Sunday, March 8, 2009

Springtime Gardeners--Cocoa Mulch is poisonous to pets!

A doting owner of a young lab mix purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog decided the mulch smelled good enough to eat and ate a large helping. She vomited a few times, but wasn't acting lethargic in any way.

The next day, the owner woke up and took her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats . Cocoa Mulch, manufactured by Hershey's and they claim that 'It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it.'

This Snopes site gives the following information: Mulch

Cocoa Mulch , which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores , contains a lethal ingredient called ' Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of th eobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.


  1. So, the upshot is, 1 in 100 dogs have a chance of dying of this stuff if they come across it. Not liking those odds at all!

  2. That is so scary...they shouldn't be allowed to sell the stuff!

  3. Thank you for letting us know about this. My mom is going to forward this information to everybody she knows with a woofie or a cat.

  4. Oh no! It's still amazing how many pet owners don't realize that chocolate is poisonous to woofies and kitties!

  5. Oh, no! That is so sad. Why wouldn't the makers of that product place a warning on it that it is dangerous to dogs? Dogs LOVE chocolate -- even if it kills them.

    On a lighter note, I LOVE that picture you posted. I have always wanted to purchase that particular print. Someday... I will!


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