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The Truth About Cocoa Mulch

March 11, 2016

Mulch is widely used in almost every landscaping project. There are many varieties to choose from, and that's good because one you should probably avoid is cocoa mulch.

Also called cocoa bean mulch, cocoa bean shell mulch or cocoa bean hull mulch, cocoa mulch is a byproduct of chocolate production. In fact, it has a rich, brown color and smells like chocolate. Apparently, it tastes somewhat like chocolate, too, because some pets like to eat it. Just like chocolate, however, cocoa mulch can make pets sick. It contains the same toxins as chocolate, although in smaller amounts. If ingested in a large enough amount, these toxins--theobromine and caffeine—can cause vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, increased heart rate and seizures.


Reviewing Raw Diets

March 9, 2016

Few things are trendier than the latest nutrition fads, and these practices sometimes extend beyond people to their pets' case in point, raw diets. Some parents choose to give their pets raw diets due to the tragic and frightening pet food recalls that have occurred during the last few years. Others apply the logic that since their pet's wild ancestors lived on raw diets of meat and bones it must be the most natural choice. In reality, both of these arguments have merit, but they raise controversy, too, especially since the domesticated dogs and cats we love as pets today are very distant cousins of their wild relatives, with different nutritional needs.


Weather the Storm

March 7, 2016

Clouds gather; you see a strike of lightning in the distance, then a rumble of thunder. The next thing you know, your dog won't leave your side; she's panting and trembling, and you both can't wait for the storm to be over.

A fear of thunderstorms is common in dogs. Even some cats are affected—they may meow, tremble or hide. This fear usually gets worse over time, but there are treatments that can help manage the condition.


Life Savers Needed

March 4, 2016

It's a sobering and heartbreaking fact that more than 2.5 million pets are euthanized every year simply because they weren't adopted before their time ran out in a shelter. With that statistic in mind, it seems like anyone looking to add a furry friend to their household would turn to the local shelter first, but all too often that isn't the case.


Tick Bite Trauma

March 2, 2016

If you're a dog parent, chances are you've at least heard the term "Lyme disease." Transmitted to canines by the bite of a tick, Lyme disease is a bacterial-based illness that travels through the dog's bloodstream and usually centralizes in the joints. Although the deer tick is the most common carrier of the disease, other varieties of ticks can transmit it, too.