'Please Be Careful': Warning For Aussie Dog Owners After Pup Dies

A dog breeder is pleading with owners to keep an eye on hand and foot warmers this winter after a golden retriever died after ingesting one.

The cheeky pup got ahold of an activated HotHands hand warmer earlier this week, which is believed to have fallen out of a jacket pocket.

After secretly moving it away from the watchful eye of his family, the dog ate the entire pack, including all of its contents.

The main active ingredient in the warmers is iron powder, which can be extremely toxic and potentially lethal to household pets such as cats and dogs.

His family had no idea he had swallowed his newfound "treasure" until he began vomiting.

A golden retriever died of organ failure after chewing on a hand warmer. Photo: Sharon Patterson via Facebook

"He received urgent vet treatment, staying at the emergency vet overnight," the dog's breeder, Sharon Patterson, explained on Facebook.

"He seemed to improve, the vet's thought maybe the iron hadn't been as potent as the hand warmer had been activated and it seemed he had been able to vomit up all the contents".

The dog was released home the following day but his family noticed he wasn't himself and quickly rushed him back for medical treatment.

He ended up in intensive care having suffered organ damage and didn't survive the night.

"His family are devastated and so are we," Patterson wrote. "This has been a huge warning to us I would not want to hear of this happening to anyone else".

While there is a warning on the package reading: "keep out of reach of children and pets," there isn't a warning on the individual items.

Photo: Sharon Patterson via Facebook

"Please, if you use these types of air activated hand warmers that you make sure they are kept where your dog (or cat) can't reach them. Also, when you dispose of them make sure it's somewhere animals can't get to," Patterson pleaded.

"Personally, I don't think I'll have these in our house at all".

Her post has since notched up thousands of shares, many users didn't know just how lethal they could be.

"Omg we have them in the van," one user said. "Use them for tracklayers treats and I give them to my stewards. I didn’t realise they were dangerous. Wonder my naughty dogs haven’t found them already".

"Oh wow, I use these all the time, I’m going to be very careful from now on..... so sad for the family," another said.