Seasonal Risks to your Pet – Cocoa Mulch

18th of July, 2011.
 
Please tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if you don’t have a pet, please pass this to those who do. Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by garden supply stores, contains an 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 have occurred recently due to this.
cocoa mulch

Dangers of Cocoa Mulch to Pets

Please tell every dog or cat owner you know.  Even if you don’t have a pet, please pass this to those who do.  Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by garden supply stores, contains an 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 have occurred recently due to this.

Over one weekend, the doting owner of two young labrador mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch 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, Mum woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk.  Halfway 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 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’ website gives the following information –

http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp

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 Xanthenes 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.