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Cocoa Mulch Danger Alert for Pets

Cocoa Mulch Danger Alert for Pets

I learned that chocolate was bad for pets when one Easter our two dogs ate all the chocolate Easter eggs that the Easter Bunny had hidden in the living room for my daughter, and I was told that could make the dogs very sick. I never made the connection that the ingredient in chocolate from cacao beans–theobromine–would also be present in cocoa mulch. Read more about this culprit of pet poisonings, here:

A Care2 engineer, Cathy, sent us an email noting that cocoa mulch can be deadly to both cats and dogs. She had checked the story out with the urban legend websites and it appeared to be true. Further research from poison control centers has confirmed that cocoa mulch can kill pets. Cocoa mulch contains more of the deadly theobromine than chocolate.

Unfortunately, many home owners are unaware of this danger to their pets, and as cocoa mulch becomes more popular as a great way to reduce weeds and pests, more pets are getting ill or dying after eating it. Many pets like the taste of cocoa mulch.

I bought cocoa mulch myself a few years ago because it is reportedly great to use when planting clematis. I am grateful my two dogs didn’t eat it. According to the humane society, 9 ounces can kill a 50-pound dog, while a little over 5 ounces can cause seizures.

If you are worried your pet may have eaten cocoa mulch, contact your veterinarian immediately or call the Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 for expert advice.

Read more: Pets, Everyday Pet Care, Lawns & Gardens, Safety, , , , ,

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
11:00AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

I have used this in the past, thankfully before I got my first dog - I certainly will not be using it again. Thanks for the post

11:04AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for the info.

12:44AM PDT on May 13, 2012

Thanks so much for this story

9:54PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Another great idea gone bad.

4:18PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Thanks for the great info.

9:10AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

thanks, I never hear about it, I'm afraid I might eat it.

Read more:

3:28AM PDT on May 21, 2011

thanks, I never hear about it, I'm afraid I might eat it.

8:07PM PDT on Apr 21, 2011


7:29PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011


3:39AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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