Southwest Gardening forum: Have you seen this warning

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Name: Jo Miklovic
Augusta, GA

Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Daylilies Cut Flowers Garden Art Hummingbirder
Region: Southwest Gardening Region: Tennessee
Mar 31, 2010 7:50 PM CST

Even if you don't personally have a pet PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO SOMEONE WHO DOES.

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 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."
*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.

Name: Sue
Southeast Arizona
Mar 31, 2010 8:19 PM CST
Thanks! I will give this to several people.
Name: Kelly
Phoenix, Ar
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Mar 31, 2010 10:55 PM CST
Thanks for the info Jo! I will definitely pass it along!
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum

Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
Apr 2, 2010 9:29 AM CST
Those bags should come with a warning! We've discussed this many, many times on DG, but unfortunately, the entire gardening world isn't there. Although my dogs are confined to the back yard, I can't even use cocoa mulch in the front yard because of people who let their dogs run loose. I always wanted to try it because of the terrific odor of chocolate.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson

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