Dogs spend a lot of time in the yard during the summer and that's why you need to know about a dangerous product: cocoa bean mulch. When you mulch your garden beds, stay away from cocoa bean mulch. Despite its sweet smell, rich color, and organic qualities, the ASPCA reports that cocoa bean mulch can be just as toxic to dogs as chocolate. If your dog ingests a quantity of this mulch, it can result in serious illness. Signs include diarrhea, vomiting, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity, and muscle tremors.
Dr. Steven Hansen of the ASPCA recommends using a nontoxic mulch alternative. Some possibilities are shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark. If you suspect your dog may have ingested cocoa bean mulch, contact your veterinarian at once, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435. For helpful tips from the ASPCA about pet-safe gardening, click here.