As a dog mom to three fur babies, an okay-ish gardener, and a mosquito buffet, I understand the importance of choosing safe plants for my furry babies and keeping those pesky bloodsuckers at bay. Here are some tips on selecting flowers, herbs, and plants that are both dog-safe and mosquito-repellent.
When it comes to selecting flowers, opt for marigolds, petunias, and lavender. Marigolds are not only beautiful, but they also emit a scent that mosquitoes despise. Petunias are another excellent option for repelling mosquitoes, and they come in various colors to add a pop of color to your garden. Lavender not only repels mosquitoes but also has a calming effect on dogs. Lavender and marigolds can be mildly toxic if your fur baby eats them, but they are not life-threatening.
For herbs, consider planting rosemary, basil, and lemon balm. Rosemary is a natural mosquito repellent and can also be used in cooking. Basil repels mosquitoes and has antibacterial properties, making it a great addition to any garden. Lemon balm emits a lemony scent that mosquitoes hate and can also be used in teas or as a natural remedy for anxiety in dogs. These three herbs also have health benefits for puppers, which makes them a great additive to their homemade food or treats!
Lastly, for plants, catnip and lemongrass are great options. Catnip repels mosquitoes and attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Catnip is not only safe for dogs to eat, it acts like a sedative, helping them with anxiety, stress, and sleep, and it's a natural antiseptic. Lemongrass emits a strong citrus scent, can be added to any Asian-inspired dishes, and can add privacy to your deck, yard, or front porch. Technically lemon grass is toxic to dogs; however, they have to eat substantial quantities of the plant to trigger any symptoms.
A Few Tips
Avoid planting anything that is toxic to dogs, such as daffodils, lilies, hostas, or tulips. I know they're gorgeous flowers that are great for the birds and bees, so if you want to plant them, locate them outside your dog's play area where they can't get into them. If you find you have existing toxic plants in their play area, consider transplanting them to a different area.
Citronella plants are a well-known mosquito repellent, but they're very toxic to dogs. Always supervise your dog when they are in the garden to ensure they are not eating any plants that could be harmful to them.
The ASPCA is an excellent resource for reading up about the plants in and around your home to be prepared to recognize plant/flower/herb poisoning in your fur babies.