Why Do Dogs Eat Mulch? (Learn What You Need To Know)

Why do dogs eat mulch? A lot of dog breeds have been known to eat just about anything, and a dog eating mulch or a puppy eating mulch is no exception.

It’s one thing that drives me crazy about my English bulldog… he absolutely loves eating mulch, and getting him to stop eating mulch was a challenge, but it can be done.

If your dog ate mulch as well…. you have definitely come to the right place. 🙂

So in this post, you’re going to learn about their interest in eating mulch. Plus, some tips on how you can go about keeping your dog away from this organic material we put on our soil.

Firstly, You may be wondering:

Why do dogs love to eat wood mulch so much?

Eating mulch is a behavior that baffles most pet owners who have to deal with it, and that includes me. 

You See:

For many dogs, mulch is simply a tasty treat. They think anyway! Lol…

Some dogs and puppies find it hard to resist the smell and taste of mulch, especially if it has been freshly watered or rained on. 

Dogs also love to dig their noses deep into it, roll around, and sniff out all the delicious aromas that seem to be hidden within. 

Another possible explanation for the question”why do dogs eat mulch?” is that dogs find eating mulch comforting or soothing in some way. 

Or perhaps they enjoy the sensation of chewing on something crunchy, or they might find the taste of mulch reassuring.

dog eating mulch
dog eating mulch

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What Is Mulch?

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this type of outdoor material, here is a quick breakdown:

Mulch is a material that is often used to cover the soil and protect plants. 

It helps to retain moisture in the ground. It can also provide some level of protection from sunlight and other elements.

While there are many different types of mulch available, including wood chips, leaves, grass clippings, and straw, they all serve the same purpose.

Mulch has several benefits for plants, but it also seems to be irresistible to dogs. 

What You Need To Know About Dogs And Mulch:

Here’s the deal:

Some pet owners don’t mind their dogs munching on this organic material, while others might be a bit more concerned about if there are potential health risks.

You should know that… whatever your opinion is, just remember it’s vital to keep our pup’s health and safety at the forefront at all times.

So, be sure to continue reading about this topic so you can come to a sound decision of your own.

Can Dogs Eat Mulch?

Many dog owners are curious about whether or not their pets can eat wood mulch

The answer to that question is: it depends.

Let’s be honest. It’s safe to say…most of us don’t pay enough attention to know what ingredients go into a lot of products we buy today, but we really should…

Therefore that’s why I would say it’s best just NOT to let your dog eat anything that we have to question if it’s safe or not.

They just don’t need to eat it…

You see:

Some types of mulch made can be harmful to dogs (which I discuss further down in this article), and some are considered safer. 

However, there are also other hidden potential dangers associated with dogs eating mulch that you might not be thinking of.

For Instance:

If the mulch is treated with chemicals, these can be ingested by the dog and potentially cause health problems also. If the mulch on the ground has mold, it could also affect their health.

Ingesting large amounts of mulch can also lead to intestinal blockages, which can be very dangerous even if it’s called the so-called safer mulch.

A good rule of thumb would be If you’re unsure whether a particular type of mulch is safe for your dog, again, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and try your best to keep them away from it.

Whatever the reason, it’s essential to be aware of your dog’s mulch consumption and keep a close eye on them if you notice them eating this organic material. 

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How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Mulch?

If you have a dog with issues eating mulch, and you have tried to keep your furry friend away from it, but somehow your puppy still seems to be eating it.

Don’t worry… 

Fortunately, you can still try a few things by following the tips below.

  1. Try to spray a citrus scent on the mulch to deter them… dogs will not like it.
  2. Use a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the mulch with it… dogs won’t like that smell either.
  3. Ensure that any mulch you use in your garden is untreated and chemical-free.
  4. Training, you can try to distract your dog from eating mulch by filling an empty water bottle with some coins and giving it a shake, and saying a big NO at the same time to your pup… if they try and eat the mulch, they eventually associate that sound with not touching the mulch.
  5. Another way to keep your dog from eating mulch is by providing them with a scented toy stick ( my dog loves this toy stick ) that they might enjoy more than the mulch…

If you follow these tips above, you should be able to keep your dog safe from potential harm.

Pro Tip-If your dog is still managing to get to the mulch, you may need to take more drastic measures. One option is to fence off the area where you keep the mulch. This will keep your dog from being able to get to it at all or remove all the mulch altogether.

mulch and dogs

What kind of mulch is toxic to dogs?

A few types of mulch can be toxic to dogs, so it’s important to be aware of what these are before you decide to use them in your garden. 

Some of the most harmful mulches for dogs include:

  • Cocoa bean mulch contains theobromine and caffeine- a poisonous compound to dogs. (Note that caffeine is also found in chocolate, which is toxic to dogs).
  • Treated wood mulches can contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic if ingested. 

If you are unsure whether you might have one of these types of mulch in your garden or yard.

It would be best for you to err on the side of caution and look into what particular type of mulch you may have.

You can do so by taking a handful of it to a local place that sells and knows all about the mulch. 

When you arrive, ask the people if they can help you determine what kind of material your mulch is made from.

This way, you will be on the safe side of things.

If Your Dog Has Eaten Mulch and Is Now Throwing Up:

If you have seen your dog eating large amounts of mulch and is now throwing up, do not hesitate to call your local veterinarian. 

And if you do not have a Veterinarian, you can reach out to a 24/7 hotline that can help you.

What are the symptoms of mulch poisoning in dogs?

If your dog ingests a harmful type of mulch, your pup may experience symptoms such as:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • tremors 
  • seizures
  • Death

For more of a breakdown of symptoms, go check out They have a very detailed list of symptoms of mulch poisoning in dogs, so be sure to check them out. 

Remember, If you think your dog has ingested something poisonous, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Final Thoughts: Mulch and Dogs

There you have it. Hopefully, reading this article gave you an understanding of the question, “why do dogs eat mulch?”.

Pups need to be reminded sometimes because of their one-track minds.

Above all, please remember the best thing you should do is to keep an eye on your dog when they’re outside, especially if they seem interested in eating things like mulch

Until next time,

Have a paw-some day!

Author of home sweet pups signature

Continue The Conversation:

If you have any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! And also, please share this post with friends and family, so more people like you will know what is safe or not for their pets.

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