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Best Plants for Yards with Dogs

Before adding new bushes and trees to your yard, you have many things to consider. Don’t even think about going to the plant nursery if you haven’t thought about your USDA Zone, how much shade or sun your area is getting, soil acidity or alkalinity, and if animals frequent the place.

Also, you should keep in mind that if you have a dog living with you, you must ensure their safety. You’ll never know if your pet might ingest a plant toxic to dogs. Unfortunately, many everyday plants are toxic to dogs. Some plants swallowed by pets can pose serious harm, triggering convulsions, involuntary movements, and even death.

If you have canine pets and want a stunning landscape, you’ll appreciate this article about the best plants for yards with dogs.

Table of Contents

14 Dog-Safe Plants for Your Yard

Look at these non-toxic plants that are OK for our furry companions. We highly recommend introducing plants to your yard to beautify it, simultaneously ensuring the safety of the domestic mammals of the family Canidae.

1. Magnolia Bushes

Magnolia Bush

Do not think that all magnolias are enormous, imposing trees. If you like magnolia but like them short, you can still find various multi-trunked, shrubby magnolias available from nurseries and small retailers.

Magnolias have beautiful, fragrant blooms and produce lots of leaf clutter. Thus, before growing these lovely bushes, ensure you’re ready to do regular upkeep. But you’ll see that it’s worth it because they’re resilient, stunning, and non-toxic to dogs. You’ll frequently see magnolia bushes in backyards with pet dogs.

2. Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtles are an excellent pick for pet-friendly landscapes. It doesn’t matter how you trim them or even how massive you allow them to grow. They are more like trees than shrubs, but you can make them more manageable with frequent trimming.

Crepe myrtles are tough, beautiful plants that are totally OK for your pup.

3. Fuchsias


Flower shops will have these delicate, purple, and pink blooms in suspended containers. Fuchsia is a gorgeous, dog-friendly flowering plant that blooms from springtime to fall.

In fact, Fuchsia’s fruit and flowers are safe to eat.

4. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)


Basil is an excellent choice for dog owners since it is a beautiful yet safe plant. You will be happy to hear about basil’s non-toxicity to dogs if you think having a fresh supply of basil for your recipes is beneficial. The plant is sensitive to frost and thrives in warm environments.

5. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)


Thyme is a valuable herb that will never impact your dogs’ health. It’s a perennial that doesn’t require much care and makes an excellent ground cover.

Being a Mediterranean native, Thyme thrives even with only a little water and sun. Grilled meat, veggies, and sauces will taste good with this plant.

6. Banana (Musa)


Banana plants will not cause harm to your puppy. They’re also durable enough to endure your dog running around them a lot, making them even more desirable as a yard plant.

You could even use multiple banana plants to act as a border for your pets’ playground.

7. Golden Bells (Forsythia)


Forsythia plants are eye-catching shrubs that attract attention right away. Many gardeners use them as ornamentals to provide bold color to a primarily green environment, and some use them to create borders.

Although, keep in mind that Forsythia is a deciduous plant, which means it loses plenty of foliage in the wintertime. This information might impact whether or not you decide to utilize them as a hedging strategy.

However, regardless of how you cluster Golden Bells on your property, they will never be bad for your furry friends.

8. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)


Sunflowers aren’t toxic, so they won’t have a negative effect on your dog’s health. Sunflowers are not harmful to dogs, which is excellent news for pet owners. If your animal buddy consumes any part of the sunflower plant, he will not be harmed. Therefore, they’re a perfect ornamental plant for a landscape with dogs.

9. Bottlebrush (Callistemon)


The bottlebrush is a shrub/tree with lush evergreen foliage. This lovely foliage is pet-friendly and a favorite landscaping feature. It’s also attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, further adding color to the yard!

10. Hibiscus


Hibiscus are large plants that may grow to the size of trees, so make sure you have enough room for them. 

Hibiscus plants don’t pose a severe hazard to your dog, and many species’ blossoms are even eaten.

11. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)


All rosemary varieties are edible and dog-friendly. Consider a spreading type if you want a durable plant to cover empty spots in the yard with a ground-hugging, soft pillow of greenery.

Rosemary is a particularly attractive groundcover, especially if your dogs like to run around. This plant causes a pleasant fragrance to be released whenever it gets stepped on. It’s also a tasty spice used in many Mediterranean recipes.

12. Nasturtium


The blossoms of Nasturtium, an annual, are tasty and have a peppery taste. Nasturtiums thrive in low-quality soil and don’t require fertilizer, so you may grow them in obscure places throughout your yard.

Nasturtiums drape multicolored sophistication over flower containers and stone walls, and their aroma is exquisite. Plus, they won’t harm your dog!

13. Dog-Safe Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Polka Dot Plant

The Polka Dot Plant is an attention-grabbing tiny plant with brightly colored, speckled leaves —a pattern that is certainly fun and remarkable. Usually, you’ll see Hypoestes plants have pink-tinged foliage with green dots. The Polka Dot Plant is non-toxic to dogs.

14. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)


Oregano is a delicious, aromatic herb you can usually see in pizza and Italian sauces. It’s convenient to have in your yard if you like being creative with your recipes. The best part is you don’t have to worry about your dogs being poisoned by the plant; it’s beneficial to their health due to being antioxidant-rich.

Avoid These Plants When You Have Dogs

Avoid these plants if you have dogs

These are some common yard plants you should not have if you have dogs living with you:

  • Chrysanthemum
  • Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Aloe vera
  • Amaryllis
  • Daisy (Bellis perennis)
  • Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis)
  • Wisteria
  • Azaleas (Rhododendron)
  • Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)
  • Philodendron
  • Rhododendron
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Daffodil (Narcissus)
  • Monkshood (Aconitum)
  • Lantana
  • Yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Boxwood (Buxus)
  • Peony (Paeonia)
  • Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Know that if we were to list all the plants poisonous to dogs, this article would be exceedingly long and arduous. So, please check the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website for a complete, reliable, updated list. You can also use the Pet Poison Helpline search bar to look for information about the toxicity of plants to dogs.

Pup-Friendly Landscaping Tip

Pup Friendly Landscape tip

When designing a landscape with dogs in mind, the best thing to do is to have tough, resistant plants. 

We all know that dogs like to be active when they’re outdoors. Thus, you’ll need plants that really can survive zoomies! Imagine if a few leaves, stems, or blossoms are damaged—you want the plant to recover quickly, so they’ll be stronger than before.

What You Must Do Immediately If Your Dog Eats a Poisonous Plant

What to do if your dog gets poisoned

According to T. Wismer (veterinarian at ASPCA), ingesting any plant can cause dogs stomach discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control right away since your dog may require a stomach syringe or activated charcoal to adsorb the poisonous chemicals present in the plant.