Saturday, April 16, 2011

Current Events: Cocoa Mulch and Pets Do Not Mix!

Spring has arrived, a time of year when many people turn their thoughts to gardening.  Once the plants are in, the next step is often mulch, and one of the newer options is cocoa shell mulch, made by recycling the material left over from cocoa bean processing.  Cocoa mulch is a wonderful product, but pet owners, especially those with dogs, should beware, because cocoa mulch if ingested is highly toxic to pets.  It can contain over 20 times more theobromine than milk chocolate, and if used to mulch a garden accessible to pets it provides them with an unlimited supply.  Hyperactivity, seizure, and death from heart arrhythmia are all possible outcomes from theobromine toxicity unless a pet who has ingested cocoa mulch is treated immediately -- time is of the essence here!  So remember, if your pets have access to your garden, do them a favor and refrain from using cocoa mulch.  And keep in mind that other gardeners may be using this product, so be a good neighbor and keep your dogs out of their gardens as well!

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