How To Grow a Dog-Friendly Herb Garden Indoors

dogs near flowers

As pet owners, we want our homes to be a sanctuary, not just for us but for our pets as well. We all know that plants and pets, especially dogs, don’t mix all the time. As much as we’d like to keep them separate, both bring joy and healthy vibes to our homes. Giving up one for the other is simply unimaginable!

Taking care of plants and raising dogs are beneficial to us. Herbs like rosemary and mint, for example, purify the air indoors. Studies have even proven that having indoor plants improve concentration and productivity by up to 15 percent. Pets, on the other hand, help us manage depression and loneliness, keep us fit, and bring happiness. So without further ado, here are tips for creating a pet-friendly herb garden indoors.

Choose Herbs That are not Toxic to Pets

First things first. You can’t grow herbs that will make your pets ill. Though dogs are not vegan by nature, you may notice them chewing on plants around your home. Similar to the reason why they like gnawing on grass, dogs eat plants because they may be looking for a way to relieve nausea or gas symptoms, the plants actually taste good, or your pup is simply bored.

Nontoxic herbs that can be grown indoors include:

·  Oregano – high in antioxidants and described as antimicrobial as well; oregano can help ease upset stomach as well.

·  Rosemary – another antioxidant-rich herb that is also high in B6, iron, and calcium; best for pets with fur and skin problems.

·  Peppermint – throughout history, this herb has been used to cure flatulence, motion sickness, nausea, and keeping bad breath at bay.

·  Basil – aside from being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, this easy-to-grow herb can ease your senior dog’s arthritis pain and prevent cellular damage.

·  Parsley – keeps your pet’s breath fresh and a good source of lycopene, carotene, and vitamins.

Train Your Pup & Reward Good Behavior

When dogs eat plants, it’s not just the taste that keeps them coming back for more. For instance, dogs who have vitamin deficiency instinctively look for other sources of these nutrients, and end up chewing on your plants. Eating plants is another way to make themselves feel better. If they ate something bad, dogs eat grass and leaves to purge themselves. 

Chomping on those greens is also a self-rewarding habit. Self-gratification can be hard to unlearn, but with a reward-based training, you can stop Fido from chewing on your houseplants. 

Yelling at your dog or using shock collars do not work. These methods do more harm than good! Use positive reinforcement to stop your furkid from gnawing on your herbs. The use of nontoxic toys, treats like bully sticks, and praises are more effective in changing your pup’s behavior 

Pick the Right Pot and Planter For Your Plants

Choosing your plants’ new container can be overwhelming. Should you go for a pot or a planter? What’s the difference? Then, there’s the size issue. How do you know if your containers are too small for your plant babies?

The two most important factors to consider when buying pots and planters for your herbs are size and drainage. Once you’ve got those two down pat, you can freely choose the look of your plants’ containers. Pots are small, round, and meant to contain just one plant. Planters are usually made for outdoors and can contain more than one plant.

Size matters a lot in choosing pots for your indoor herb garden. The general rule is to choose a container that’s 1 to 2 inches bigger if your plant is currently in a pot that’s 10 inches in diameter or less. Increase the size by 2 to 3 inches more if the current pot size is over 10 inches.

Drainage is also important when looking for the perfect plant container. The soil shouldn’t be too wet after watering your herbs. Don’t pour more than 1/3 of the pot’s size in water as roots can rot if sitting in water for too long. If you have a saucer or tray under your pots, pour out the excess water to prevent soggy soil. This will help in protecting the roots from fungi and bacteria, and prevent your dog from drinking the water as well. 

Lastly, you need to choose what your pot or planter is made of. The most popular choice nowadays is ceramic. Containers made from porous materials dry faster and evenly compared to plastic containers. Plastic planters and pots are not environmentally friendly, and look cheap in contrast to terracotta and ceramic containers.

Choose the Perfect Spot

Another secret to successfully growing plants indoors is picking the spot where they will have at least six hours of sunlight. The more herbs are exposed to sunlight, the more flavor your herbs will have. Choose a place where your pet can’t reach it or a room where they’re not allowed.

The most ideal place where you can keep your herb garden is your kitchen. After all, you’d also want your herbs within reach and readily available while you’re cooking. Your plants should be close to the window as much as possible. Windows facing south and southwestern are the best places for your herbs to get light. Another way is to install grow lights directly above your herb garden.

If you live in warm climates, make sure that your herbs are not overly exposed to sunlight. This can result to drooping leaves, brown spots, and soil that dries up quickly. Though herbs love the light, overexposure is not good for them as well.

Herbs that lack light will look flimsy and won’t have as much leaves. When this happens, move them immediately to a location where they will have sufficient light. The key to a thriving herb garden is knowing each herb’s requirements. Planting them too close to each other to save space results in poor air circulation, leaving them susceptible to disease. So, for happy, healthy plant babies, make sure to give them room to breathe. 

 puppy and potted plants with text overlay dog-friendly herb gardens

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