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Expat wanderer

Cocoa Mulch Warning

A friend sent this to me today and asked me to share it with all my pet-owner friends. šŸ™‚ I know there are a lot of you:

Please share this with all the pet owners you know and ask them to do the same – the information you take a few minutes to share might prevent the senseless loss of other 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.

Over the weekend, the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target 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, 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 web site, 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 site gives the following information: *

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 li ke 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.


March 31, 2010 - Posted by | Health Issues, Pets, Shopping


  1. Well, chocolate is known to be deadly for dogs, and it’s not good for humans either.
    Theobromine is an addictive substance.

    Comment by Aafke | March 31, 2010 | Reply

  2. WHOA! Whoa, Aafke! Don’t you start on chocolate! No! No!No! Chocolate is GOOD for us!

    Actually, last night I heard a report on National Public Radio that said that sugar and fat in our foods is every bit as addictive as cocaine and cigarettes; they trigger some response in the brain that makes you continue to crave them. The point was that honest-to-God real food doesn’t seem as desirable as the processed foods, because foods are being engineered to be addictive. Interesting, huh?

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. I know. And it’s absolutely true. You might notice that I have been digging deeper and deeper into health and nutricion over the last year, every now and then I rant about it on my blog. It is perfectely true, industrial food is engineered to keep us coming back for more. Which is why you see so many obese people in America: Overfed and undernourished!

    Believe it: I have given up chocolate, I will never touch a soda again ever in my life. Actually, I can’t bear the taste of them anymore.
    I have changed my diet/lifestyle. I eat 70, to 80% raw food, I drink vegetable and fruitjuices. I love them! They are delicious, and I have a super juicer back home. Here I have a less good one, but I have lost 12 pounds over the last three weeks without feeling deprived of anything, actually enjoying my food greatly! I have also been out to lunch and dinner, have cooked some delicious healthy meals, and eaten the Q’s khabsa as well. My energy levels are boosted up. I have been at the gym almost every day and really enjoyed it!
    I love my juices and smoothies, and I have whatever I like whenever I like, but most days 3 or 4 are all I want. I listen to my body and have a juice when I’m hungry, or skip one when I’m not.

    The human digestive tract was never built to be swamped with denatured food, sugars and refined carbs and fats.

    Slimming foods are the worst! Lowfat yoghurt is bulked up with refined sugar! Aspartame is poisonous and should never have been allowed for food, and besides poisoning your system and causing cancers, it actually fools your hypothalmus into a craving for carbs! People who drink stuff like diet-coke (that was me) get fatter because of it!

    I will stop ranting now and keep it for a blog post šŸ˜‰

    Comment by Aafke | April 1, 2010 | Reply

  4. Hi there, are you sure this is true? I mean this website hxxp:// says it is partly true… and now i’m confused which one is the true?

    and about the slimming food and diet coke stuff…. wow i just know it, may be that is why I got some extra 10pounds lately šŸ˜¦ I’ll try to stop it.

    Comment by dog store | April 1, 2010 | Reply

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