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Warning for Dog/Cat Owners - Cocoa Shell Mulch

Please share this information with other pet owners, it might prevent the senseless loss of other pets. This new cocoa shell mulch is fast replacing the traditional peat moss garden mulch and might be found in many yards, (apparently the world supply of peat is drying up, and new types of mulch are surfacing). We should all also email or call the producers, to put appropriate warnings on the bags and request that sellers and distributors verbally warn their customers

The owners of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. The dogs loved the way it smelled, but it was only cautioned to keep cats away from the product. 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 ate something new, but wasn't acting lethargic in any way. The next day, half way through her morning walk, Calypso had a seizure and died instantly.

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation this was found on the company's web site, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.

Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, they claim that "It's 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."

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 really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and can 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.