Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs? Is Penstemon Toxic to Dogs?

Is Penstemon poisonous to dogs? Is Penstemon toxic to dogs? In this article, we’ll teach you all you need to know about if Penstemon is safe for dogs, including what to do if your dog ate Penstemon already. We’ll then explain the two commands that will ensure your dog always behaves around plants that might be poisonous.

Next, we’ll cover more you should know about Penstemon and dogs, such as how to keep dogs away using barriers. Finally, we’ll instruct you on Penstemons care (planting, varieties, perennial, spread, sun or shade, height/size, hardiness zone, bloom time) and more to know when you have dogs. Keep reading!

Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs?

Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs?

Penstemon is not poisonous to dogs. While it’s generally safe for dogs to be around Penstemon plants, it’s still a good idea to train your pet to avoid eating random foliage. Teaching commands like “Leave It” and “Drop It” can help ensure your dog stays safe in a garden setting.

Is Penstemon Toxic to Dogs?

Penstemon is not toxic to dogs. However, even non-toxic plants can cause mild gastrointestinal distress if ingested in large amounts. It’s always best to discourage your dog from nibbling on any plants, whether they are known to be poisonous or not.

Train the “Leave It” Command

  1. Start by holding a treat in your closed hand and present it to your dog without letting them take it.
  2. Say the command “Leave it” in a firm voice.
  3. Wait for your dog to withdraw their attention from your hand, even if it’s just for a second.
  4. Reward your dog with a different treat from your other hand as soon as they lose interest in the first one.
  5. Repeat these steps multiple times until your dog consistently responds to the “Leave It” command.

Training your dog to understand the “Leave It” command can prevent them from eating or interacting with potentially harmful substances or plants.

Train the “Drop It” Command

  1. Offer your dog a low-value toy and let them take it in their mouth.
  2. Present a high-value treat to your dog and say “Drop It.”
  3. As soon as your dog drops the toy, immediately reward them with the treat.
  4. Give the toy back to your dog and repeat the process.
  5. Practice this regularly to reinforce the “Drop It” command.

Learning the “Drop It” command can be a lifesaver for your dog. If they happen to pick up something harmful, this command allows you to have them immediately release it from their mouth.

While Penstemon is not toxic to dogs, that won’t be true for all plants. These commands will help keep your dog safe, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (curiosity, anxiety, boredom, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present.

And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog getting too close to Penstemon and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog eating Penstemon ever again!

Penstemon and Dogs

Penstemon and Dogs

Penstemon and dogs generally get along well as this plant is not toxic to canines. If your dog eats Penstemon leaves, there’s usually no cause for alarm, although it’s best to keep an eye on your pet for any signs of gastrointestinal upset.

Dog Ate Penstemon Leaves, What Do I Do?

If your dog ate Penstemon leaves, there’s generally no need to panic. Monitor your pet for signs of gastrointestinal discomfort like vomiting or diarrhea. While Penstemon is not toxic to dogs, a sudden change in diet or the consumption of plant material can sometimes cause minor digestive issues. If symptoms persist, consult your veterinarian.

Can Dogs Eat Penstemon?

Dogs can eat Penstemon without suffering from toxicity, but it’s not recommended to encourage this behavior. Eating any plant material can be hard on a dog’s digestive system and may result in temporary discomfort. Always supervise your pet when they are in an area where plants are accessible.

Training your dog on the “Drop It” command can be great in these situations, as it teaches them to release something they have in their mouth. Learn it now in the first section.

You should get this problem handled right away, as doing so will also keep your dog safe around all other plants. You then won’t have to stress about things like is Agastache toxic to dogs, is Ficus toxic to dogsis Cherry Laurel toxic to dogs, or is Clusia poisonous to dogs.

Why Are Dogs Attracted to Penstemon?

Some dogs are attracted to Penstemon out of curiosity or boredom. The plant itself doesn’t contain any known attractants for dogs. If you notice your dog taking an unusual interest in Penstemon or any other plants, it may be worth investing in some dog-friendly toys or treats to divert their attention.

While Penstemon is not harmful to dogs, it’s always a good idea to discourage your pet from eating plants. This general rule ensures that your dog won’t accidentally consume something that could be toxic or result in an upset stomach. Supervision and training are key to keeping your pet safe around any flora.

Is Penstemon Safe for Dogs?

Penstemon Safe for Dogs

Penstemon is safe for dogs, posing no toxicity concerns. However, it’s a good idea to prevent your dog from eating it or any other random plants, as this could lead to gastrointestinal issues. Keeping dogs away from Penstemon and providing dog-safe alternatives can make both your garden and your pet happier.

How to Keep Dogs Away From Penstemon

While Penstemon is not poisonous to dogs, you should still keep them away to prevent any digestive issues. One effective method is to use physical barriers. Garden fencing or decorative rocks around the plant can create an obstacle that most dogs will find challenging to navigate.

Another option is to use a dog playpen or portable fence to limit your dog’s access to certain parts of the garden. Training your dog to understand boundaries and commands can also be a lasting solution. Learn “Leave It” and “Drop It” now in the first section.

Dog-Safe Alternatives to Penstemon

If you’re looking to make your garden both beautiful and dog-friendly, consider plants that are safe for dogs such as snapdragons, asters, or marigolds. These plants not only add color and variety to your garden but also come with the peace of mind that they are non-toxic to your furry friend.

Why Should Dogs Not Eat Random Plants?

Even if a plant like Penstemon is not toxic, dogs shouldn’t be encouraged to eat random plants. Ingesting unfamiliar flora can lead to gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Additionally, eating plants can be a gateway to consuming other items that are genuinely harmful. The habit is especially risky if you visit different environments where toxic plants might be present.

You should always guide your dog’s behavior away from eating plants, whether they are toxic or not. Adequate training and supervision are crucial in ensuring your dog’s safety. Providing safe and engaging alternatives for your dog can minimize their interest in munching on your garden’s flora.

Penstemons Care

Is Penstemon Toxic to Dogs?

Penstemons are relatively easy to care for, requiring well-drained soil, moderate watering, and either full sun or partial shade. They are mostly perennial and come in various varieties, making them a versatile choice for your garden. They typically bloom from late spring to early summer and are suitable for a variety of USDA zones.

Penstemon Flowers Care

Penstemons are forgiving plants, but for optimal flowering, they prefer well-drained soil and a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s advisable to allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Fertilization is generally not needed unless your soil is particularly poor.

Planting Penstemon

The best time to plant Penstemons is in the spring or early autumn. Ensure you choose a location that has good drainage and receives adequate sunlight. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball, place the plant in, and cover it up with soil, pressing down gently to eliminate air pockets.

Penstemon Varieties

There are over 250 species of Penstemons, and they come in a range of colors, including purple, red, pink, and white. Common varieties include Penstemon ‘Husker Red,’ Penstemon ‘Dark Towers,’ and Penstemon ‘Red Rocks,’ all of which are known for their hardiness and stunning flowers.

Is Penstemon Perennial?

Most Penstemons are perennial, meaning they come back year after year. However, their longevity can vary depending on the specific variety and growing conditions. In colder climates, some may act as short-lived perennials or even annuals. Check the characteristics of the specific variety you choose, as some types might require additional winter protection.

Do Penstemon Spread?

Penstemons tend to grow in clumps and do not have a spreading habit. However, they can be propagated easily from cuttings or seeds, allowing you to expand their presence in your garden if you wish. While they don’t naturally spread, they can fill in an area nicely if they’re grouped together during planting.

Penstemon: Sun or Shade?

Penstemons thrive in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. However, too much shade can result in fewer flowers and a leggy growth habit. Aim for at least six hours of direct sunlight for the best results. In areas with intense heat, a little afternoon shade can be beneficial.

Penstemon Height/Size

The height and size of Penstemons can vary widely depending on the variety. Some dwarf types may only grow to about 12 inches, while others can reach up to 3 feet. Be sure to consider this when choosing the appropriate spot in your garden. It’s also good to note that some varieties have a bushier growth habit, adding more bulk than height.

Penstemon Zone

Penstemons are adaptable to a wide range of USDA hardiness zones, typically from zone 4 to 9. However, this can vary depending on the specific variety, so it’s essential to check this before planting. Some specialized varieties might be more sensitive to extreme temperatures and may require additional care in extreme climates.

Penstemon Bloom Time

Penstemons usually bloom from late spring to early summer, although this can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. Deadheading spent blooms can sometimes encourage a second flush of flowers. Factors like soil quality and sunlight can also influence the timing and duration of their bloom period.

Growing Penstemons is not only a rewarding experience due to their vibrant colors and ease of care, but it’s also a safe choice if you have pets. Penstemon is not toxic to dogs, meaning you can add peace of mind to its list of benefits. Learn two commands that will also help keep your dog safe in the first section.

I’m sure you’re ready to get started now that you have all of your questions about Penstemon and dogs answered, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs? Is Penstemon Toxic to Dogs?”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.