The A-Z of dog friendly plants for your garden

January 03, 2020

Do you have a precious pooch who loves to spend time outdoors? Perhaps you also have a green thumb and enjoy spending time in your garden?

There is nothing more soul satisfying than having a relaxing garden to spend your mornings, afternoons and perhaps even your balmy summer evenings. The good news is that the plants you choose for your garden can also be great for your darling dog.

Our RSPCA Dog Care Experts have pulled together a list of plants and herbs that are not only pretty to look at, but have added physical and mental health benefits for your precious pup.

*DISCLAIMER: while these plants may be calming and comforting for our four-legged friends, they are not a quick fix to cure clinical anxiety or depression. If your dog is experiencing serious anxiety or depressive issues, please consult your local vet for professional assessment and advice.

With that out of the way, get ready to get your gardening gloves on!



This is a great one for calming your dog, since they love the peaceful sound bamboo makes when it rustles in the breeze. It is also a sensory delight for your pup – it feels nice for them to snuffle through the shoots and reeds.  For us humans, bamboo is great for screening and creating some privacy in your backyard.



Not only does basil add a burst of fresh herbaceous flavour to almost any Italian dish, it’s a firm favourite for your sniffing side-kick.  Dogs love the aromatic scent that basil gives off, so you can both enjoy an amazing Italian themed evening al-fresco!



Despite what its name might suggest, catnip is not only for cats! The plant is known for its wonderful relaxing properties, and can be a great way to calm your pup before a stressful visit to the vet. Or, your four-legged friend might react differently in some situations, and you might find that catnip actually stimulates playfulness.

Top tip: since catnip can make your pets sleepy or excited, our Dog Care Experts advise keeping your catnip our of constant reach, and saving it for special occasions only.



Chamomile makes one of the best soothing teas for us humans, and it is just as beneficial for our canine companions. A great zen-maker for anxious dogs, chamomile has even been proven to help with your dog’s upset stomach or any skin irritations they may have.



Sleep peacefully knowing that any scratches or skin irritations on your fur-baby can be helped with trusty lavender.  Great for scar tissue regeneration, lavender is also a fabulous way to get a good night’s sleep for us humans. Not to mention, it makes fantastic hedges, is low maintenance and leaves your garden smelling amazing!



Keep your garden pest-and-insect-free with a scattering of marigolds. Marigolds will keep your fruit trees, veggie beds and roses blooming and happy. Your dog will thank you too, as marigolds are great for dogs experiencing grief or emotional distress.



Known for its cooling properties, peppermint is often sought out by dogs who have skin irritations.. Not only will your pup feel cool and calm with peppermint, but we all know peppermint tea is also a fabulous natural way to relieve any digestive issues in humans.

Top tip: some of the rarer mint species can be dangerous if consumed by your puppy pals, so be sure to stick with the common peppermint variety.



Great for hedges and herb gardens, rosemary is a must have for your garden. The aromatic scent will be a firm favourite with your puppy pal, and is also a magical natural bug repellant. If your pooch is an unfortunate favourite with undesirable pests like ticks and fleas, planting rosemary will help to keep the bugs at bay.



One of the most versatile herbs to cook with and extremely low maintenance, you can’t go past thyme. The fragrant herb is perfect for dogs with any skin irritations or bacterial infections. It is also a natural solution for easing an irritable bowel for your furry friend.



Add a pinch of purple to your already beautiful yard with a spattering of violets. The flower is often chosen by dogs who struggle with nerves, and is a great calming plant for your pup if you have recently changed homes, or if they are recovering from stress or pain.

Wheat Grass

Keep calm and grow some wheatgrass. A favourite addition for your morning kickstart juice, wheatgrass can also be a great mood booster for your pooch. Dogs who are nervous or anxious, or even ones who exhibit hyper behaviour will gravitate towards wheatgrass to support and stabilise their mood.


If you are keen to find out more about what you can do at home to benefit your precious pooch, then head over here. And if your garden is already a canine friendly puppy playland, be sure to share with us in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “The A-Z of dog friendly plants for your garden”

  1. Gail Dalby

    Could you please suggest some indoor plants that are safe for my Samoyed.

  2. Gail Dalby

    Maybe two large plants with filtered light?
    A parlour palm ok?

  3. Claudia

    Are there native plants that are safe to plant in a garden with dogs?

    1. Good afternoon Claudia, this is a great question. Unfortunately, I am unable to find any concise information as most studies into toxic plants have been conducted in Europe and the USA. Australia fauna biodiversity is staggering. If you have any serious concerns about plants growing locally to where you live I would recommend getting in contact with a vet in your area. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

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