THE Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor is offering pet owners advice to keep their dogs and cats safe and warm this winter.

Advice includes checking paws for trapped salt or grit, drying them off if they get wet or muddy.

But as well as keeping them warm and comfortable there are some warnings that might not have been thought of - such as leaving anti-freeze for cars lying where it can be reached by an animal.

The sweet smell can attract them - lethal results.

Cars can pose several risks to cats, particularly during the cold, dark months. Cats (and other small animals) have a dangerous habit of crawling under car bonnets to enjoy the warmth from the engine so you should always tap the hood of a car before starting the engine. This will hopefully disturb any stowaways and encourage them to move on to a safer spot.

There is also a warning never to leave an animal in a car unattended.

Just as cars can become fatally hot in summer months, temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather. Always take your dog with you rather than leaving them in the car for any length of time.