Green Collar Landscaping

Dog-Friendly Plants for Your Backyard (and Those You Should Avoid!)

If you have a dog, we’ve compiled a list of dog-friendly plants for your backyard, along with those you should avoid.

You love your garden, but chances are that you love your dog even more, so you want to avoid the many common plants that are unsafe for dogs. Certain types can be toxic when ingested, resulting in life-threatening complications and a high vet bill. 

At Green Collar Landscaping, we have helped several clients cultivate and maintain lush backyards and gardens that beautify the property without posing a risk to furry family members. In this blog, we share our top picks for dog-friendly plants, along with a list of plants you want to avoid.


The sunflower is one of the most popular garden plants, with over 100 varieties to choose from. They do best when in a sunny location (hence the name) and, once established, require little care or maintenance. Since sunflowers aren’t harmful to dogs, you can plant them in your garden or backyard without worrying about your pet becoming sick.


Dill is a tasty herb that also looks attractive in gardens. Not only is it a good source of important B vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium for humans, but it also has antioxidant properties that are beneficial for dogs.

Since dill is good for the digestive system, it’s great for animals who suffer from diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. It can also help maintain good kidney, liver, and bladder function, reduce cholesterol, and support healthy heart function.


Garden marigolds (Calendula officinalis) produce bright and colourful flowers that add a splash of warmth and beauty to your backyard garden. Marigold flowers and leaves are considered safe for humans to eat, and are commonly used as culinary herbs. Although generally safe for pets to nibble on now and then, be careful, as large amounts may cause mild stomach irritation and upset. 


An attractive shrub used in a variety of human dishes, rosemary is also used as a natural preservative in many commercial pet foods. According to, it contains antioxidants that may prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as antimicrobial properties which may ease your dog’s digestive issues. You can also use rosemary as a natural flea repellent for both cats and dogs.


With their rose-like flowers and rich green leaves, camellias are a stunning focal point in any backyard garden. As a winter and early spring bloomer, the camellia fills a niche in the landscape when few other flowers are blooming and, best of all, their leaves and flowers are non-toxic to dogs.


Fennel has a mild licorice taste that adds flavour to a lot of our favourite dishes. Not only is it safe for pets to eat, but it contains Vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and potassium, all of which support a healthy immune system. Fennel also helps pets dealing with gas, indigestion, and bad breath issues.

Stay Away From These Plants!

While a lot of outdoor plants are safe, there are others you want to avoid. They include:

  • Chamomile: This lovely herb is often used in teas and in aromatherapy as a calming agent. However, it is toxic to dogs. While chamomile is safe in products for dogs, you should avoid letting your dog come into contact with the plant directly.
  • Amaryllis: The Amaryllis, sometimes called the Narcissus, can be dangerous to dogs. Toxins are found in the leaves and stems, but are most concentrated in the bulbs. 
  • Begonia: These bright perennials come in a variety of colours and are popular as indoor and garden plants. They can, however, cause some very uncomfortable symptoms in dogs when ingested, especially the highly toxic tubers.
  • Cyclamens: Cyclamen is a popular garden plant known for its upswept flowers. However, they are also poisonous to dogs. When consumed in large quantities, the tubers can cause seizures, heart problems, and even death.

Pet owners should do their research before adding plants to their yard to ensure that they aren’t adding anything potentially toxic. If you’re unsure about a particular plant type, consult your veterinarian.

Looking for More Gardening Help?

You CAN have a gorgeous garden that’s totally safe for dogs, which is a huge win for pet owners. As long as you stay away from certain plant varieties, your pet may love your backyard as much as you do!

At Green Collar Landscaping, we provide garden and landscaping services that can keep your garden beautiful AND pet friendly. To learn more about our services for homes and businesses and receive a free estimate, please contact us!

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