Many gardeners usually find themselves in a dilemma when they want to grow a particular plant, but they are afraid it may harm their pets. If you have a green thumb and own a dog, you must be very careful when choosing plants to grow around your home.
Dogs are very playful. Even though they aren’t as curious as cats, they may occasionally chew on the leaves of plants growing in your garden. They may do this out of boredom or nutritional deficiencies.
If your dog has portrayed such behavior in the past, and you want to plant butterfly bushes to beautify your landscape. You may be wondering – is it toxic to dogs?
Fortunately, this cold-hardy perennial is not toxic to dogs, cats, animals, and even human beings. The leaves of the butterfly bush are not edible. However, they will not harm your dog if they eat the leaves or play around with the flowers. If this is what you were concerned about, you can feel relieved knowing that butterfly bushes are safe for dogs.
What Will Happen When My Dog Eats Butterfly Bushes?
The first thing you have to know is that dogs aren’t attracted to butterfly bushes. To human beings, the pleasant fragrant, and bright flowers might grab our attention. But to most dogs, the features of the butterfly bush aren’t so attractive. Therefore, not unless it’s the only plant in your garden, rarely will you find your dog playing around with it. It would have been a completely different story if you wanted to plant some bamboos or basil.
Anyway, if your dog eats butterfly bushes, nothing will happen. There won’t be any allergic reactions. It would be best if you discouraged this behavior. Remember, the butterfly bush isn’t an edible plant. Therefore, there isn’t a lot of research that has been done on the compounds found on the leaves. Train your dog not to chew on leaves. Even though the butterfly bush is safe for dogs, there are plenty of plants out there that may harm your furry friend.
Is the Butterfly Bush Toxic to Other Animals?
Butterfly bush is safe for dogs, cats, livestock, and other animals. The only thing about butterfly bush that is different is that it’s deer resistant. This isn’t because the leaves are toxic. Butterfly bushes have a strong scent that deers don’t like. So, if any animal chews the leaves of the butterfly bush, nothing will happen to them.
The Butterfly Bush is a Non-toxic Alternative for Gardeners with Dogs
If you look at lists of plants that are not safe for dogs, butterfly bush is listed as a non-toxic alternative. With this plant in your garden, you don’t have to worry about your dogs or pets being poisoned by chewing the leaves. Instead, it will attract adult butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators. This is a pet-friendly plant that can be used to decorate gardens and lawns.
Butterfly Bush Isn’t Butterfly Weed
While we are still on toxicity, many people aren’t aware that butterfly weed and butterfly bush are two different plants. A butterfly weed is a plant that contains showy flower clusters. It grows in hardiness zones 3 to 9. Therefore, you can find it in most parts of the country.
Butterfly weed is a native and attracts butterflies at all stages. Unlike butterfly bush, butterfly weed is very toxic. If your dog consumes the butterfly weed’s roots, stems, leaves, and flowers, the toxins will lead to side effects such as itching, vomiting, and diarrhea. Heavy consumption of butterfly weed can even lead to death. You must differentiate between butterfly bush and butterfly weed. As you shop for butterfly bush seeds, ensure that it’s not butterfly weed because planting the wrong thing can put your pets and family members at risk of being poisoned.
Butterfly Bushes aren’t Safe for Caterpillars
So far, we have identified that butterfly bush is safe for dogs. It’s, therefore, a great addition to your lawn or garden. However, this plant isn’t safe for caterpillars. Butterfly bush isn’t a native here in America. It didn’t evolve alongside the caterpillars found in most gardens.
The nectar produced by butterfly bushes is very sweet, and that’s why it attracts adult butterflies from all over. Caterpillars, which develop into butterflies, can’t feed on the leaves of the butterfly bush. This is one of the primary concerns you have to consider when planting this shrub in your garden.
Butterfly Bush Safe for Dogs: Final Thoughts
The butterfly bush is one of the few shrubs that can make your garden pet-friendly. Even though the leaves are not edible, this plant is safe for dogs. If you own a playful puppy or dog, you can confidently plant butterfly bushes in your home without worrying about poisoning your canine friend. These plants won’t only make your garden look livelier, but they will attract adult butterflies, bees and other pollinators.