10 Summer Plants Your Pet Should Avoid ⋆ Bella & Duke

Summer is the perfect time to take our pets on adventures to old and new places where they will be exploring the big open world. It’s important to be aware of any plants & flowers that can be toxic for your pet so you can keep them as safe as possible and keep having the best adventures ever.

10 Plants your pet should avoid


These are commonly sold in garden centres & flower shops, and found in many of our gardens. All parts of this plant are dangerous, but the tubers or roots are especially poisonous.

They contain a compound known as saponin which is a glucoside. When chewed or ingested it can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and possible heart failure

Aloe Vera 

This plant can be grown both indoors and outdoors and is known for its healing and medicinal properties for humans. However, it contains compounds called anthraquinone glycosides, which when eaten by a dog can cause diarrhoea.  


There are various forms of Ivy, however, all of them have some level of toxicity. Some contain triterpenoid saponins, and if your dog eats this chemical compound it can lead to vomiting, extreme drooling, abdominal pain and diarrhoea 

Some ivy’s leaves are filled with calcium oxalate which can cause burning to the mouth, tongue and throat. If left untreated, your dog can stop breathing which will lead to death. 

Sago Palm 

Sago Palm, a popular outdoor palm, contains a poisonous compound called cycasin. Once eaten this toxin can cause severe liver damage, blood clots and neurological abnormalities in dogs. 

Azalea & Rhodendrum 

Both the Azalea and the Rhododendron plants (in the same family) are highly toxic to dogs. These plants contain a substance known as grayanotoxins which will affect the cardiac muscle and the skeletal system of your dog.

In fact, as little as 0.2% per body weight ingested of this plant can cause drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures and even comas. 

Chives, Onions, Leeks

If you have these growing in your vegetable patch, then you will want to keep your dogs away from them. It is unlikely that your dog would choose to eat any of these, but they can cause digestive distress if eaten.

Longer-term these members of the Allium family can induce haemolytic anaemia in dogs, a disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made.


Tomatoes are in the nightshade family of vegetables, which means the plants contain a few components that are harmful to dogs.

Luckily these components are mostly concentrated in the green parts of the tomato plant, and so ripe tomatoes are generally safe to feed to dogs.  

However, if you keep a tomato plant in the garden, take care that your dogs do not eat the green tomatoes or chew on the stem and leaves. 

Improve your pet’s diet now

plants your pet should avoid

19 Plants that your pet can enjoy


Yes, your dog may choose to eat grass for health benefits! 

Dogs eating grass is quite common, and to be honest there is no widely accepted theory or single reason for their doing so. In most cases, it does them no harm. 

On occasion, they may use grass to help clear out the sticky, thick mucous and any unwanted items in a purge. On other occasions, there may well be some nice young shoots with some needed phytochemicals or nutrients that are of benefit.

For example, if your dog is not getting the level of chlorophyll he needs he may well choose to chomp on grass. Chlorophyll is a lot like your dog’s haemoglobin, which helps carries oxygen throughout his body, it can also help breaks down calcium oxalate stones and heal the digestive tract.  

These grasses in particular are valued by pooches to mooch around in:

Barley Grass

Barley grass is rich in amino acids, a great source of fibre, contains a good amount of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates immune function, cell growth, and vision; is high in vitamin C and vitamin K. 

Lastly, it’s rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. These compounds act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and protect against chronic disease. 

Couch Grass 

Couch grass is another favourite with dogs. It can be a helpful diuretic. Dogs often choose to use it in terms of their overall digestive health, and it can serve as part of irrigation therapy for the urinary tract.

It may also have an effect in the prevention of kidney stones, which in turn suggests that it could be a bit of a wonder grass in terms of urinary conditions.


Wheatgrass is very nutrient-dense and contains a vast range of vitamins, amino acids, chlorophyll, fibre and enzymes. It can also help neutralize doggy bad breath. Animals who are nervous, anxious, and exhibit hyper behaviours often select wheatgrass.

Note: You should worry about grass eating if it is excessive. This can be a sign of things like pica and can cause obstruction in the gut. You might then consider a trip to the Vet for a health check.  


This commonly grown culinary herb is also great for your dog to select if he so wishes. It is anti-inflammatory and contains a high level of antioxidants that help prevent many types of illness. Basil also helps to calm an anxious dog and eases arthritis pain.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – also known as Marigold Flowers
Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and wound-healing properties. It is often selected by animals experiencing grief or emotional distress; they oftentimes just like to wander through it or sit amongst it. 

Chamomile ( Matricaria recutita) 
This flowering herb is often chosen by clingy pets, or when experiencing general nausea. It has many beneficial effects. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, aids digestion relieves muscle spasms, is a relaxant and has wound-healing effects. 

Cleavers (also known as sticky willie) 

Cleavers are often found in the hedgerows and are known for being sprawling plants. Cleavers are completely edible and safe for dogs, and they will often self-select them while out on walks.

They can be a wonderful tonic for assisting in the flushing of metabolic waste from the lymphatic system, and longer-term are good for the skin as well but hold special affinity with respect to the urinary tract. 


Dandelion greens and roots are safe for dogs and are packed with nutrients and phytochemicals with a vast array of health benefits. (Refer to herb section). They are a natural source of vitamins A, C, K, D, and B.

In addition, they have minerals like calcium, potassium, and prebiotics like inulin. So if you see your dog chomping on these plants, then leave them be. They will only eat what they need.  

The fresh whole plant is an electrolyte balancer, and the best diuretic because it doesn’t deplete potassium in the cat or dog, so is good for kidney inflammations. 

The root is used to improve digestion as it stimulates the flow of digestive juices, including bile from the liver and gallbladder


The incredible aromatic nature of lavender makes it a great choice for any garden, and your dog can benefit too. Dogs often choose to sit amongst lavender when needing a bit of relaxation time. Lavender can be very calming and soothing for an agitated dog (or owner!)


Meadowsweet is often selected by animals with digestive problems, arthritis, and rheumatic conditions, as it contains an aspirin-type compound called salicylic acid. It has antiseptic, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Mint family (including Lemon Balm & Catnip)

Mint has carminative, nervine, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressive, diaphoretic and anti-microbial effects.  These plants are good for their relaxing properties, but can also stimulate playfulness in dogs. They are often selected by dogs with digestive upset. 

The aromatic nature of these plants can also help to keep fleas and ticks at bay!

Avoid planting Pennyroyal (mentha pulegium) as this can be toxic to dogs


Nettles are another plant that is not only safe for your dog to eat but is a great choice for them and they will often self-select the nutritious (and non-stinging) tips of new plants. They are an overall body booster, helping to support a dog’s immune system, they have anti-inflammatory actions, and can specifically reduce inflammation caused by allergies. 

Nettles are high in iron, high content of calcium & chlorophyll, rich in Iron & Vit C. They have a strong diuretic action that flushes the urinary tract of accumulated waste and helps to replace lost electrolytes, so are often chosen by pets with kidney or urinary infections. 


Often found in many of our gardens as weeds, this plant is actually packed full of fibre and often chomped on by our dogs. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

This wonderfully aromatic herb can help our pets overall cognition and peace of mind. It can help to relax your dog and improve circulation to the head, normalize blood pressure and strengthen capillaries in the brain. It can also help with digestive issues. 


Another aromatic herb that dogs love to enjoy. And often selected by dogs with skin conditions, but can also help with gastrointestinal health and brain function. 

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) 
Valerian is a relaxant, mild pain relief, nerve tonic, hysteria, restlessness and emotional stress.

It helps relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure, enhances the flow of bile and relaxes intestinal and other smooth muscles. It is often chosen by the anxious, stressed dog, who may simply like to sit amongst it. 

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 
One of the most commonly used culinary herbs, parsley also has medicinal uses due to its diuretic action.  Parsley is used to treat urinary infections and stones. It is also used to improve digestion and treat flatulence. It is high in potassium, minerals, and vitamins. It is often selected by animals that are recovering from an illness, surgery or toxic kidney problems.  


Roses are not toxic to dogs, and on occasion, you may find your dog actually self-selecting the rose flowers for nurturing and comfort.  

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