News

The dangers: Cocoa Mulch smells delicious! Cocoa Mulch is made from the shells of the cocoa bean. This is the same bean from which chocolate is made. Therefore, the bean shells contain theobromine and caffeine, the same chemicals which cause the Methylxanthine toxicosis caused by chocolate. Theobromine and caffeine are known to cause an increase in respiratory and heart rates. The more ingested, the more will be noted as far as vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, tachycardia (increased heart rate), hyperactivity and seizures.

Although there are stories all over the internet, there only seems to be one proven case of death to a dog from ingesting cocoa beans, and apparently, there may have been an underlying cause for that death as well. Over the last 10 – 15 years, most manufacturers of the mulch have become aware of the stories, and now do extra cleaning steps, and steaming of the shells, to remove as much of the theobromine as possible. It is a safer product than it used to be for your dogs and cats…and children.

HOWEVER, not all manufacturers are as conscientious, not all landscaping companies are concerned with where their products are made. It does not take much theobromine to make a pet sick. Our recommendation is: If your pet goes outside, unattended, use a different kind of mulch and don’t take a chance. If you feel the need to use cocoa bean shells, keep your pets at a distance.

On our website this month, and in this month’s blog, we have keyed in on some of the dangers to watch for as the weather warms up. Each season has its dangers and Spring is no exception. Any one of the following items could be an article or blog by itself. If you would like further information on any of these, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate.

 

  • Stagnant water and puddles – Spring showers leave puddles, puddles often carry the Leptospirosis bacteria and can get passed on to your pet when they drink, play, or even just splash in the puddles.
  • We have discussed in other areas of the website, toxic plants and mulch, but when gardening, don’t forget the dangers of pesticides and insecticides as well.
  • Your pets have been in all winter, and many have not had the chance to stretch out and run. Make sure you ease into that, so they don’t pull muscles. Don’t expect too much, too fast.
  • Overexposure – white coated animals and those with pale skin around eyes and nose are susceptible to skin cancers from exposure to the sun.
  • Wild animals are out of hibernation, and are in a hunting mode. Keep your smaller dogs and cats safe from hawks, coyotes, and other predators in your area.
  • If you are Spring cleaning, be careful of the cleaning products you use. They should be safe around your pets. Open the windows to let out strong fumes.
  • If you are opening windows – be sure screens are in tightly, and windows are secure, so your pets don’t fall out.
  • Expect some Allergies as the plants and trees start blooming.
  • Make sure you have your supply of Heartworm preventative and Flea and Tick preventative products.

Lastly, keep our telephone number handy…just in case. (508) 885-4848

 

  • Default Image

    Second Chances for Senior Pets

    Nov 24 2022

    Senior pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons. They are often mistakenly thought of as ‘problem pets’, but they lose their homes for a variety of reasons: they were the pets of elderly…

  • Default Image

    Remembering the Animals Who Served in the First World War

    Nov 10 2022

    Approximately 9 million animals served in the First World War (some estimate more). Like human soldiers, they faced the horrors of trench warfare, artillery fire, rough terrains, cruel weather,…

  • Default Image

    November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

    Nov 03 2022

    No questions asked: cancer is a 5-letter word no pet owner wants to hear. And as pets live longer, diseases that come along with aging, like cancer, can occur. National Pet Cancer Awareness Month was…

  • Default Image

    Keep Your Dog Active This Fall and Winter

    Oct 27 2022

    Did you know that up to 59% of dogs worldwide are overweight? With this staggering number, the importance of walking your dog to help keep him fit can’t be emphasized enough. …

  • Default Image

    A Salute to Miracle Workers (Veterinary Technicians)

    Oct 20 2022

    Pet owners know them as Veterinary Technicians or Nurses, and veterinary practices know them as Miracle Workers. They’re the clinic’s Jack of All Trades, Master of All. That’s why they get a…

  • Default Image

    Safety for Spooky Season

    Oct 14 2022

    Spooky Season is upon us—children and adults alike want to celebrate like it’s 2019 and bust out the costumes, candy, and decorations! With many of the COVID restrictions lifted or lightened, this…

  • Default Image

    Who is your pet, anyway?

    Oct 06 2022

    Do you really know your pet? Sure, you know her favorite toys and treats, where she prefers to sleep at night, how she interacts with other animals, and that she always tries to cheer you up when…

  • Default Image

    Do Dogs’ Personalities Change With Age?

    Sep 29 2022

    Curious puppies! When you think of a puppy, you may think of a cute little pup playing with the newly discovered doorstop or barking at himself in the mirror. Or a curious pup peaking around the…