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This article was originally posted March 22, 2017, and was updated March 3, 2020.
Looking to spice up your garden or your balcony, but unsure which plants are safe for dogs? We’ve done some of the legwork for you with this list of 17 dog-safe plants and garden favorites that will add beauty and color to your yard or garden without posing any threat to your pup.
Keep in mind the varieties on this list are specific—for example, while African daisies may be harmless to dogs, other varieties of daisies are considered toxic—and that this list is specific to dogs. If you’re interested in learning about what plants are poisonous to cats, or about other plants not on this list that may be poisonous to pets, check out our guide, Poisonous Plants to Dogs and Cats.
Many of these dog-safe plants are available at your local home and garden store as seeds, starts, or potted plants. You can also find seeds for good deals online at Burpee’s, Amazon, and other gardening sites.
These flowering shrubs take some work to establish, but once they’re firmly rooted in your garden they’ll keep coming back each year with little effort.
Camellias prefer partial shade, and mature plants are able to survive with little watering. If the plant is brand new, it will require some watering to establish its roots.Find Camellias on Amazon
Culinary dill is obviously safe for humans, but this feathery weed is also a dog-safe plant. This herb goes well in creamy dressings, soups, and meats. Just make sure you give it plenty of room to grow—these plants get bigger than you expect.Find Dill on Amazon
These flowers aren’t just beautiful—they also help bring bees to your garden and protect your vegetables (if you’re growing any) as a form of natural pest control that can deter beetles and other harmful bugs from infesting your edible plants. Their stunning, sun-like blooms aren’t too bad either. A win-win all-around dog-safe plant!Find Marigolds on Amazon
These elegant pink and purple flowers look great in hanging baskets outdoors. They do best in mild, temperate climates like the Pacific Northwest, and can remain in bloom from late spring to late fall.Find Fuschias on Amazon
Most people think of large, stately trees when they picture magnolias, but this dog-safe plant also grows as a bush. Most magnolia bushes offer spectacular flowers in purple, pink, or white. They do well full sun if you can give it to them.Find Magnolias on Amazon
This gorgeous variety of basil whips up a delicious (purple) pesto, and also brings stunning color to your garden beds. Plant these guys after all chance of frost is over, and give them plenty of water and a place in the sun. Cut and eat what you want and you and your dog can enjoy until the first frost of the year.Find Purple Basil on Amazon
Another practical herb that won’t harm your pets, thyme is a perennial plant that doesn’t need a lot of attention. Just a little water and sun, and it’s good to go. This herb pairs well with roasted vegetables, meat, soups, and potatoes.Find Thyme on Amazon
Sunflowers are the epitome of summer. This annual plant is available in a huge range of sizes and colors. These dog-safe plants can grow several feet tall, make a great border along fences or in front of the house, and love a sunny spot with plenty of water. As sunflowers lose their bright petals, the seeds mature and attract birds through the fall.Find Sunflowers on Amazon
All rosemary is suitable for culinary use and is considered a dog-safe plant, but this creeping variety is a hardy way to fill empty spaces in your yard with a low, fluffy cloud of evergreen. The trailing stems look especially beautiful cascading over the edge of a raised bed or container. This sun-loving ground cover will release a waft of scent whenever your dog scampers through.Find Rosemary on Amazon
Coral Bells grow low mounds of leaves in a range of shades from green to orange to black, with small sprigs of tiny flowers on long stems waving far above. There are many varieties to choose from, but this variegated coral variety is a real stunner.Find Coral Bells on Amazon
Pineapple sage smells amazing, attracts hummingbirds with its pink tubular flowers, and is a tasty addition to everything from fruit salads and salsas to sangria. It’s generally considered an annual but may come back in spring if your winter is mild enough.Find Pineapple Sage on Amazon
This low-growing, shade-loving dog-safe plant adds a splash of pink all summer long. It’s perennial in warm climates, and even makes a nice houseplant.Find Polka Dot Plants on Amazon
This tasty bulb has beautiful feathery foliage and the flavor of licorice. While it’s safe for dogs, it’s better for humans: it’s delicious grilled and makes a fragrant addition to salads. The seeds are a great breath freshener and make a soothing tea.Find Fennel on Amazon
Everyone loves a sunny snapdragon patch. These dog-safe plants are easy to grow from seed in full sun, and produce a range of colors from yellow to red on tall stems. Makes great cut flower arrangements too.Find Snapdragons on Amazon
Nasturtiums are my favorite annual flowers to grow for a few reasons. The flowers are edible and have a surprising spicy flavor. Nasturtiums grow in poorer soils and they do not need fertilizers, so you can plant them in the odd spots in your yard. They drape down garden boxes and rock walls in with colorful elegance, and they smell like heaven.Find Nasturtium on Amazon
Now that you have 17 great options for your garden, you may be wondering if the plants you already have in your garden are safe for your furry friend.
Never fear! We compiled a series of region-specific lists that look at common wild and landscaping plants dangerous for dogs in the US.
- Plants Poisonous to Dogs in the West
- Plants Poisonous to Dogs in the Southwest
- Plants Poisonous to Dogs in the Midwest
- Plants Poisonous to Dogs in the Northeast
- Plants Poisonous to Dogs in the Southeast
For a comprehensive list of pet-safe plants for both dogs and cats, don’t forget about our handy list of non-toxic plants for cats and dogs.
For more about poisonous plants inside your home, see our article, 15 Common House Plants Poisonous to Dogs.
No matter how you garden, whether it’s in a big, beautiful backyard or on a sunny windowsill, we hope it’s always relaxing for you and safe for your pets. Happy planting!
Featured image: Vegetable Gardener