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06 Jun

Cocoa Shell Mulch A No-Go For Dog Owners

Don't let your mulch be Fido's demise. Don't let your mulch be Fido's demise.



If you are thinking of trying out new mulch on your garden beds this summer, don't make it Sunshine of Africa's Cocoa Shell Garden Mulch. The mulch has been linked to a string of canine deaths over the last month and does not carry a warning label on the package despite its toxicity.

Manufactured in the UK, the mulch is made from cocoa bean shells left over from chocolate production. Chocolate is lethal to dogs due to two alkaloids, theobromine and caffeine, both of which can exist in high concentration in cocoa shells.

While cocoa shells and chocolate will repel cats and insect pests, dogs are particularly attracted to it's odor and are at risk of eating the mulch. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, neurological impairment, heart and respiratory failure, and death. If you suspect your pet has eaten cocoa shell mulch, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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