Waggin' Delights, Inc.

Happy Dog, Happy Planet

Eating Mulch

Should I be concerned with my dog munching on mulch?  I have heard the “chocolate” mulch can be dangerous and even deadly.

Thanks for your response!


Several years ago there was a warning that some mulch was being made with cocoa bean hulls in the product and the dogs were attracted to it and eating it.  I have not heard of any warnings to that nature lately.  But to be safe, please check the label on the mulch; and/ or ask the nursery staff.

A lot of puppies will chew on mulch, without really ingesting much, if any, of the mulch.  From a training perspective, I would train for a good “leave-it”.  If you are in the early stages of puppyhood and the “leave-it” is not 100% yet, only have the puppy outside with you under supervision, so as to correct/redirect the chewing behavior.

I teach the “leave-it” exercise in Lesson 2 of my Beginners class because it is such an important “lifestyle” cue/command which is used regularly, especially with a young puppy.  I used it the other day with four of my dogs trying to catch and ingest a lizard.  On command, they left the lizard alone and backed away.  I have used it with frogs, turtles, snakes, chipmunks, baby birds and moles.  The “leave-it” is worth its weight in gold!

Tina McCain, Master Dog Trainer/Behaviorist

MerryMac Dog Training & Nutrition Center

Phone (770) 579-3865



Tue, June 5 2012 » Ask the Expert, Care

IMPORTANT! To leave your comment, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

What is 8 + 13 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:

Molly Molly

I am a three year old German Shepherd from South Georgia.  I don’t really have a favorite toy because my favorite things are sleeping and getting petted on the head. Although if I do get up some energy I will admit that I love getting into the trash to look for napkins.

My brother Teddy is lots of fun to play with, plus he usually takes the blame for my chewing.  I really like him for that!  I love to bark a lot; sometimes my humans do not appreciate that so much.  I am SUPER special because I am a white German Shepherd and that is not so common I hear.

site design by k-leigh creative