With Britain currently preparing itself for frosty weather over the coming days, many people will be thinking about investing in antifreeze products to defrost their car screens and put in their vehicle radiators.

However, although antifreeze (containing Ethylene Glycol) can be very useful for us in the chilly weather, it is extremely toxic if consumed by animals.

What's more, antifreeze can easily make its way into puddles, which dogs and cats may drink from, especially since if water is contaminated it will be appealingly sweet.

Worryingly, even a dose that is only the equivalent of a 6ml teaspoon can prove to be lethal to our four-legged friends.

"We have read many reports from our community of pet owners that their dogs and cats have been poisoned by antifreeze so we are keen to raise awareness," said Lisa Robb, head of digital and content at PetNet.

Supported by the British Veterinary Association, PetNet is this year urging owners to be aware of the risks of antifreeze and has offered some tips to keep our furry friends safe this winter.

If possible pet owners should use a safe alternative such as Propylene Glycol antifreeze, but if they do use Ethylene Glycol products it is important that they are stored out of reach from pets and away from any dog or cat food.

And if owners do notice any of the symptoms of poisoning - which include wobbliness or falling over (as if drunk), a painful back and kidney and vomiting and extreme thirst - they should not hesitate to act at once.

"If any owner is concerned that their pet has been poisoned, call a vet immediately," advises Lisa. "Unfortunately the survival rate is low if kidneys have been damaged so it is incredibly important to take preventative steps. We urge pet owners to look for safe alternatives such as Propylene Glycol antifreeze."

Written by: Hannah