List of Non Toxic Plants - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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List of Non Toxic Plants

I have done plenty of google searches and have come up with a good list of plants but thought I'd ask YOU what plants are in your yard.

Every time I'm at a greenhouse I spend forever searching the names of plants and cross referencing them to the non toxic/toxic list! With a puppy coming home this summer, I need to triple check everything is safe!

We have a shady backyard and I'm looking for flowering annuals or perennials. We have some ornamental grasses along the fence but with the yard being shady, I don't think they will provide the look/size that I'm hoping for.

What are your "go-to" pet safe plants?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 10:59 AM
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Phlox - LOVE shade
Daisies (some can deal with light shade)
Roses - if you have enough sun coverage
Snapdragons - these do best in the sun, but you can sometimes cheat.
Butterfly bushes - partial shade is OK
Columbine - partial shade is OK
Begonias - LOVE shade
Impatiens - LOVE shade
Nasturtium - I think are partial shade

Somebody told me that any flower that grows from a bulb is toxic to dogs.

One thing I have to say aside from all this.... I've found that when it comes to grazing, my guys go for grass. They don't bother with flowers. If you have border guard around your garden to keep the grass away from the flowers, you should be fine.

If you look at the toxic flower list on ASPCA - I have pretty much every toxic flower you can think of in my front woods and my garden. Some of the weeds out there like nightshade - I'm constantly pulling out of my garden/rock area and burning to keep it from rooting in the lawn. Never had a problem with the dogs who again leave it strictly alone.

The lilies of the valley are an issue only because they grow into the grass in spots and the dogs will be eating the grass near enough for me to jump in to chase them away.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 03:08 PM
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I don't know what to plant if you exclude anything that might be toxic to dogs. Only in recent years have I seen the very long lists of plants toxic to dogs and included are such things as ivies, hollies, rhododendron(?), andromeda, hosta, peonies, iris, some daisies, some begonias, hellebores (lenten rose), and many other things frequently found in home gardens.

My advice would be if there's a puppy coming to hold off on planting the garden for a year or two. In my experience puppies are like deer . . . they'll taste test lots of things. But when they're older and trained they leave just about everything alone. The plant I worry about with dogs is wild mushroom and I try to get rid of it if I see it coming up.

For shady spots I like bleeding heart, both old fashioned and the smaller, longer blooming one, foxglove (definitely toxic), hosta, pulmonaria, astilbe, hellebore, lily of the valley, and adjuga (but only the dark leaved one which has deep purple flowers). Among my favorites are peonies, iris and day lilies but these all require a fair amount of sun to flower properly. If you need ground cover, you can't beat pachysandra (my husband calls it "the vinyl siding of the plant world"). It likes shade, takes care of itself, doesn't die during droughts, stays green in the winter, spreads but not out of control,won't climb trees, and doesn't show the effects of dogs going on it.

eta: For anyone who might be interested there is a long list of flowering plants toxic to dogs at

Jake, 7/12/2018
Gracie, 9/12/2013
Zoe, 5/4/2008 - 10/28/2013
Zeke, 6/12/1997 - 12/18/2007

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 03:08 PM
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I'm afraid half of the plants in my yard are toxic to dogs.

A few non toxic ones that I've had success with and might work in your yard are coral bells, jasmine, day lilly and camellia. I've tried a lot of "full sun" perennials in the conditions you've described and have had luck with coreopsis, salvia, lavender and lamb's ear. Spotted dead nettle (lanium) would also work but I don't know if it is poisonous or not. I have five large plants in a bed Harry and his predecessor Buddy particularly like(d) and haven't had any problems.

Our fence line sounds similar to yours. When we moved in it was mainly dirt since it didn't get enough sun or air circulation for grass to grow. Now it is lined with day lilly, iris and spring blooming bulbs and just a few shrubs (non poisonous camellia and elaeagnus and poisonous boxwood, a tree pruned rose of sharon and hydrangea) for height and winter interest. BTW, I asked the vet about the hydrangea and bulbs when Harry was going through a chewing/digging stage. He told me it's just the hydrangea flowers and the underground part of the bulbs that are poisonous.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 12:02 AM
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Bee balm is a very aromatic addition to your perennial shade garden, and one which is safe for dogs. Bee balm plants have bright green foliage and flowers that range from pale pink to scarlet red. ... Bee balm grows from 2 to 4 feet tall and can grow in shade or in sunlight. This plant is non-toxic to dogs. It is a favorite of mine and good for hummingbirds and bees too.

Columbine is another safe one that is fine for our feline friends

Forget-me-nots are sweet, like the shade and non-toxic

Petunias, Marigolds, Daisies, Fuchsias are OK too
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