoid these garden plants, flowers, and shrubs
These indoor plants and cut flowers can cause serious harm to your furry friend. Even some of the most beautiful plants and flowers like daffodils and tulips can be deadly.
While aloe vera is a useful houseplant that is often used to treat burns, it may induce vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors.
Azaleas and Rhododendron
Azaleas, part of the rhododendron family, are commonly used in landscaping but the entire genus of these large flowering shrubs is considered poisonous for dogs. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous, the Pet Poison Helpline reports, as it has toxins that affect the intestines, cardiovascular, and central nervous system. Eating this shrub can result in vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and heart problems.
Boxwood adds a bit of greenery to your garden. The plant is often found in wreaths or arches. Ingestion can lead to dehydration, drooling, digestive problems, vomiting, and diarrhea.
More commonly known as “mums,” chrysanthemums are one of the most popular fall garden flowers because they are easy to care for. Though mums won’t kill your dog, this plant is a natural insecticide that may result in a loss of coordination, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and rashes.
Daffodil and Jonquil
Daffodils contain tyrosine, a chemical that triggers vomiting. Eating a daffodil can lead to cardiac issues, convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmia, and low blood pressure.
Dahlias are toxic, though the reason why is unknown. Ingestion can lead to mild gastrointestinal problems and mild dermatitis.
Daisies are part of the chrysanthemum species so they are also toxic. Ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, incoordination, and dermatitis.
The towering foxglove is known for its trumpet-like bells that are purple, orange, or white, but it’s also known as one of the most poisonous plants. All parts of the foxglove are poisonous as foxgloves contain naturally occurring toxic cardiac glycosides that affect the heart. Ingestion can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
All holly varieties including the popular Christmas holly, Japanese holly, English holly, and American holly, are toxic. Eating holly leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lip smacking, drooling, and gastrointestinal injury.
Hydrangeas are poisonous to people and pets in large quantities as there are toxic substances in both the leaves and pink, blue, or white flowers. Eating this plant can lead to diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, and more.
These spring blooms add a pop of yellow or blue to your garden, but they add a level of danger for your dog. Eating irises can result in mild to moderate vomiting, skin irritation, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea.
Lily of the Valley
These bell-shaped woodland plants are pretty to look at, but the Pet Poison Hotline reports that Lily of the Valley are just as dangerous as foxgloves. The plant has cardiac glycosides that cause symptoms similar to foxglove toxicity. Eating any part of this poisonous plant can result in vomiting, heart arrhythmias, seizures, and death.
This early spring blooming shrub has pink, red, and white flowers. But peonies contain a toxin called paenol that can lead to vomiting, excessive drooling, and diarrhea.
The sago palms are naturally found in tropical environments but are also used as a houseplant. All parts of sago palms are poisonous. It contains cycasin, a toxin that causes severe liver damage in dogs. The Pet Poison Hotline reports that severe liver damage can be seen within two to three days of ingestion and the survival rate is 50%.
The bulbs are the most toxic part of this plant, but every part of these popular spring flowers can hurt your dog. If a lot of bulbs are chewed or ingested it can result in tissue irritation in their mouths, esophagus, and can increase their heart rate. Ingestion can lead to convulsions, cardiac problems, difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal discomfort, and drooling.
This vine has beautiful purple poisonous pods that are filled with poisonous seeds. ASPCA reports that ingestion can lead to vomiting (sometimes with blood), diarrhea, and depression.
All varieties of the yew, a common evergreen, contain toxins that are poisonous to dogs. Every part of the plant is dangerous, as they have taxines, a bitter poison in the leaves and seeds. When ingested by your pooch, it can lead to vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures, dilated pupils, coma, and even death.
What to do if your dog has ingested a potentially deadly plant, shrub, or flower
If you think your furry friend has ingested a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian. Delaying a phone call can cause injury or death. If you catch your pup munching on one of our aforementioned toxic plants, keep an eye out for symptoms of poisoning.
You can also call the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Hotline 24 hours at (888) 426-4435
👉 Pet plant poisoning can be an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention.
👉 Here’s our list of all the foods your dog should and shouldn’t eat
Symptoms of plant poisoning
Symptoms can vary as they are specific to each type of plant eaten
These are the most common symptoms you can watch out for:
- Difficulty breathing
Plant poison prevention
The best cure for poisoning is prevention. Take note of any plants and shrubs in your yard or in your house and identify any plants that may be dangerous. Then either remove these plants and shrubs or restrict your dog’s access to them.