Toxic Mulch

cocoa mulchThe ASPCA has identified a potential hazard found in many gardens – cocoa mulch. Cocoa mulch, or cocoa bean shells, is a by-product of chocolate production, and is popular among gardeners because of its scent, color, and eventual degradation into organic fertilizer. Cocoa mulch, like chocolate, may be toxic to dogs.
Signs of cocoa mulch ingestion may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Muscle tremors
  • Neurological changes

Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Chief Operating Officer, recommends gardeners consider using nontoxic alternatives such as shredded pine, cedar, or hemlock bark.

If you think your dog may have ingested cocoa mulch, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Click Lawn 911! Pet Poisonous Cocoa Bean Mulchto read the full article.

Excerpt story by
Karen Baker
Feline adoption coordinator (volunteer)

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Updated 8/5/16

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