Plant a dog-friendly garden!

Make room in your garden for these health-boosting plants and flowers. They’re good for you and your canine companion!

By now you’ve heard about all the plants and flowers that are toxic to dogs. But there are plenty of others that can improve his health and well-being! Choose these dog-friendly options when planting your garden this spring:

1. Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm is a larger and hardy plant, great for coverage and planting along fences. This wonderful green palm also helps purify the air by removing pollution.

2. Catnip

Catnip isn’t just for kitties, but dogs and humans, too. Are you tired of all the mosquitoes buzzing around your dog and yard? Try planting catnip to repel those pests. Recent studies have found that catnip may be even more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. Catnip is also good for relieving an upset belly, easing motion sickness and combating anxiety.

3. Chamomile

Chamomile is a pretty white flower with a yellow center, similar to the daisy. This dainty flower is not only beautiful but offers great healing capabilities for humans and their dogs. It can be used to boost the immune system, soothe the gut, provide antioxidants, and ease anxiety.

4. Cornflower

This vibrant blue flower is not only lovely, but acts as an anti-inflammatory and can soothe the gut and detoxify the liver when taken internally in small doses.

5. Fescue Grass

When you have a pet, urine happens. Fescue grass is great for high traffic areas and won’t die if your pet “goes” on it.

6. Ghost Plant

This pale-gray plant has sprawling stems and is a great groundcover. If you’re looking for a pet-friendly plant to spruce up your deck, this versatile option looks great in a large planter.

7. Lavender

Lavender is a well-known flower for both its beauty and scent. But did you know that lavender’s aroma helps relieve stress and can help improve your dog’s mood? No more feeling blue when lavender is around.

8. Lemon Balm

Not only is lemon balm safe for dogs, but because of its high level of citronella, it also keeps bugs at bay. Lemon balm is good for digestion and anxiety, and can help relax the mind and body.

9. Snapdragon

The bright and unique shape of the snapdragon flower is very popular among children. The flower resembles the face of a dragon that opens and closes when squeezed. Snapdragons have been known to help with skin infections, minor burns and even abscesses, due to their anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. As a bonus, snapdragons lure butterflies!

10. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are such a cheery flower, with their bright yellow heads and tall, sturdy bodies – but did you know they can benefits your pets? Sunflower seeds are used as a diuretic and can improve lung health, while the leaves and roots can be crushed and used to relieve insect bites.

Although these ten plants and flowers are regarded as safe for your dog, please keep in mind that eating a large quantity of any plant can be harmful. Most bulbs tend to be toxic, too. Supervise and interact with your dog while he’s playing in the yard, and take time to smell the flowers!


Tonya Wilhelm is a dog training and cat care specialist who has traveled the US promoting positive ways of preventing and managing behavior issues with a holistic approach. Named one of the top ten dog trainers in the US, she has helped thousands build happy relationships with their dogs with humane, positive training methods. She wrote Proactive Puppy Care, and other books. Tonya offers group and private dog training classes, provides training and behavior services via phone and online, and does workshops at pet expos (