Does your four-legged friend like to sample the leaves in your backyard? Or maybe your dog likes to dig away at the roots of the new shrubs you introduce? You can get hedges and shrubs that can better withstand the challenges that your dog brings their way and that are safe for them to much on if they get a little curious. Here are some of the best dog friendly hedges and shrubs.

1. Weigela

This shrub classic is perfectly safe for dogs, including the new variety Rainbow Sensation or My Monet. Many weigela varieties have variegated leaves that add a lot of interest in any season. When in bloom, weigela has delicate red or pink flowers. While weigela were once limited in size, you can now find varieties in many different sizes.
dwarf spirae

2. Dwarf Spiraea

The dwarf version of this plant is much closer to your dog’s mouth, but that’s fine as it is non-toxic. It makes an excellent shrub in multiple sun conditions and is hardy to USDA zone 4a. While there aren’t quite as many varieties of dwarf spiraea as many other shrub plants, there are some very popular options include Goldflame and Little Bonnie.

rose of sharon3. Rose of Sharon

A huge popular shrub, the Rose of Sharon (also called Hibiscus) is non-toxic to dogs and an excellent way to add a ton of lively blooms to your landscape. There are endless varieties with blue, pink, white and cream blooms.

4. Black Haw

Also called sweet viburnum, this lovely shrub makes an excellent border in any dog-friendly garden. As this plant matures, its stems change color, adding new interest to the garden in its mid and late-life. Several varieties also add fall interest with red leaves.

5. Forsynthia

Also called golden bells, this plant earns its nickname with lovely yellow blooms that actually appear before the leaves. It’s non-toxic to dogs and a great addition to a garden where you have privacy concerns, as it has tall branches thickly covered with leaves. We recommend Sunrise and Meadowlark Forsynthia.

magnolia6. Magnolia

This lovely bush is similar to the tree version and produces flowers that are just as lush. It is non-toxic to dogs, even though the large flowers and leaves may be a point of interest with your pup. Consider Gold Star, Pinkie, or Centennial Star varieties.

7. Mahonia

This lesser-known shrub is also called Australian laurel and Japanese Pittosporum. It is non-toxic to dogs. One of its biggest selling features is the interesting texture of its leaves. They are waxy and almost like a succulent. Only select this shrub if you have a lot of room, as they may get 12 feet tall and 18 feet wide if you do not prune them regularly.

Hedges and Shrubs that are Not Dog-Safe

While you’re shopping for new hedges or shrubs for your yard, avoid these species which can make dogs sick or even kill them:

  • Boxwood
  • Azalea
  • Peace lilly
  • Arrowhead wine
  • Cherry
  • Sago palm
  • Periwinkle

It may be safe to grow these plants in your yard if you train your dog not to eat them, but don’t overlook the inherent risk of exposing your dog, or someone else’s dog, to any of these harmful plants.