Warning _ highly toxic for dogs

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Please tell every dog or cat owner you know.
    Even if you don't have a pet,
    please pass this to those who do.

    Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes 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 Calypso decided that 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 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.'

    This Snopes site gives the following information: http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp

    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.


  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    No cocao for our kitties! Thanks Star*
  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Wow..... I haven't even heard of this stuff...... thanks for the heads up and I am shocked they even allow this to be made......
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG!! I know my dog's would eat it. They love chocolate.

    Never heard of it before, but sure not buying any. I'll pass it along.

    Thanks for the heads up.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's certainly worthwhile to also read the Snopes link. THanks for including it, Star. The report about the young lab Calypso who ate the mulch and died - was that someone you personally know, or was it the email sent to you? Because it sounds like the case described in Snopes, which manufacturers claim is the only case they know about.

    We don't get cocoa mulch here - I wish we did. Pets on the loose are a huge problem for us here, they go feral and kill wildlife. mother in law has Brushtail Possums living in her garage and a neighbour's cat keeps coming into mother in law's place (despite fences and gates) and killing the possums, leaving bodies everywhere. Some even rarer Ringtail Possums have also been killed by the cat - often it's a mother possum with babies that mother in law finds mangled on the lawn.

    So if using cocoamulch would do something about this uncontrolled cat (and its friends), mother in law would be happy to use it. So would I, even though I do love animals (including dogs and cats). mother in law keeps her gates shut, her fences in good order, so any animal getting in there has no right to be there. I'll have to check - I haven't heard of marsupials having a problem with theobromine.

    A couple of points made on Snopes - dogs and cats have to eat a fair bit of theobromine before it kills them, and it would mean they'd have to eat a fair bit of mulch.
    Also, if you check the packet of mulch, you should be able to find one that is theobromine-free. And that would be the best of both worlds - using mulch on your garden that is a waste product helps your garden as well as helps cut down on environmentla waste; and having your garden smell of chocolate! Wow!

    So if there are bags of theobromine-loaded cocamulch that you guys don't want to use - ship them over here to Australia. Our National Parks & Wildlife Service will happily use it, it will cut down on the rangers having to go out with guns to shoot feral dogs and cats running wild in the bush.

    I know that sounds terrible, but the wrong animal in the wrong place can do devastating damage.
    Example: I LOVE our Brushtailed Possums, but they don't belong in New Zealand, where they are in damaging plague proportions wiping out rare and endangered birds and destroying a lot of precious plants. So we happily bought some NZ possum fur products (NZ possum fur is the only fur trade endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund).

    So maybe we can come up with some creative options to help out Hershey's AND help remedy an environmental problem?

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    My Mom sent this to me Marg....

    I sent this to the guys in my office and at first they said (seriously)

    OMG Star is this that foster dog you took in?

    I said no....

    They said then - Well with as much as you love chocolate PLEASE don't get this for your yard....

    Another guy said - Yeah can you see her now face down at 3:00 AM in the mulch eating mouthfulls yelling "LEAVE ME ALONE I AM WEEDING."

    lol - i digress - I shant be buying any of this particular type of mulch.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I should have come back with - OH YEAH? Well chocolate keeps me from killing all of you -

    But who wants a threat on their permanent record? = I'd rather surprise them. :tongue:
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    :cool_dog:Over the yrs, I have purchased every kind of mulch available, including coffee mulch and cocoa mulch. At the time I bought those, I had borzoi and collies. None of them were interested in the mulch. One of the borzoi did, however, develop a taste for oversized tulip bulbs that I had shipped in from Brecks, at $2 apiece! She'd dig straight through the mulch and go for the bulbs.
    She also ate a bag of "real" dark chocolate and we had to shove peroxide down her throat to get her to throw up. :(
    It's always good to have as much info as possible when buying "exotic" yard items. :)
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks for the warning!! I wonder if any wildlife is going after this too?? If so, they should take it off the market.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know I will stay away from this. It sounds just lovely smelling, but I don't need the temptation!

    (I would probably be face down next to Star weeding, LOL!)

    I do like coffee grounds mixed in with the dirt in the garden. It seems to help. And the coffee places here give it away.

    We also live just a couple miles down the road from the Fairgrounds. All the free composted manure/hay mulch we want. You just have to go and get it. They keep a big dumpster with the current droppings, and when it is garden ready they dump it and start over. We have farmers who pick up trailers full of it.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Coffee grounds are toxic to slugs & snails. Even decaf coffee grounds will kill them, I know because that's what we use. I've stopped using snail bait now. It also means I can use coffee grounds on the vegetables and not worry about poisoning us.

    You do need to add more coffee grounds every few weeks or so, but if you use it in enouh places, you will cut the slug & snail population down a very long way.

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Susiestar, LOL!

    Oh, is THAT why coffee grounds are used, Marg? I hate slugs. I may have to buy more coffee grounds...
  13. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    When we lived in Minnesota, one of our neighbors used cocoa mulch?

    And it drew BEARS!

    That coffee ground idea is a good one.