Pet-Friendly Gardens

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\\\ Pets in Gardens

Is Your Garden Pet-Friendly?

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

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

\\\ Springtime In Gardens

Is Your Garden Pet-Friendly?

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. Daffodils 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 gardeners know not to use dangerous toxic fertilizers and pesticides in gardens and that includes cocoa mulch and slug pellets if they own pets.

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.

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

\\\ 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 dog and cats.

Here’s a 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 owners 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.

Kitten outside

Autumn Gardens And Dog-Walking Bring New Challenges


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

  • Yew trees
  • Oak tree and acorns
  • Horse Chestnut trees and conkers
  • Ivy
  • Apples trees
  • Mushrooms and toadstools
  • Hydrangeas
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Clematis
  • Chrysanthemums
Dog digging garden

Summer Flowers And Shrubs That Can Poison Your Dog

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. However, during the summer it’s important not to plant or let your dog near the following flowers and shrubs –chrysanthemums, hydrangeas, delphiniums, daphne, wisteria, Laburnumtomatoes and deadly yew trees.  

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.

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

Dog in garden

Unsafe Flowers Shrubs And Plants

This is the list 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. The 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.

\\\ 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. 

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, this contains theobromine, dos 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) Dogs urine will kill plans 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 dogs mess immediately, as it contains worms and the eggs can lay in the grass and soil for years. Take care handling soil which 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.

Firework display


The government have 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 quick 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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