Pet Friendly Gardening


Warming weather means it’s time to spend more of our relaxing time outdoors. It also marks the time to head to your local garden centre to spruce up our yards and patios. If guests of your outdoor space include four-legged friends, it’s important to understand pet friendly practices so that everyone can enjoy the landscape.

Know toxic varieties before you buy

Many common plants found at any garden center are toxic to cats, dogs and horses. Here’s a great resource for learning which varieties are toxic to your pets. You will see Hydrangea on this list, but the toxic species is one specific type of Hydrangea called Hydrangea arborescens (commonly known as Lacecap Hydrangea). All of the plants in the Bloomin’ Easy collection are safe for pet friendly gardens.

Design with pets in mind

Dogs love space to run and play. Consider leaving open lawn area within your space to allow for running or playing fetch. If they can burn stored energy in a natural way, they may avoid expending it on your plants and gardens. They also enjoy shaded areas to rest after play or during the heat of summer. Shrubs and trees can provide the shelter they seek.

If you have outdoor cats, think about their desire to explore and scout other creatures when designing your landscaping. Places to hide and climb, or perhaps sunbathe will make them feel right at home. Varying your mixed beds with non-toxic shrubs, perennials, grasses and annuals will give them places to adventure, hunt and nap. Cats also love edible herbs like the obvious Catnip, Cat Thyme, Valerian and more.

It may help to install a door where both dogs and cats can come and go as they please. Every pet owner is different, but considering everyone’s needs will make for a more enjoyable space.

Less stress with durable varieties

Dogs will naturally mark their territory. It’s a good idea to hose the area after business is done to alleviate the toxicity on the grass and plants. Some varieties are actually resistant to urine such as Weigela, Spirea, Snowball Viburnum and Karl Foerster grass. In general though, choosing ornamental shrubs and hardy perennials, herbs, and grasses is smart for dog owners.