Those Flowers May Be Pretty, But Are They Safe For Your Dog?

Last weekend I got a head start on planting my summer flowers. Usually I wait until after Memorial Day to plant but since the weather this year has been anything but average I took advantage of it.

Normally I am a petunia person. Petunias are hardy and come in beautiful colors that can brighten anyone’s day.

More importantly, they are not toxic to dogs.

This is a very important feature for me because I have a dog that likes to eat things that dogs are not suppose to eat, like rocks, which is why this summer we are remodeling our backyard to make it dog safe.

We have already spent hundreds of dollars removing rocks and pouring concrete into areas that were once my dogs chomping ground. I have had to remove my favorite azalea bush because he thought it was a tasty snack.

So the chore of adding flowers to my backyard had to be approached with caution.

I had my mind set on petunias. I can’t go wrong with them.

However, when I walked into the garden shop to buy a few flats of petunias,my attention was drawn to a beautiful display of purple geraniums.

I stood in front of them for 10 minutes, picturing how great they would look in my patio planter. I was so excited that I grabbed 3 pots of them, hurried home and planted them.

Then I looked up geraniums on the toxic plant list on the ASPCA’s website.


All parts of the geranium are toxic to dogs and cats and can cause vomiting, anorexia, and depression.

Double awesome.

Needless to say I hurried my butt outside, removed the flowers from the planter,

went back up to the garden store, bought the petunias and gave my Mom the geraniums.

“Happy early Birthday Mom, these flowers will make my dog puke and since you don’t have dogs, here you go.”

The point to this whole babbling story is that if you are planting your summer flowers this year and you have a “curious” dog like me,

it might be a good idea to make sure the flowers are safe for them. Unless of course, you like to make more work for yourself.

The ironic flip to this story is I am a vet tech. I should know these things, but it just goes to show that pretty flowers can also cloud your better judgement.

So tell me, do you ever think of your dog when you plant flowers?

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  1. lynne says:

    I bought a new home 7 years ago with beautiful landscaping. I grew up with dogs my entire life. The new gardener happened to mention the 3 oleander plants could kill my dog.Hard to believe becuase there were 2 dogs here before i moved in.A year later, i observed my american eskimo chewing a leaf off the oleander.I got her to the vet within 2o minutes and she barely survived. I called in a landscaper to rip out everything toxic.What i cannot understand is why VETS do not have danger signs posted in offices warning owners of plants, fertilizers, etc.Do they hope your dog will get sick to get more business? Vets have a responsibility to educate–as a vet tech, even you were swept way by the beauty of the plant
    It is not the job of a gardener to educate , but i am grateful he saved my dogs life.


  2. Hagatha says:

    Why didn’t you get rid of them when you found out they were poisonous in the first place?


  3. Linda says:

    I believe Oleander is poisonous for pets and humans. I also read an article about a dog(s) eating part of a Sago Palm, and it died before they got it to the vet. It seemed like it became symptomatic almost immediately. If I see something in the garden center that I like, I ask Siri, or google it on my phone. My dogs are more important than and flower.


  4. Toni Smith says:

    I am stumbling on this article well after it was written, but I am still wondering why I have never seen this in my vet office. I will bring this up because as a person who owns a dog, I shouldn’t have to only found this out when I am trying to attract hummingbirds to my yard! My dog comes first and most pet owners would never thing of this.


  5. My 6 year old German Shepherd has just started to eat my new purple pansies. Never shown any interest til now. I actually watched her enjoying herself. So now I’m going to have to take a new course of action.


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