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Pet Blog

10 Fantastic Pet-Friendly Plants for Your Garden

Does your pet love to bask in the sunshine with you while you work in the garden? Make sure all the plants you grow are pet-safe in case your curious pet decides to take a taste!

For all the green thumbs out there, it’s the season to get outside, harvest your produce, and enjoy all the blooming flowers in your garden! And if your pets are anything like ours, they want to be right there by your side. Unfortunately, many common garden plants that are safe for people can be dangerously toxic for any dogs or cats who sneak a bite.

Prepare for gardening season with our toxic and non-toxic plant lists made to keep your yard perfectly pet-friendly!

Pet-Safe Garden Plants

#1. Aster

This family of cheerful, daisy-like flowers comes in a variety of colors, making them perfect for any garden design! They are easy to care for, grow in partial to full sun, and are all safe plants for cats and dogs. Added bonus: they attract a wide range of pollinators, helping you support your local ecosystem!

#2. Basil

Basil is just one of many pet-safe herbs (including rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and lavender), but it’s a common garden favorite for its delicious and versatile flavor. This sun-loving herb grows well in garden plots or as a potted plant, making it perfect for any gardener who’s short on space. Go with a classic minty flavor or plant more exotic varieties like Thai basil or lemon basil.

#3. Camellia

Camellias are known for their bold, beautiful flowers and reputation as a hardy garden plant! You can keep them trimmed as shrubs in smaller spaces or allow them to grow into full blooming trees if you’ve got the space. Best of all, the vibrant blooms are perfect to snip and add to a pet-safe bouquet indoors.

#4. Carrots

We all probably know that our dogs are happy to snack on an extra baby carrot tossed their way, but the whole carrot plant is dog and cat–friendly! That means that this is a safe plant for cats to play with—and what cat could resist those feathery leaves fluttering in the breeze? When it’s time to harvest, you can freely share some of the bounty with your dog or cat for a healthy snack.

#5. Catmint and Catnip

Catmint and catnip are close relatives and both common garden plants. Catmint is the more popular option for gardeners with and without cats thanks to its abundance of delicate lavender-hued flowers. Catnip doesn’t offer as many blooms, but it has a much higher concentration of nepetalactone—the stuff in catnip that drives your cat wild! Both varieties will add attractive low growth to your garden beds and are perfectly safe plants for your cats to nibble on (and dogs too).

#6. Lettuce

Good news for salad lovers: fresh lettuce is on the menu! These leafy greens are perfectly safe plants for dogs and cats alike—and are conveniently low-calorie for enthusiastic eaters. Spinach is another pet-friendly option, and you can grow both to create your own spring mix right in your backyard.

#7. Petunia

These trumpet-shaped flowers are a garden classic for a reason! They come in a rainbow of vibrant, splashy colors (including fun speckles) and are pet-friendly from root to tip. You can find varieties that are perfect for groundcover or draping out of hanging baskets and hardy in a wide range of climates.

#8. Radishes

Sliced radish makes a delightfully peppery addition to a salad, but did you know that you can eat the greens too? They become a perfect side dish when lightly seasoned and sauteed. The roots and greens are also pet-safe, and as an added bonus, that spicy flavor might make pets who wreak havoc on your plants think twice about taking a bite.

#9. Sunflower

There’s nothing like a vibrant sunflower towering over your garden to make your backyard feel sunny even on gray days! Both annual and perennial varieties are safe for cats and dogs, and many dogs actually love the nutty taste of sunflower seeds. Just make sure to shell those seeds before your pooch starts chowing down to avoid an upset tummy.

#10. Zucchini

Zucchini makes an ideal plant for a pet-friendly garden! Every inch of their creeping vines are non-toxic for pets, and cooked zucchini makes a healthy addition to your cat or dog’s dinner that’s low in calories and high in moisture and fiber. Just be sure to cook a separate, unseasoned portion for your pets so you can both safely enjoy your meal.

Unsafe Garden Plants for Pets

You should research any plant you put in your garden to make sure it’s safe for your animal best friend, but these are some of the most common garden plants which can be dangerously toxic for cats and dogs:

  • Apple tree
  • Azalea
  • Cherry tree
  • Chive
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Daffodil
  • Garlic
  • Geranium
  • Grape
  • Iris
  • Lily
  • Lily of the valley
  • Milkweed
  • Oak tree
  • Onion
  • Rhododendron
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulip
  • Wisteria
  • Yew tree

With all of this info under your belt, you’re well on your way to planning the perfect garden for your pet to enjoy with you!

And if you’re more of a house plant person, check out our top 10 pet-safe indoor plants list! You’ll have a range of cat-friendly house plants and dog-friendly house plants to choose from and learn some surprising info—like did you know that spider plants are hallucinogenic for cats?