There’s nothing more vital than a companion during a crisis.

And Britons across the country know that only too well at the moment, as we’ve relied more than ever on friends and family to get us through these tough times.

But there are millions of people who’ve been counting on a totally different kind of companionship – one that gets us up and out when we need it, one that offers unlimited affection, and one that has delivered ever-present loyalty throughout the lockdown.

Over the past few weeks the UK’s dogs have shown themselves to be workout buddies, stress relievers and invaluable family members. When things have threatened to overwhelm us, our dogs have been there to lift the mood with their unconditional love and crazy antics.

It's time to honour the four-legged friends who’ve helped us through the lockdown

Now we’re teaming up with Butcher’s Nourishing Food For Dogs to honour the nation’s unsung heroes, reward them for helping us through these tough times, and celebrate all the lockdown love they’ve given us.

And because Butcher’s believe every dog deserves to be nourished in the same way that they nourish us, they’re offering wholesome British-made bowlfuls as prizes to reward the winning entries. Regional winners will receive a £100 Butcher’s voucher.

A wide range of recipes are available, everything from Puppy to Adult and grain free options and recipes specifically created for dogs with sensitive tummies

Our overall national winner will get a year’s supply of Butcher’s Nourishing Food For Dogs, and £1500 towards a dog-friendly break with their hero.

How to enter

Butcher’s recipes provide all the nourishment they need

Using the form below, simply send in a photograph of your dog, and tell us in 100 words or less how they have been a lockdown superstar. Terms and conditions apply - see below for details.

Maybe you finally cracked that trick. Maybe they got you out the house to get your one-a-day outing. Maybe you were self-isolating and they were your only company.

Whatever it is that makes your dog special, we want to hear all about it.

You might want to send us a few words, or pen a couple of lines sharing your best memories of the last few weeks. Or you might even want to write a short poem about your hero.

The competition is open now, and the final chance to enter will be on Friday, June 5.

We’ll then choose and publish a shortlist of our favourite stories from around the UK, before asking you, our readers, to vote for your regional winners.

The regional winners will then become national finalists, with readers being given the chance to vote for and choose our overall Lockdown Dog Hero winner.

So here’s to all of Britain’s lockdown dogs – good luck!

Terms and conditions