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I really hate posting these, but I did check it out. It's an old one and maybe you have seen it before, but maybe someone did not.









Over one weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa

Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled

and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog

Calypso decided that 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



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.' True information about the mulch

can be found here - http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoa.htm

This 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 like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They

will ingest this stuff and die. Seve ral deaths already occurred in the

last 2-3 weeks.

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 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.


email the manufacturer at michellemessick@hersheys.com and request

that accurate information about this product be posted on the packaging

to avoid further tragedy. PLEASE GIVE THIS THE WIDEST DISTRIBUTION !!!

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Oh gosh, I've seen this cocoa mulch used on various gardening programs on HGTV. I let my fella know about this problem and we're telling friends, neighbors and coworkers.


Frankly, though it smells and looks nice, I wouldn't have used it anyway as I was thinking it could be a big time vermon attractant.

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When I was a kid we lived close to the Hersey plant in Wisconsin, dad would bring home big burlap sacks of the stuff and we used it as bedding in the horse barn, the barn smelled so good. We never imagined that the stuff could be deadly, it was years later that we heard that it was a health risk to our dogs. I doubt that we would have made the connection if a dog had died during that time on our farm.



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