To clarify, Cocoa Mulch is harmful to pets if ingested. I’ve received several emails about this lately, so we thought we would investigate.
The mulch, sold at home and garden centres is made from cocoa bean shell, which contains theobromine, most commonly found in chocolate. Dogs, in particular, are likely to ingest it as it smells like chocolate and many find it palatable. Because dogs metabolise theobromine much more slowly than humans, poisoning can occur, hence, why you should never feed your dog or cat chocolate.
Theobromine is also toxic to cats (particularly kittens), horses and parrots. The first signs of theobromine poisoning are vomiting and diarrhoea. In severe cases, muscle seizures and tremors occur and eventually death.
If your pet has ingested this mulch, we recommend you seek immediate veterinary care for your pet.
Apparently, this was also a problem in America several years ago. For more information on the email campaign and the facts surrounding it click here.