There are lots of guides out there on plants that are bad or even poisonous for your dog. But what about the ones that can have actual health benefits? Create a holistic, healthy herb garden right here in Chattanooga, with our guide to some of the best plants for your pet.

Before you start buying barley grass and getting ginger, however, take a hour or so to make sure your garden is dog-friendly. Leave a water bowl in a shaded area, stop purchasing pesticides and plant shrubs around fences to stop your leaping Labrador or digging Dalmatian from escaping over or under the fence. Now, let’s look at what to plant in your new dog-safe back yard.

Peppermint
Though peppermint flavored food can be bad news for canines (they often contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs), the herb itself has been said by dog experts like Modern Dog magazine to help stomach aches, gas relief and reduce nausea, with some research even being done about whether it can help dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Plus, it’s a delicious herb for dog-owners too, perfect for creating that festive flavor.

Valerian, Chamomile and California Poppy
Pet MD recommends a mixture of these three herbs which are perfect for perky pooches everywhere. They are all natural relaxants for dogs, helping even the most hyper hounds to calm down. As well as this, they lower blood pressure and even assist in the fight against parasites.

Basil
Next time you are making an Italian dinner or a batch of pesto, sprinkle a little bit of that basil onto your dog’s dinner as well as your own. The plant is a holy trinity of antis, being anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-microbial. It also makes whatever is in your pet’s bowl that evening feel a little bit more gourmet!

Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle is also anti-oxidant-and-inflammatory. However, it has another crucial doggy health benefit. It is generally good for protecting and improving your dog’s liver health, but is especially recommended as an extract if your dog is taking any medication for liver problems. For those looking to keep their garden free of weeds, you want to remove the plant’s flowering heads. If your pet has environmental allergies, milk thistle should be used with caution.

A Last Word of Advice
Though all of these plants have health benefits to your dog taken in various ways, you always want to speak to a holistic veterinarian before feeding any of these plants to your animals. Some pet-friendly plant varieties are very similar to herbs that can harm pets, so it’s crucial to seek expert advice.