Planting a Dog-Friendly Edible Garden
Food is expensive, and more families than ever are trying their hands at backyard gardening. Rows of tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, and carrots are growing all over the country this spring and summer. Many gardeners are taking it a step farther and creating a vegetable garden to help feed their dogs.
What do you need to consider as you plant a backyard garden, including items for your pup?
We’ve done the research to make your planting easy!
A Dog-Friendly Edible Garden
What to Grow:
The list of foods good for dogs is long! Make sure that you choose food items that you enjoy, too. Feel free to expand your garden to include items that won’t be for your pet. These are the most commonly suggested dog-safe and easy-to-grow foods for your garden:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussel sprouts
- Sugar Snap Peas
Create Your Shopping List
Organic Soil: Healthy foods start with the soil.
Seedlings (Organic and/or non-GMO): You want plants that are already established, just in case your pup finds an opportunity to dig.
Stakes or Cages: Some plants will spread and vine like crazy; stakes or cages can help them grow vertically.
Fencing/Gate Materials: The garden should not be open for your dog to eat, dig, or explore as he wishes.
Fertilizer: Spray-On or pellet versions can both be harmful to your pet. Look for a non-toxic version and keep your pet away as you use it.
Mulch: Mulch can contain dyes linked to cancer, along with other toxic chemicals, so read before you buy.
Create Your Garden
Layout your gardening space and plant away! Keep your plants watered regularly and make sure you keep it well fenced. Enjoy your harvest - and don’t forget to make your pup share!
But Wait! Did you know that you can create an herb garden for your dog to graze as he pleases?
A Dog-Friendly Herb Garden
Herbs are known to help heal the body, and the same goes for a dog’s body. Instinctually, a dog will eat specific herbs to combat ailments. The problem is that most homes do not have herbs at the ready; families tend to pick plants for their beauty and not their healing properties. If you are interested in saving money on vet visits, Modern Dog Magazine recommends planting the following herbs in an area of the yard that your pup tends to explore.
Burdock: one of the best herbs for skin problems. It can be given internally and externally as a wash for dry, irritated skin. Burdock is well known for its anti-cancer potential and its impact on the lymphatics, reducing heat and congestion in the body.
Milk Thistle: known for its healing benefits to the liver, milk thistle is a great choice for a pet herb garden. One of the lesser-known benefits is that it is very calming for your dog’s temper.
Lemon Balm: a hardy perennial that prefers moist soil. It’s great for senior pets because it strengthens memory and vitality. Lemon Balm can also calm the nervous system and soothe the stomach ailments of highly anxious dogs.
Peppermint: super-easy to grow. Like Burdock, it will flourish and take over if you give it the chance. While peppermint will help your dog with nausea and indigestion, it is also great for freshening your pooch’s breath, relieving toothaches, and soothing insect bites—not to mention it will give off a lovely fragrance!
Astragalus: a popular and highly versatile herb that can be used for a variety of conditions. It can promote healing, improve digestion, decrease blood sugar, and decrease blood pressure. It can be given as a dried herb in a decoction or as a tincture.