Pet-Friendly Gardens

\\\ Pets in Summer Gardens

\\\ updated 3 October 2021


Dogs, cats, pet rabbits simply love summer gardens.

The freedom of longer days to enjoy the outside with the sun shining.

Just a few simple adjustments and you can turn your garden into a safe haven for you and your pets to enjoy.

Best Pet-Friendly Summer Flowers & Plants


Avoid garden pitfalls by making sure your flowers, plants, and shrubs are as toxic-free to pets as possible. Send pet-friendly bouquets or indoor pot plants to your pet-owning family, friends and colleagues.

pet check’s 3 Best And Most Popular Pet-Friendly Summer Flowers Plants





PET CHECK UK  Gerbera Daisies



PET CHECK UK Dog sitting among sunflower


Does It Really Matter?

There are hundreds of flowers, plants, and shrubs that cause mild toxicity symptoms to life-threatening symptoms for your pets. You can read about these further in ‘Summer Flowers And Shrubs That Can Poison Your Pet’. Likewise, particularly in summertime, there are many beautiful flowers, an abundance of plants, and shrubs you can fill your gardens with, fill patio planters, cut for indoor flowers, and give your friends and family beautiful bouquets including stocks, petunias, Michaelmas daisies, lilac, lavender, gladioli, Fushia freesia carnation, and asters.

Read more garden tips below in our following guides to create a great safe pet outdoor.

\\\ Springtime In Gardens

Is Your Garden Pet-Friendly For Spring ?

Best pet-friendly plants + Flowers to avoid buying for the home

Dog-proof your garden + Make your garden a safer pet-friendly space

Is Your Garden Pet-Friendly For Springtime?

Springtime brings new challenges to pets in your gardens, local parks, and the countryside. Animals begin to wake from their winter hibernation such as deadly snails, that if your dog eats, can catch fatal lungworm, or adders that are particularly nasty in spring, nipping at dogs and cats.

There’s lots of wonderful floral colour bursting out, daffodils, tulips, lilies, crocus. Did you know that daffodil bulbs can be fatal to dogs if eaten, as lilies are to cats?

Gardeners that own dogs, need to ensure they watch their pets at all times if they have an abundance of spring bulbs planted and cats eating sharp-bladed grass. Most experienced gardeners know not to use dangerous toxic fertilizers and pesticides in gardens and that includes cocoa mulch and slug pellets if they own pets to avoid nasty and pet life-threatening accidents.

Carry on reading for tips on how to make your garden pet-friendly this year

How to Pet Proof Your Garden From Pet Theft

There’s been a huge increase reported in pet theft up and down the UK and the PDSA, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, report that they estimate 52% occurs from dogs being taken from their own gardens.

Winter may have damaged fencing and this needs to be repaired before allowing dogs out to roam freely in gardens. If your garden is large, it’s a good idea to check all fencing and ensure there are no weak areas where a dog could escape including the height of fencing and gates being kept firmly closed.

Other measures you need to take include –

  • – Posting no pictures of your home with your dog on social media sites.
  • – Posting no pictures of your local dog-walking routines on social media sites.
  • – Keeping dogs in sight at all times.
  • – Train your dog to be very responsive to your commands.
  • – Don’t leave your dog tied up when popping into shops.
  • – Get your dog microchipped and keep details up to date.
  • – Get your pet spayed or neutered to stop pet urges to run off to find a mate.
  • – Check carefully when employing a new dog walker, check their background, references, and see and retain a copy of their DBS check.
  • – Subscribe to a GPS pet activity tracker service.

\\\ Pet Garden Guide

Pet-Friendly Garden Guide

Dog in garden

Safe Flowers Shrubs And Plants

Many plants in the British garden can prove fatal to our pets. Common plants such as deadly nightshade (Atropa), yew (Taxus), Hemlock (Oenanthe) 2 varieties of laburnum, or various poisonous fungi such as the death cap (Amanita) which most gardeners know.

However, it’s the most common plants, shrubs, and flowers that we may buy most frequently that can be surprisingly poisonous to our dogs and cats.

PETCHECK’S LIST of popular indoor plants that are dog and cat-friendly safe that you can display in the knowledge that they won’t give your pets any toxicity should they decide to knock them over, start nibbling at them as they destroy them!

  • 1. Spider plants
  • 2. African Violet
  • 3. Peppermint
  • 4. Bamboo
  • 5. Areca Palms * Not all palms are safe
  • 6. Rattlesnake plant
  • 7. Parlor Palm
  • 8. Calathea Orbifolia
  • 9. Selected succulents, Haworthia, Echeveria
  • 10. African violet
  • 11. Bird’s Nest Fern
  • 12. Gloxinia
  • 13.Venus Flytrap
  • 14. Boston Fern
  • 15. Polka Dot Plant
  • 16. Watermelon Peperomia
  • 17. Staghorn Fern
  • 18 Bromeliad
  • 19. Baby Tears / Pilea Glauca
  • 20. Friendship plant
  • 21. Ponytail Palm * Not all palms are safe
  • 22. Herbs include Basil, Rosemary and Thyme
  • 23. Prayer Plant

New Gardens New Plants

Dog owners, in particular, are cautious when it comes to planting their gardens with new plants.

However, visiting friends and letting dogs roam in new gardens may pose new threats, or perhaps, a dog sitting holiday in a different part of the country where the owner’s knowledge may be limited of different planting. 

In a new garden, it’s worth taking five minutes to walk around and check the planting is safe for your pet.

Cats Protection has a long list of those flowers and plants they consider to be toxic to cats any time of the year and a very detailed page of the consequences of dangerous plants in the home including house plants.

Take a look at The Dog Trusts who have compiled 8 pages listing hundreds of plants that are potentially toxic to your dog and it will give you an idea of the size of the problem pet owners have.

Kitten outside

Autumn Gardens And Dog-Walking Bring New Challenges


Autumn gardens bring more challenges for pets. The most problematic trees and plants include

  • Yew trees
  • Oaktree and acorns
  • Horse Chestnut trees and conkers
  • Ivy
  • Apple trees
  • Mushrooms and toadstools
  • Hydrangeas
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Clematis
  • Chrysanthemums
Dog digging garden

Summer Flowers And Shrubs That Can Poison Your Pet

Dogs love a good dig in the garden when you’re not watching them from time to time. Often they can smell a new smell and simply want to explore.

Cats love to laze in the safe haven of their own garden, under a shady tree, or behind a shed, and snooze the day away.

However, during the summer it’s important not to plant or let your pets near toxic flowers, plants, shrubs, and even certain vegetables and fruits such as the very popular and well-known – chrysanthemums, hydrangeas, delphiniums, daphne, wisteria, Laburnum, tomatoes, and deadly yew trees.  

Lillies are poisonous and deadly to cats

Create a safer environment in the garden by planting Michaelmas daisies, lavender, rose, sunflowers, camellias, snapdragons, salvia, hardy geraniums, honeysuckle, impatiens, calendula, Elaeagnus, and cornflower.

Dog in garden

Unsafe Flowers Shrubs And Plants

PET CHECK’S LIST OF FLOWERS to really avoid keeping in the home as cut flowers, indoor plants, conservatory plants, patio plants, and in your garden as various parts of the plants are toxic to dogs and cats. This list contains some of our most loved flowers.

  • 1. Aloe Vera
  • 2. Ivy or Hedera Helix
  • 3. Jade
  • 4. Philodendron 
  • 5. Caladium 
  • 6. Lillies
  • 7. Corn plant 
  • 8. Asparagus fern
  • 9. Hyacinth
  • 10. Lily of the Valley 
  • 11. Azaleas
  • 12. Rhododendrons
  • 13. Tulips
  • 14. Daffodils
  • 15. Crocus.
  • 16. Foxglove
  • 17. Sweet Pea
  • 18. Cyclamens
  • 19. Orchids
  • 20. Hydrangeas
  • 21. Various fungi
  • 22. Hemlock
  • 23. Deadly nightshade
  • 24. Yew
  • 25. Laburnum
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Deadly Pesticides

Pesticides can cause side effects on humans as they are toxic. Therefore, animals suffer greatly when gardeners use pesticides, mostly causing toxic reactions and can become deadly. Search for a range of organic sprays for plants, and don’t let children or pets near lawns sprayed with pesticides for at least 72 hours minimum.

TIP Strim long grass in wild areas of the garden before perennial ryegrasses produce their sharp seeds, as these can pierce the skin and get lodged in ears, eyes, nose, and toes.

Deadly Algae

PET CHECK UK Puppy in garden drinking pond water

Don’t let your dog or cat drink from dirty pond water. Keep covered over with a net to avoid a nasty unplanned visit to the vet with severe toxicity symptoms.

\\\ Pet Guides


If you think your dog has been eating snails, slugs or even frogs, visit the vet immediately. 

Local Parks

Dog walkers may need to watch their pets in local parks who may have pretty planted beds and trees. Planting, shrubs, bushes, are not necessarily dog-friendly and the council do not have to oblige with any warning notices.  

\\\ Garden Tips

20 Tips For A Safer Pet-Friendly Garden

1) Only use organic chemicals in your garden and keep all chemicals under lock and key. 

2) Buy and use larger plants when planting in the garden to avoid damage from your pet.

3) Use raised beds to help prevent dogs from trying to dig up plants.

4) Use border fencing to help prevent pets from accessing plants.

5) Secure your garden with solid fencing. Dogs can jump as high as 6 feet with ease and won’t get distracted by passing walkers with unfriendly dogs.

Dogs looking over garden fence

6) Keep snails and slugs out of sight and reach of dogs as these can give lungworm. 

7) Keep your greenhouse and shed doors securely closed at all times. Keep any chemicals high on top shelves where cats cannot climb and dogs can’t access.

8) Choose mulch carefully, avoid cocoa bean, which contains theobromine, which dogs are sensitive to.

9) Avoid throwing poisonous foods in your compost where your pet can access.

10) Never chain up your dog outside. This can cause strangulation if they try to wriggle out of the collar and chain.

11) Avoid planting plants with long, sharp thorns or pointed leaves as these can poke the eyes of pets and cause damage.

12) Don’t leave sharp gardening equipment lying around.

Labrador dog digging garden

13) Dogs ignore paths and run through gaps they spot between shrubs and bushes so infill wherever possible.

14) Dog’s urine will kill grass and plants off so a regular hose down helps to dilute their effects.

15) Create an area in the garden where your pet feels comfortable relieving themselves. This area can be covered with materials like pebbles or bark (not cocoa bark which is toxic to pets). This allows ease to pick up the poops by the owner and the materials can be easily washed down frequently keeping the area hygienic.

16) Keep your dog hydrated well which will dilute strong urine staining of the grass, the yellow patches left, particularly by bitches who urinate strongly in one area where males spray more widely.

17) Always clear up dog mess immediately, as it contains worms and the eggs can lay in the grass and soil for years. Take care handling soil that could be infected.

18) When laying or repairing grass, choose a strong hard wearing turf.

19). Teach young children not to touch poop.

20) Dogs need to go out and relieve themselves at night so subtle garden lighting is important for owners to be able to see where they are and supervise.

Shade In Gardens For Pets

During warmer months it is important to provide pets with areas in the garden of natural shade, such as under trees. If you don’t have areas, buying a dog kennel and popping a soft duvet bed in there can be a great alternative.


The government has set times in the yearly calendar when to expect fireworks, but pet owners know that leading up to Bonfire Night, 5 November, private parties unexpectedly let off fireworks which can cause much distress to your pets.

Garden Fires  

Open fires in the garden should never be left unattended where your pets could jump in them and burn themselves.

Bonfires are dangerous to pets. Small pets nest inside them and cannot escape quickly enough when lit.

Don’t leave burning embers or hot barbecue coals accessible to pets. Cats and dogs can burn their paws on them.

Candles are pretty on patios in summer but cats and dogs can singe their coats very easily by simply brushing past the flames.

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