Dog Safe Flowers: 18 Colorful Options for Your Garden

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Do you want to have a beautiful garden and a safe area for your pup to play outside at the same time? Do you want to learn about dog safe flowers? No problem!  This is not an exhaustive list but is intended to provide our favorite flowers safe for dogs.  

There are numerous commonly sold flowers that are extremely toxic to dogs, some that will cause GI upset, and some that are even healthy to eat!  If you’re not sure or simply want to double-check to make sure you only choose dog safe flowers, we recommend checking out the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs. Their information should be used as a more comprehensive source.

As a side note, if you think your pup may consume a plant, refrain from spraying pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides in the area. These function as poisons of various sorts, so even if they are “pet safe” it’s still risky. We don’t use any inside our dogs’ fenced area, regardless of how dog safe they say they are.

We have a series of articles on which plants are safe for dogs! Check out our guides for indoor plants safe for dogs and outdoor plants safe for dogs!

Disclaimer

First, to touch on the obvious, we are not veterinarians, scientists, or poison control experts. We are providing this information for educational purposes only. Any information or questions should be addressed to your veterinarian. We don’t recommend letting your pup chow down and consume large amounts of any plants, as GI upset, at a minimum, can occur from almost anything. Think how you would feel if you ate a pound of lettuce. Not good!

We define dog safe flowers as plants that are listed as non-toxic by the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs. We did not include some flowers on our list, even though they aren’t on the ASPCA toxic plants list, due to the difficulty of listing every single plant that exists.

If your pup has eaten something that you believe may be poisonous, call the Animal Poison Control hotline immediately at the number listed on their page. They are a great resource, and we’ve personally used them when one of our own pups got ahold of a toad. The experience was quite traumatic, even though there was not a real risk of any serious side effects past GI upset (as we found out later), but they talked us through what to do.

In case you missed it, dog proofing your garden is one of our suggestions from our article on saving time and money with a pup. Check out the rest of the article if you’re looking for more tips to help out!

Our favorite dog safe flowers

Alright, now the part you came here for! These flowers are generally considered safe for dogs, but every dog is different! If you have specific questions, make sure to talk to the Animal Poison Control hotline, your veterinarian, or another relevant professional. Unless you’re 100% confident the plant will be okay for your dog, we also recommend not letting them graze on them.

A good “leave it” command helps a lot in these situations, too! If you need help teaching that behavior, check out the easy way to teach your dog behavior with the Puppr app. Even the most food-motivated dogs, like our Prim, can learn a reliable “leave it” the way that Puppr teaches it.

Dog safe flowers african violet aster bee balm

African violet

It’s important to be cautious when bringing flowers into a home with dogs, as many common flowers can be toxic to our furry friends. However, one of our favorite perennial flowers safe for dogs that can add a pop of color to your indoor space is the African violet. These plants thrive with indirect light and can come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, white, and red. If you live in a cooler climate like us, African violets can still do well indoors and we’ve had ours for years tolerating varying degrees of neglect.

In our experience, these tend to do best in indirect light inside. They also tend to be relatively hardy plants. We rehabilitated ours from the clearance rack at a local store. African violets are one of the easiest and most striking dog safe flowers around.

Aster

Aster is a great option if you are looking for dog safe flowers for your garden. These perennials are on the tall side, with 3-4 feet being common, and generally bloom in the late summer or early fall. Typically in shades of pink, blue, purple, or white, aster can help provide some color to your garden when most other flowers are at the end of their season.

Besides running through the plants, our dogs aren’t interested in them at all! These are definitely dog safe flowers as they are generally considered edible by humans and animals, so you shouldn’t need to worry if your dog develops a taste for them!

Bee balm

A great option if you’re looking for a taller plant, bee balm, as you could guess, is a favorite of bees and other pollinators. Generally considered non-toxic with a pleasant aroma, this is a fun plant to spice up your garden. Bee balm, also known as bergamot, comes in a variety of colors such as pink, purple, white, and red with different types that can get anywhere between 18 inches and 4 feet tall! It’s a generally resilient plant that’s considered edible for humans.

If you have a pup who likes to hunt bees or other pollinators, you may want to consider a different option or supervise your pup when the bees are around. Although we consider bee balm dog safe flowers, the bees they attract might not be. Decide on this plant based on your pup’s behavior. For us, Goomba enjoys trying to get the bees but is very bad at catching them. He has yet to catch one, despite years of trying.

Dog safe flowers calendula canna celosia

Calendula

Calendula is an interesting flower as it is consumed raw by humans and is used for a variety of medicinal applications.  Calendula is in the same family as daisies and has a flower shape similar to that plant.  Coming in annual and perennial varieties, this plant can get approximately a foot wide and tall.  Calendula tends to be in the yellow and orange color range, which will allow you to add some color to your dog safe garden!

This plant is easy to harvest seeds for and easy to grow from seeds, so you can have colorful dog friendly flowers year after year!

Canna

Canna, commonly called canna lilies, are in fact not lilies! Another taller plant, they can get anywhere between 2′-5′ tall. Canna comes in a variety of warmer colors and typically blooms later in the summer. Canna are relatively easy to take care of if you’re in a warmer climate, but colder climates require digging up the rhizomes. If you want to avoid the hassle, you can keep them in containers and bring them inside over the winter.

You don’t have to worry about your dog with these lilies! The canna is non-toxic to dogs, which places it on our list of dog safe flowers!

Celosia

Celosia is a striking and unique flower that can provide a variety of colors to your garden and keep it safe for your pup. Coming in a variety of different styles, celosia can be found in red, yellow, orange, purple, pink, and white. If you’re in a warmer climate, they’re a perennial, but they are mostly annuals in the US. If you are willing to keep them in containers, they can come inside in the winter. These flowers do best with bright indirect light. Celosia are easy to grow from seeds, too, which makes them cheap & easy to replant, year after year.

Celosia is another flower you don’t have to worry about your dog taking a bite of. These flowers are classified as non-toxic and end up being annuals that are dog safe flowers.

Dog safe flowers coral bells coreopsis echinacea

Coral bells

Coral bells are generally perennial and have a variety of leaf colors, ranging from anywhere from yellow to purple. They’re extremely low maintenance, hardy, and well-suited for most of the colder regions in the US. As an evergreen plant, coral bells can help give your garden some life in the colder months, and the array of colorful blooms present their most vibrant colors in late spring or early summer out of direct sunlight.

Coral bells are great dog safe flowers that can survive in most of the US and can be found for a low price at most local plant stores. All parts of the plants are classified as non-toxic and we have some in our backyard!

Coreopsis

Coreopsis is an interesting flower native to North America.  This flower checks all of the boxes of our favorite dog safe flowers and plants.  Dog safe? Check.  Hard to kill?  Double check.  Perennial?  Triple check!  These colorful flowers are extremely cold hardy (down to zone 2), which is perfect for any of us here in the United States.  They are also similar to daisies and commonly come in a wide variety of warm colors.  Coreopsis grows best in full sun.

We love how resilient and low-effort these flowers are!  There aren’t a ton of cold hardy and colorful flowers, but Coreopsis ticks all of the boxes for what we’re looking for in a flower.

Echinacea

Echinacea, or coneflowers, are one of our favorite dog safe flowers.  They’re heat and drought-resistant, cold-hardy, attract pollinators, and are native to our area.  The only things they don’t handle well are wet soils and full shade.  Echinacea come in almost every color and non-hybrids will self-seed, but in a controllable manner.

This hardy perennial is actually deer-resistant and our favorites are the pink and purple variations.  We find most of the plants labeled deer resistant still get eaten, but we haven’t experienced that with these.

Dog safe flowers Gebera daisy pansy petunia

Gerbera daises

Gerbera daisies are part of the same family as Aster and are either perennial or annual depending on your location.  Coming in a wide variety of warm colors, Gerbera daisies tend to stay around 12-18 inches wide and tall.  These dog safe flowers like full sun and have a relatively slow growth rate, which is great if you don’t want to be constantly pruning plants.  

We love their long bloom season and large flowers, which are perfect in almost any garden.

Pansies

Pansies are different than most flowers in that they do much better in cooler regions than in warmer climates. They’re best treated as resilient annuals due to their inability to tolerate hot temperatures well. They do well in spring or fall and can even survive low temperatures that would kill most flowers. Pansies come in almost every color and can offer some resilient color to your garden in the cooler times of the year.

Pansies are generally considered edible and are classified as non-toxic for your dog. No need to worry about these flowers!

Petunias

Another annual, petunias, can bloom from spring until late fall in the right conditions. Coming in a staggering array of color variations, petunias allow you to get some harder-to-find colors in your garden if you’re looking for more unique dog safe flowers. Generally preferring full sun, these flowers can do great in the ground or in containers. Their blooms can get up to 3-4 inches wide and are fast-growing.

Petunias are safe for your pup. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach, so make sure your pup doesn’t think you made a buffet for them!

Dog safe flowers phlox roses sage salvia

Phlox

Phlox is an excellent perennial flower that is perfect for a pup-safe garden. Phlox is a very flexible plant due to the variety of different styles and colors available to suit any situation. Varieties exist that creep as ground cover or get up to 5 feet tall, and colors exist between red, orange, pink, purple, and white. Different types of phlox can bloom in early, middle, and late seasons as well to keep your garden filled out, so you should be able to find some to fill whatever niche you want!

Phlox is classified as non-toxic for dogs and is perfect for covering tree bases, which can help eliminate the need for mulch. We use them around a dogwood in our front yard.

Roses

Roses are one of the more iconic flowers and actually fall into the category of dog safe flowers! Despite being more of a shrub than a flower, roses range from 6 inches to 20 feet wide and tall. Roses can come in red, orange, yellow, pink, or white and can creep, climb, or be shrubs. There are a lot of ‘false’ roses, so make sure you’re aware of what you are buying. Despite being able to thrive in the colder regions of the US, roses may require winter prep depending on your climate.

Besides the thorns, roses are perfectly safe for your pup! Just make sure to avoid false roses so whatever you buy are dog safe flowers!

Salvia (Sage)

Salvia, or sage, is a tall garden plant that is part of the mint family. Another cold hardy plant, it can get anywhere between 1 to 6 feet tall and has a flower spike of densely packed flowers. Salvia has a long bloom period and can come in red, white, blue, pink, and purple (with variations of all of those). Salvia tends to be hardy, able to tolerate both heat and cold, and can handle dry conditions. They are very flexible with growing conditions and can even grow in containers well.

Sage is classified by the ASPCA as being non-toxic to dogs. It’s a perfect addition to a garden full of dog safe flowers. We have some in our front yard that have been thriving in an area that is too wet where most other plants struggle.

Dog safe flowers snapdragons sunflowers zinnia

Snapdragons

Snapdragons are another of the dog safe flowers that come in a wide variety of colors and styles.  Ranging from less than a foot to 4 feet tall, snapdragons come in a wide variety of colors including red, pink, white, orange, and yellow.  Snapdragons do best in full sun, but can tolerate some shade, and will reward you with repeat blooms.

We like the range of colors and how the stalks bloom, similar to salvia.  These dog friendly outdoor plants prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall, which is when they will bloom the most.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the least surprising plants on our list of dog safe flowers! Sunflowers can come in reds, orange, and browns, but are most commonly seen as the iconic yellow. Different varieties can be between 1 and 16 feet tall, so make sure you get one that’s a height you can accommodate. Due to their height, sunflowers require nutrient-rich soil for best growth and appreciate lots of sun without direct wind.

No worries about sunflowers! They are classified as non-toxic for dogs, but as with anything, large quantities of even healthy food can result in stomach upset for your pup.

Zinnia

Zinnia is another plant that exists with a large number of variations.  Ranging from 6 inches to 4 feet tall, varieties exist in almost every color of the rainbow.  A favorite of pollinators, zinnia flowers can be dahlia-shaped, globes, or a style that resembles bee balm.  We love dog safe flowers that come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

These striking pet safe flowers tend to be annuals and prefer locations with full sun.  We like that it’s easy to harvest the seeds and replant them next year, which eliminates spending more money on plants!

Conclusion

There is a wide variety of dog safe flowers available for your garden. Whether you want annuals, perennials, or just plants that are hard to kill, something exists for every climate and situation. We aim for resilient flowers that require very little maintenance since our dogs enjoy zooming through plants or trying to dig them up.

If you have specific questions about dog safe flowers, such as the toxicity of a plant, contact your veterinarian, reference the ASPCA’s toxic plant list, or consult another professional on the subject.

Share photos of your favorite dog safe flowers with us on Instagram by tagging @therulybully!

Have fun!

    Lincoln Schaefer

    Hi, I’m Lincoln!  I’m the owner & primary writer here at The Ruly Bully!  My wife and I have two dogs, Goomba & Prim, and a host of other critters in our home.  Feel free to send a message!  We love to hear your stories, too.

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