Dog Friendly Plants – Roses, Violets, Sunflowers and More

Picture of a Jack Russell Puppy

It’s the time of year that has you itching to get outdoors and start digging in your garden. Is there anything that makes you feel more satisfied than a perfectly manicured lawn and well-tended garden? If you share your home with a dog, you have more to consider than what plants will best accentuate your home and garden space or how easy said plants will be to care for. Many different plants are actually toxic to dogs. Since dogs are drawn to dirt like a horse to water, assuming your dog will leave your plants alone is likely unrealistic unless you plan to fence your garden, a far less than practical solution when it comes time to weed and tend to your flower beds. But just because there are certain plants you should avoid doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden that is full of beautiful and colorful plants. What are the most dog friendly plants a homeowner can include in their garden?


Available in a rainbow of colors, roses are a favorite flower of many people. Though roses are non-toxic for both dogs and cats, any pooch that decides to gnaw on a few too many rose petals may find himself with an upset tummy. However, most dogs are greatly deterred by the thorns found on rose bushes, meaning excess rose petal consumption is highly unlikely to occur.

African Violets

A plant that thrives both indoors and out, African violets are a cheerful little flower that brightens up any home or garden. A hardy plant requiring little more than regular watering and sunlight to thrive, African violets come in many colors including white, pink, yellow, blue, red, and various shade of purple. Some blossoms are even variegated. The African violet is a plant that draws little attention from dogs or cats but is non-toxic should your pooch decide to snack on a few petals or leaves.


Marigolds are often a staple in many gardens due to their vibrant pop of color and bug-repelling properties. Though the flower itself will not cause your dog any harm, the stems can lead to gastrointestinal distress if consumed. In addition to this, skin contact with this happy, colorful flower can cause skin irritation. For best results, plant the marigold in a hard to reach area of the garden to shield your dog from temptation.


Few flowers say “spring” like the pretty pastel-hued snapdragon. A plant that is considered an annual, snapdragons are a low maintenance plant that brings an air of old-fashioned sweetness to your garden. Best of all, snapdragons are considered a safe, non-toxic flower in case Fido decides to do more than merely feast his eyes on their beauty.


A plant whose brilliant yellow hue is reminiscent of sunshine, forsythia is highly sought after to add a splash of color into a more neutral colored garden. Forsythia grows well as a singular plant or can even be planted in groups to form a small privacy hedge around your flower beds. As an added bonus, forsythia is completely non-toxic to dogs.


Sunflowers are one garden plant that are sure to bring a smile to even the most stoic lips. A vibrant plant with an intense yellow hue, sunflowers give off a vibe that feels like summer. Not only are sunflowers not toxic to dogs, they are also used in different types of holistic medicines including herbal remedies for persistent coughing and the breaking up of phlegm.


There are many different herbs that are not only non-toxic but also dog-friendly, making them an excellent choice for any garden. Many herbs are quite beautiful and have the added bonus of being a delicious addition to your home cooking. Best of all, not only are many herbs safe for your dog to consume; some of them are even used in herbal medications for both human and canine use.

Here is a list of some of the most common dog-friendly herbs to consider planting in your garden:

  • Oregano

A popular herb often used in Italian cuisine, oregano is a plant that is dog -friendly. Oregano is both an antifungal and antimicrobial agent, meaning it prevents the growth of yeast and bacteria. Because oregano is rich in both antioxidants and flavonoids, it is an excellent aid for upset stomachs. Whether your pooch sniffs its, eats it, or ignores it, oregano will cause him no harm.

  • Basil

Basil has an intense fresh smell, making it an extremely popular plant to include in any garden. One of basil’s greatest benefits is its ability to grow well with very little care. Basil possesses all the same health-giving properties as oregano and is a great addition to any meal. Basil is safe for dogs to consume.

  • Mint

Though mint has a natural tendency to overtake a garden, its heady fragrance is very attractive, making it worthy of inclusion in any home or garden. Mint has many purposes, but one of its most common uses is to settle upset canine tummies.

  • Parsley

Parsley is another plant that will not cause your dog any harm. An excellent means by which to obtain vitamins, antioxidants, and flavonoids, parsley is also a known breath freshener, a win-win if your pooch could benefit from some improvements in the dental department.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary is a popular ingredient in many types of cuisine. It grows in small bush-like groupings that are quite elegant in appearance. Rosemary is high in many important vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, and B6. If your dog decides to gnaw on your rosemary bush, you can rest assured that it will not harm him though he may smell like he’s spent a few weeks in the Italian countryside until its scent wears off.


A proud flower resembling the daisy, zinnias are non-toxic for both dogs and cats. In appearance, the zinnia closely matches both daisies and dahlias. Zinnias bloom frequently and are their most voluminous in the summer months. This flower blooms in a wide variety of colors in every hue of the rainbow with the one notable exception being true blue.

Looking to buy dog-friendly plants for your garden?

Head out to your local garden center in search of some of our top picks. With so many to choose from, you’re sure to create your own unique masterpiece of color for Fido and the whole fam to enjoy.



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