Dogs are curious beings, always keen on knowing their surroundings through their mouth and nose. They’ll have their hands on anything they come across, both edible and nonedible If you have a garden with beautiful plants, your dog will be on a mission to survey all that’s there.
Not all plants growing in your garden are safe. Some could cause harmful effects and lead to severe symptoms. So, it is always important to supervise your dog’s moves in your garden, especially when you have toxic plants growing there. When he finds the smell of a certain plant attractive, your dog will not miss the opportunity of tasting the leaves and flowers.
When it comes to analyzing the plants that are safe for dogs, sage and thyme cannot be missed. They aren’t just safe for your canines but also have many health benefits. Read on to know more about the benefits of thyme(creeping thyme and other species) and sage on dogs. The article also gives you an insight into plants able to withstand dog pee alongside those that are harmful to your canine. Read on to know more.
Is Thyme Good For Dogs to Eat?
Several herbs that grow in your garden are beneficial for dogs in many ways. They help to maintain their overall health and also have other benefits. Thyme belongs to the group of such herbs which plays a significant role in boosting the dog’s optimal health. Of the thyme species creeping thyme is one of the common plants seen in lawns and gardens.
Now coming to the topic, YES, thyme is good for dogs when given in moderate amounts. One of the most important benefits of thyme is that it helps keep the dog’s digestive tract healthy. This is because of its anti-spasmodic or spasm-relieving properties. If you have a dog with an irritable bowel, then adding thyme to his diet would help to soothe his stomach. It will even facilitate in relieving flatulence.
Dogs are prone to hookworm infection when proper hygiene isn’t maintained. This can result in an inflammation of the intestine. In severe cases, hookworm can even lead to a major decrease in the red blood cells. Thyme is one of the best herbs for eliminating hookworm and other parasites from your dog’s stomach.
When giving your dog thyme, make sure to add no more than a teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme to your dog’s food (per pound). However, when you make a new inclusion to your dog’s diet it is always important to get in touch with the vet.
Can Dogs Eat Sage And Thyme?
As mentioned above thyme is considered safe for dogs when eaten in moderate amounts. It has a lot of positive effects on the dog’s stomach and helps to control digestive disorders. Thyme has anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, and mucus-clearing effects. This makes it beneficial for managing several gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
Sage, known for its earthy flavor and strong aroma, is considered safe for dogs as well. Adding sage to your dog’s food will help boost his immunity since it is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
The herb is rich in fiber, which makes it beneficial for treating stomach problems in dogs. Its anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-microbial properties also make the herb effective in the functioning of the immune system. Another important function of sage is its role in minimizing seasonal allergies in dogs.
If you’re wondering how to give your dog sage, well, it could either be in its fresh or dried form. You can sprinkle it on their kibble or give it to them as a treat.
However, please note that overconsumption of sage may lead to digestive disorders in dogs. This is because sage contains a chemical named thujone that may irritate the dog’s digestive tract when it gets into its system in large doses. So, when introducing sage to the dog’s diet, start with a small amount. You must always seek a vet’s consultation before adding sage to your dog’s diet.
Is Thyme Ground Cover Toxic to Dogs?
Thyme is a dog-friendly ground cover that isn’t toxic for canines. It’s mostly used in herb gardens and rock gardens to beautify the surroundings. When mentioning thyme, we cannot miss out on creeping thyme that grows horizontally and not in an upright direction.
One prominent feature of thyme plants is that they hug the ground when growing. These plants thrive best when they receive an adequate amount of sunlight. Without proper sunlight, the stems get leggy and are unable to hug the ground.
Thyme has a pungent, spicy, and warm aroma. This makes dogs quite drawn to these plants. Therefore, if you have these plants in your garden, your dog would not leave the slightest opportunity to grab them. When you take your dog out on a walk, he would be anxious to get his paws at the thyme plantations around. Do make him wear a leash, lest eating too many thyme leaves may make him sick.
What Plants Can Withstand Dog Pee?
Is your dog housetrained? That’s a boon, then. So, if your dog has a habit of peeing outside, does he do the same on your lawn or garden? Then, most of your plants are in danger, especially if they can’t withstand pee. Dog urine has nitrogen salts and other salts as well, which burn the roots of some fragile plants leading to premature death.
However, some plants are capable of withstanding dogs’ pee. Let us take a look at them one by one.
1. Creeping Thyme
Creeping thyme is a ground cover plant that requires low maintenance. Though creeping thyme is strong enough to tolerate dog pee, they aren’t completely indestructible. They can withstand several harsh conditions, which also include dog pee. When thyme is over-exposed to a dog’s urine, it can get damaged or even die.
2. Bear’s Breeches
Their leaves appear shiny, while the flowers are spiked and tall. They can withstand dog urine but needs a lot of space to grow freely.
3. Japanese Snowball
Native to Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan, the Japanese snowball has glossy leaves with a pleated texture. This easy-to-grow plant thrives well in shady spots and doesn’t die when exposed to a dog’s urine.
4. Japanese Holly Fern
These plants are mostly found around stream banks, coastal cliffs, and rocky slopes. When growing Japanese holly ferns in your garden, ensure that you put them in shaded areas. They won’t grow well if exposed to direct sunlight.
Roses mostly require nitrogen to survive. They are resistant to dog urine, but overexposure to the same might cause them to wither.
6. Mexican Sage
This shrub grows to a height of 4 to 6 feet. They mostly require sunlight but may even do well if they receive partial shade.
7. Silver Carpet
Their leaves appear silvery green, resulting in their name. These plants require abundant sunlight to grow but can withstand rocky soil because of their hard nature.
8. Carpet Bugleweed
They function as filler plant and mostly occupies empty spots in gardens. These plants can protect fragile plants in the garden, which may wither when exposed to a dog’s urine. They do well in shaded areas but can withstand sunlight to a certain extent.
9. Burkwoods Osmanthus
This one is one of the hardiest evergreen shrubs. Their broad leaves and white or yellow flowers make them great filler plants to grace your garden. They are capable of withstanding dogs’ pee and other abuse as well.
10. Japanese Spindle Tree
Mostly grown in China, Japan, and Korea, this tree has a hard leaf with serrated edges. Because of the thickness of the leaves, if a dog pees on it, the urine will not permeate and damage the plant.
The list doesn’t end here, though. There are other plants as well that can withstand dog pee. These include squash, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, cabbage, parsley, basil, and so on.
List of Other Dangerous Garden Plants For Dogs
Not all garden plants are safe for dogs. There are many of them which are harmful and can result in severe side effects if ingested by canines. Here’s a list of some of the plants that may be potentially poisonous to dogs when consumed.
- Castor oil plant/Castor bean
- Dumbcane (Leopard Lily)
- Yellow Oleander
- English Ivy
- Japanese Yew
- American Yew
- Thorn Apple (Jimsonweed)
- Autumn Crocus
- Bleeding Heart
- Stinging Nettle
- Virginia Creeper
- Jerusalem Cherry
- Sago Palm
- Lily of the Valley
- Heavenly Bamboo
- African Violet
- African Daisy
- Gerber Daisy
- Ambrosia Mexicana
- Lemon Grass
- Baby Rubber Plant
- Bana Squash
- Bird of Paradise Flower
- Black Hawthorn
- Black Nightshade
- Garden Calla
- Garden Marigold
- Giant Aster
- Kentia Palm
- King and Queen Fern
- Orange Star
- Ornamental Pepper
- Umbrella Leaf
- Usambara Violet
- Variegated Laurel
- Veronia Fern
- Vining Peperomia
- Yellow Pine
- Yorba Linda
When your dog consumes toxic plants, the consequence depends on how much of it your dog has eaten and his weight as well. However, the basic signs of toxicity upon ingesting poisonous plants are vomiting and stomach upset. Some, like the Philodendron, may cause swelling and irritation to the dog’s lips and mouth.
The dog may even drool excessively, have seizures, and slip into a coma in severe cases. When your dog has ingested a poisonous plant, always contact a vet. You may even contact the Animal Poison Control Center helpline number 888-426-4435 if the vet is unavailable.
If your dog consumes too much of these plants, then it could suffer from certain complications like stomach problems. When adding these herbs to your dog’s diet, it is always advised to consult a vet and know the proper dosage.
Besides thyme and sage, there are other dog-safe garden plants as well. These include dill, camellia, magnolia bush, fuchsia, sunflower, rosemary, coral bells, and so on. It is important to remember that these plants may be safe for dogs. Yet, increased consumption could prove hazardous for them.
Most active breeds require a fenced yard or garden. This helps them remain physically and mentally energized. So, having a beautiful garden at home is a blessing for your four-legged friend. However, if you have a host of plants in your garden, you need to be extra cautious. Keep the ones that are poisonous within a fenced area. This way, it’ll prevent your dog from reaching out to them. Also, make sure you keep a watch on your dog when he is in the garden. Else he would have a happy time chewing the plants (that may be safe for him).
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.