A THIRD-generation family business has teamed up with The Northern Echo to help celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, by showcasing and rewarding reader’s beloved four-legged friends.

The Love Your Dog 2019 competition launches today in partnership with Durham Animal Feeds.

Thousands of pictures of perfect pooches owned by animal lovers in the North-East and North Yorkshire were sent in to last year’s contest.

For 2019, readers have the chance to win a year’s worth of raw dog food, supplied by Durham Animal Feeds, based in Ferryhill, County Durham.

Twelve finalists will also be selected to have their lucky pup pictured in the Durham Animal Feeds 2020 calendar with professional photographs taken by The Northern Echo’s photographic coordinator, Sarah Caldecott.

She said: “I have owned and photographed dogs for many years now so if you have a cute puppy or handsome oldie send us your photograph, I will look forward to photographing the lucky 12 finalists.”

Dogs of any age and breed in the region can be put forward for the contest, from cute chihuahuas to lovable lurchers.

To enter, readers simply have to send in a snap of their four-legged friend and explain why their dog deserves to become the dog of the year.

Durham Animal Feeds sales administrator Claire Johnson said: “We are all looking forward to hearing from readers of The Northern Echo who come from across the North-East.

“We will be looking at all the entries carefully and we very much look forward to seeing the huge range of photographs that will be submitted. Everyone loves dogs so we expect a big mix of breeds and ages from all over the region.

“At Durham Animal Feeds, we believe in natural diets for our pets – who are more like family members – and we are excited to offer this opportunity to win some great prizes. Good luck.”