One of our Animal Care Technicians, who also works at a veterinary clinic, reports today that the hospital had recently treated a dog that began having seizures after eating cocoa mulch. Evidently a warning has been circulating on the internet for months about this product with dire warnings about it causing dog deaths.
According to ConsumerAffairs.com "cocoa mulch contains a compound called theobromine. This naturally occurring compound--found in many plants, including cocoa beans--can be harmful to dogs." The mulch smells attractive to dogs and if eaten in large amounts can cause stomach upset and trembling. While it may not be fatal, it can certainly be dangerous.
So it appears that this internet rumor is valid. Be careful with all products that you use in areas where pets play. Of course, if your dog ingests cocoa mulch and has a reaction contact your vet immediately. Find a vet in Northern Virginia.