A New Forest dog owner’s canine-themed business has been recognised by one of the Dragons.

Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur and former star of television show Dragons' Den, chose to raise awareness of Hampshire-based Wagging Tails through his Twitter account.

As a result New Forest business owner Lisa Suswain got to meet the man himself.

The Small Business Sunday contest takes place each Sunday, when business owners have a one-and-a-half-hour slot in which to describe their business in one tweet with the hash tag #SBS.

Mr Paphitis then reviews them and chooses six businesses which he then retweets the following day.

Lisa’s tweet about her dog boarding company Wagging Tails which places dogs in family homes instead of kennels, was re-tweeted to Theo’s 400,000 followers making her a winner and she received an invite to the annual #SBS networking event in Birmingham where she got to meet Mr Paphitis.

As a result, the company, based in Damerham, near Fordingbridge, received hundreds of new followers and traffic to the company website trebled within hours of Theo’s tweet.

“It is great to have support from someone of Theo’s stature especially as Wagging Tails are the first pet care company to win this award. Having the opportunity to meet him was fantastic and gave me the chance to thank him for recognising our hard work and for his help in raising awareness of our business to his followers.”

The award-winning business has continued its rapid growth with network turnover increasing by 69 per cent year on year as the company’s franchise network expanded by 50 per cent in the last year.

The company now operates nine franchised branches across England and Wales and already has dogs booked in for holidays as far as December 2015.