Pooch Wise Planting

With their natural curiosity, it's not uncommon for dogs to investigate and trot around plants. But there are things you can do to minimize potential damage. Start by planting sturdy plants that can withstand most doggie play.

Here's a list of good choices (and all are non-toxic, if ingested), courtesy of landscaping pro Tania Krawchenko of Inspiring Spaces Alaska.

Plants that resist breakage include:
  • Lilac
  • Mock orange
  • Ninebark
  • Pine
  • Red twig dogwood
  • Russian sage
  • Serviceberry
  • Shasta daisy
  • Viburnum
Plants that take soil compaction and are hardy include:
  • Forsythia
  • Lilac
  • Red twig dogwood
Good choices in vines and groundcover include:
  • Arctic kiwi vine
  • Honeysuckle
  • Kentucky bluegrass/rye grass
  • Snow in summer
  • Stonecrop
Safe vegetables include:
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Spinach

Safe mulch: In landscaping, many gardeners use cocoa bean shells (a by-product of chocolate production), but Tania advises against its use in yards with pets. "It has the smell of chocolate when it rains, and is toxic to dogs." Consider using a less-toxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark. Tip: A mulch that's uncomfortable or uneasy to walk on, such as a thick carpet of pine cones, can discourage pet traffic.