Is cocoa shell mulch safe? - Knowledgebase Question

Glen Allen, Vi
Question by d_charbonnea
March 23, 2010
We've used this before in Rochester,NY, but now are wondering about using it in Glen Allen,VA. How safe is it for dogs&cats? Where can we puchase some that is safe?

Answer from NGA
March 23, 2010


When cocoa shell mulch first became available to gardeners it had a high level of Theobromine which could harm pets if ingested. Since then manufacturers have removed this chemical through several cleaning processes and a high heat treatment that removes the cocoa fat. These processes make the cocoa shells less attractive to dogs and cats because the chocolate smell is removed. If you can find the mulch with a label that proclaims "pet safe", you can safely use it in your garden. If the label does not explain the cleaning processes, it probably has not been treated and should not be used in your landscape.

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