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WARNING: Cocao Mulch Can KILL Your Pet

I’ve mentioned before that the folks at Zephyr are extremely helpful, and it’s not just when it comes to San Francisco real estate info.  Luba's Dog Ohm
This note comes to us from Ron Whitney.

Sorry for the broadcast but was sent this information by a dog walker here in the city…


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 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 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.


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.’


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.


Please pass this on!


Oh, and In case you think this is a hoax, it’s not. 


I checked the Consumer Reports website and it stated:


“there is truth to the claim, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Some dogs are attracted by the mulch’s chocolate aroma, and according to a warning from the ASPCA in 2003, “Eaten by a 50-pound dog, about 2 ounces of cocoa bean mulch may cause gastrointestinal upset; about 4.5 ounces, increased heart rate; about 5.3 ounces, seizures; and over 9 ounces, death.”


Even if you don’t have a pet, please consider using an alernative.  Your friend’s or neighbor’s pet can get into the stuff and if the dose is lethal, you’ll have a tragedy on your hands.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, that’s my dog Ohm up there in the corner with her ball.