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Mulch Warning

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Cross posting this message:

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold at Home Depot and other garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine". It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and can die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks (this was from a list in Kentucky). Just a word of caution -- check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens. Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make 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 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
post #2 of 7
Thanks for the warning - just told my husband, the hobby gardener, about it.
post #3 of 7
woah! what great info that is. thanks for telling us!!
post #4 of 7
Really and truly if you are buying any garden supplies from places like Home Depot and Lowes check with the garden associates there if you have outdoor pets and / or small children. Having worked at Home Depot for more years then I care to admit I can tell you straight up that most of their fertilizers, plant supplements, composts, and mulches are not safe around pets and children. Until recently the Home Depot I work at didn't carry one product that you could safely put on your ground without risking a pet's health. It's changed, but local nurseries (though more expensive) tend to carry more safe products.

Just my two cents for your gardening season.
post #5 of 7
Thanks for letting us know. I'll pass it on.
post #6 of 7
Although it sounds like an urban legend, snopes.com confirms it and has more information:

Theobromine, a chemical found in cocoa mulch, can be harmful to pets.
post #7 of 7
How about keep your cats inside and you wont have this problem.

I'm tired of reading about my friends cats dying.
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