In case you haven’t had this warning show up in your emailbox in recent years, Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply, and other garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called “Theobromine”. And some dogs find it tasty.
From a circulated email, verified to be true:
Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make 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 ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
It comes in different packages, with various names. “Cocoa Mulch”, “Chocolate Fertilizer”, etc. Bad news. Stay away. Not buying the stuff in the first place is easy enough to remember, but don’t forget to keep tabs on what your gardener is using without your knowledge.