National Dog Day: The top dog-safe flowers to plant in your garden

It’s estimated there are now 12.5 million dogs in the UK, making dogs the nation’s favourite pet.

And with more than 3 million households welcoming a dog during the pandemic, many families across the nation are experiencing the joys of owning a dog for the first time. But many new owners may not realise the garden can be a dangerous place for dogs if you aren’t careful with what you’re planting.

In recognition of National Dog Day, Nicolas Rodriguez, Plant Expert at abcFlora shares the top five plants to brighten up your garden without risking the health of your beloved pooch.

Roses

A classic staple in any English garden, roses are non-poisonous should your dog fancy feasting on your plants – just be wary of the thorns!

Thanks to their hardy nature, roses can be planted at any time during the year, though typically it’s best to plant in spring or late autumn before the frost hits, so now’s your chance to plan out your rose bushes before the year’s out.

Sunflowers

With their striking yellow petals and sunny disposition, sunflowers are a sure way to brighten up your garden during the summer months. Thankfully, they’re also non-toxic to dogs, so you can enjoy the last of their bloom without worry.

When fed in moderation, sunflower seeds also make a healthy snack for both humans and dogs alike. So, if your sunflowers look like they’ve seen better days now that autumn is near, try cutting off the sunflower’s head and storing it somewhere dry and well-ventilated to harvest its seed.

To enjoy next year’s bloom, you should sow seeds during spring.

Lavender

Pollinator-friendly and low maintenance, lavender makes the perfect plant for newbie gardeners who want to inject both colour and fragrance into their garden.

And best of all, they’re safe for your four-legged friend.

Hardy lavenders can withstand temperatures as low as -15°C – ideal for when winter arrives. But you’ll need your lavender to be established before the cold descends, so avoid planting during colder seasons. The best time to plant is mid to late spring.

Snapdragons

For those that love the look of foxgloves but don’t want to risk harming their pet, snapdragons are a brilliant pet-safe alternative.

Reaching up to four feet tall, these delightful plants flower in a wide variety of colours and bloom from June until October.

Snapdragons germinate best in cooler temperatures, so the best time to sow seeds is between January and March.

Fuchsia

For a reliable and versatile shrub that brings plenty of colour to your garden, opt for the pink and purple hues of fuchsia.

This easy-to-grow plant looks glorious in pots and since it’s totally pet-safe, it won’t be a problem for dogs that might like to nibble on plants.

Though hardy, fuchsia won’t fare well in the frost while young, so you should plant these beauties during the summer to prevent cold damage.