Click here to learn more.
A. Let's back up. While chocolate should never, ever be given to dogs, its toxicity is highly variable based on the darkness of the chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the higher the danger) and the size of the dog (the smaller the dog, the bigger the danger). A large dog (like a Labrador) who eats a pound of milk chocolate is probably not in grave danger of anything except tossing up that candy all over your carpet.
So what about cocoa mulch? Like chocolate itself, there's no one answer when it comes to toxicity, except that it shouldn't be eaten at all. The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center lists cocoa mulch on its list of hazardous garden substances. The symptoms of ingestion can be the same as with chocolate itself: vomiting and diarrhea is common in some dogs as well as a rapid heart rate, muscle tremors and acting hyper. Seizures are also possible. (Cocoa mulch — like chocolate — is also toxic to cats, but they're far less likely to eat any of it.)
Given those potential problems, I can't recommend that pet owners use cocoa mulch in their yards, or at least in the parts of their yards to which animals have access.
Of course, you can't change what your neighbors use on their own properties. Instead, keep your dog on a leash and teach the "leave it" command. My daughter, Vetstreet pet trainer Mikkel Becker, demonstrates the easy steps in this video.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Millions tuned in to the Thanksgiving Day
NBC broadcast to watch as judges
crowned 4-year-old Nathan Best in Show.
A Golden Retriever stepped in to nurse
a litter of African wild dogs after their
mother showed a lack of maternal…
Take a look at the Best in Show
winners of the last decade. Plus, meet this year's National Dog Show champion.
As you brine the turkey or cheer for your
favorite football team, take time to be
thankful for your furry family…
From "drop it" to "wait at the door," Mikkel
Becker shares commands you should
teach your pup…
Decorate your home for the holidays
without compromising your cat's safety
with tips from a cat style expert.
We’re sharing our favorite budget-friendly
gifts, from a custom smartphone cover to
the perfect dog treats for…
The plus-size Maine Coon has an adorable chirping voice and gets along with everyone, even the family dog.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.