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Pet Owners Beware! Cocoa Mulch is NOT Pet Friendly

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Here’s some important news for all pet owners — who would have thought that something like garden mulch could be toxic to dogs. . . this was verified on Snopes.

Over the weekend, the doting owner of two young lab mixes  purchased Cocoa Mulch  from Target to use in their garden. The dogs loved the way   it smelled and it was advertised to  keep cats away from  their garden. Their dog  (Calypso) decided the mulch smelled good  enough  to eat and devoured a large  helping.  She vomited a few  times which was typical  when she eats something  new but wasn’t acting lethargic in any way.  The  next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for 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 web site,  this product is HIGHLY toxic to  dogs  and cats

Cocoa Mulch is 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.” 

 *Snopes site gives  the following  information: *  

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 li ke  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 theobromine, 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.  


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