Carrots are usually the diet of rabbits rather than dogs - but no one told Basil the cocker spaniel from Helston.

His orange vegetable obsession has helped him win a national competition to become the new furry face of a veterinary supplies company, after the judges were won over by his quirky habits.

Basil beat off competition paws-down to win the Vygon Vet Star Pet competition, which comes with a year's worth of food and pet insurance. A £100 donation has also been made from vet training providers Improve International, which is going to the Cornwall and South Devon Boxer Rescue charity, the choice of Basil's owners Emma and Phill Jones.

Emma, a paediatric nurse at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, said: “I saw the contest on Facebook, but never for a moment thought we'd win. I've never won anything before and when I first heard I thought it was a hoax.”

Phill, who is in the Royal Navy Air Squadron 857, based at RNAS Culdrose, said: “I was in Afghanistan when Emma put Basil forward and my mates serving out there with me voted for him online because they all know him back home, he's a very popular dog.”

The happy hound will now feature on 2014 exhibition stands and marketing material nationwide.

Emma's competition picture of the 18-month-old cuddly cocker spaniel chomping on a carrot, proved a real winner. Online voting put Basil as one of five finalists from nearly 70 entries, and the doleful-eyed dog melted the judges' hearts with his doggie good looks and unusual penchant for root vegetables.

Vygon Vet general manager Chris Kenyon, said: “Basil is a lovely dog, he's handsome and a real character. The photo of him chewing a carrot was quite quirky and he won us all over.”

As part of the winning package, Basil, Emma and Phill were treated to an all-expenses paid weekend in the Cotswolds where they met Chris and the marketing team at Vygon Vet's headquarters in Wiltshire, and took part in a photo shoot - complete with carrots.

Back home in Helston, star-spaniel Basil has now returned to his favourite pastimes of ball-chasing, swimming, beach walks, scaring seagulls - and of course, chomping on carrots.

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