Stumped about an ingredient or recipe? Got a health query? Here’s your chance to ask Sheree your most compelling questions!

Q: Do I need to supplement my pet’s diet?

A: While on the surface supplementation seems like a great idea with no drawbacks, adding to your pet’s diet can be harmful because it can upset the nutrient balance that is essential for healthy growth and development.

If you feel that your pet is not in good health—shiny coat, bright eyes, cheerful disposition—first consider selecting a different food. In other words, don’t try to correct a poor-quality diet with added supplements.

Q: What if my pet eats some chocolate... is it really that bad?

A: As we celebrate the winter holidays, more candy and other treats will be within reach, and our inquisitive animal friends are at greater risk. Chocolate contains a stimulant—similar to caffeine—called theobromine that is toxic to pets. In lower doses chocolate will likely cause some digestive upset such as diarrhea and possibly vomiting, which could happen up to a day after the treats are eaten. As toxic levels are approached, more severe symptoms will occur. These warning signs include excitability or irritability, increased heart rate, increased urination, tremors and seizures. In high enough doses, theobromine can cause death.

Do NOT wait to see if your pet will be okay. Call your veterinarian for recommendations. Most will suggest you bring the pet in so vomiting can be induced and supportive care given. Of course the easiest solution is to keep your chocolate out of reach of Rover and Fluffy.

Please remember your health and that of your pets is your own responsibility. Nothing here is to be construed as medical advice. This information is not meant to replace the guidance offered by your health practitioner or veterinarian.