For many years, cocoa mulch has been a popular choice for landscaping. Recently, pet owners across the nation have been warned against using this long-lasting mulch. Although most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, few people know about the dangers of cocoa mulch.
According to the ASPCA, cocoa bean shells, which are a by-product of chocolate processing, contain up to 3% theobromine and approximately .36 % caffeine. Both of these compounds can compromise the health of dogs. A number of pet owners have seen their family dogs become sick after eating large quantities of this enticing cocoa-scented mulch.
San Antonio lawn care service providers at ABC Home & Commercial routinely replace cocoa mulch with other alternatives, such as crushed stone, pine straw and cedar bark. These materials help prevent weeds, and they retain soil moisture without endangering pets. Pet owners may also consider installing protective fencing to prevent pets from invading landscape plantings, eating mulch or munching on dangerous plants.
Anyone who owns pets and currently uses cocoa mulch should contact ABC Home & Commercial Services to ask about installing an alternative. If you currently use cocoa mulch, supervise your pet while outside, and look for critical warning signs of chocolate or cocoa mulch poisoning, which include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and tremors. An ABC expert that performs lawn maintenance in San Antonio can make mulch and landscaping recommendations.