When the entire family is outside you want everyone to enjoy themselves. That includes our furry family members too! What we don’t always realize though, is that many of the ornamental and practical plants we commonly have in our gardens might not be safe for our pets. While it is impossible to mention every single plant that is harmful to every single type of pet, we have a really good list for you. If you can’t find the plant you are questioning …the best advice is to look it up to make sure that it is safe for your specific type of animal(s). In the meantime, know that it is possible to have a pet-safe garden that all can enjoy and looks great year round. Here are some general tips for the most commonly found plants.
The following perennial and annual flowers are ones to avoid for most dogs and cats:
Now, you know your pet best. Some pets can go out into a garden and not be bothered with any plants. However, if your pet is the more curious sort the above plants can cause lethargy, loss of coordination, gastrointestinal problems, drooling, dermatitis, heart arrhythmia, and in some cases, death. It’s sad to consider, but good to be well informed.
Sometimes the bulbs are more dangerous than the grown plant. Keep these out of reach and make sure they aren’t dug up and eaten:
- Daffodil and Jonquil
Just because you have pets and you already have some of these in your garden does not mean you must always keep a watchful eye on your pets, nor tear your garden up from the roots. You can put up fencing or other barriers to simply prevent your pet from accessing the area with the dangerous plants. When the annuals die for the season you can replace them with pet-safe flowers such as:
- African Violets
- Blooming Sally
- Blue-Eyed Daisy
- Tiger Lily
Herbs and Foods
Herbs and veggies can be both pet-safe and harmful depending on the type. Consider growing harmful herbs and veggies in pots up and away from pets and keeping the pet-safe varieties in the garden. Keep tomato, potato, and pepper plants away from animals as well as mint and parsley. Let them enjoy cilantro, catnip or catmint, sage, thyme, lettuce, squashes, cucumber, and even blueberries and watermelon if they must!
Shrubs, Vines, and Trees
You also want to take into consideration the other plants and vegetation your pet may come in contact with. A surprising number of shrubs, vines, and trees can have harmful effects on dogs or cats or both.
- Aloe Vera
- Azaleas and Rhododendron
- English and Boston Ivy
- Morning Glory
- Oak trees
- Rose of Sharon
- Yellow Bird of Paradise
- Crape Myrtle
- Creeping Zinnia
- Feather Palm
- Magnolia Bush
- Mulberry Tree
- Purple passion vine
- Spider Ivy
- Sweet Potato Vine
Again, it can be difficult to keep your pets away from these plants totally. Many grow wild or are common in parks and other public areas. It’s best to be very cautious but not too restricting (they need to run and play). My personal suggestion is if there is ANY chance there might be plants that can harm your pets in the area…keep a sharp eye out to make sure they don’t stop and graze…especially when they are playing in a no leash fenced in Dog Park. Work on training your pets to not chew on plants. As an additional and important measure…always be aware of unusual behavior or symptoms. This way, you and your pet will stay happy and healthy all year long. I have to admit that I am super crazy with my rescue pups…they literally can’t do anything without one of the family watching them inside or out lol!!! In the end though…always side with the SAFE! One more thing…if you are planting a Garden that your pet will be walking through and have any chance of nibbling…there are tons of pretty safe plants…the non-safe ones…well leave them for petless homes!
A Quick note:
If you think your animal has eaten something poisonous, and you cannot reach your local vet, there are national hotlines that can offer guidance and first-aid.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 A $65 USD per incident fee may apply
Pet poison Helpline: (855) 764-7661 A $59 USD per incident fee applies
If You Enjoyed Our Pet-Safe Garden Info…you will LOVE our other posts…so be sure to…
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