Valentine's Day PenguinValentine’s Day is just around the corner. We know that dogs and cats make the best Valentines, but it can also be a dangerous time of year.

The classic presents like chocolate, candy, and flowers are all potentially fatal to your pets and should be given with caution. Although the degree of toxicity does depend on the type of chocolate, it is important to keep all types out of reach as chocolate ingestion is potentially fatal. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rates, and seizures. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more harmful it is.

Sugar-free candies and gums use an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic to pets. Xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and even liver damage. Certain types of flowers are extremely dangerous.

If your valentine has a cat at home, it is best to avoid gifting lilies as even drinking the water they are in can lead to kidney failure. Although roses are not as poisonous to pets, their thorns are still dangerous and can cause injury to a pet’s mouth and paws.

While you are enjoying your romantic evening, keep alcoholic beverages off the ground and away from pets. Ingestion of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of coordination.

After opening presents, throw away all the ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper so your pet is not tempted to ingest them. Ingestion of ribbon and string can lead to abdominal obstructions, and/or intestinal perforations so watch for vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy

If you light candles, keep pets out of the room and away from the flames as a wagging tail or curious paw could get burned or cause a house fire. If your pets ingest any of these items, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to initiate early lifesaving treatment.