Meet the dog on course to become Britain’s oldest – reaching a ripe old age of 20 thanks to a diet of McDonald’s
Titch, who’s around 100 is human years, is just one year behind the oldest dog in the UK, a collie and terrier mix called Queenie. And his vet reckons he could live another ten years as he has no major health problems.
In his old age, Titch loves nothing more than eating a McDonald’s and watching a boxset on the sofa. He was born back in 2000 and was rescued by owners Luke and Candice Kay four years later.
Titch nearly died in a hit-and-run as a nine-year-old dog, which left him with internal bleeding and unable to eat solid food for a month. He managed to recover and has now stunned everyone by living well into old age – despite his rather unconventional diet.
Candice, 36, said: ‘Titch lives on a diet of mainly human food and always has done. ‘At the minute he has a runny poached egg on toast for breakfast, a couple of small dog food pouches and a Jaffa Cake or two for lunch.
‘Then for tea he will have a small portion of what we have. He loves lasagna and has his steak medium. ‘He will literally eat anything. Although in the last year he has got a little picky with his potatoes – they have to have mayonnaise or BBQ sauce on.
‘He also has another two little dog food pouches while we eat our tea. This way what we are eating can cool down ready for him to have after. ‘He also has dog treats, Haribo, Wotsits, Mr Kipling cakes and cookies.’
Titch is in fine health aside from a touch of arthritis, for which he takes half a paracetamol each day. His vet was shocked by his diet, but while he couldn’t recommend it he had no issue with Titch continuing onwards with his favourite foods – as clearly his meals were working for him.
Once a week Titch is treated to a McDonald’s, enjoying a chicken nugget Happy Meal with a burger on the side – with no pickle, of course. ‘A Saturday at lunchtime is a Titch tradition,’ says Candice. ‘We usually end up getting one on a Wednesday and a Friday too.
‘He usually goes with me to get it on a Saturday. But in the week, when it’s for tea, I bring it home on my way back from work. He always eats it at home. ‘He loves the Big Mac sauce that they sell, so I buy some and put that on his chips. I have his drink. ‘It’s always his choice for celebrations. He’s not had his birthday meal yet. He gets really happy as we pull into the drive-thru on a Saturday.
‘He is really missing it [due to the lockdown]. I did stock up on a load of Big Mac sauces for him to put on his food, but it’s not the same. ‘I’ve promised that I’ll get him an extra burger when this is all over. ‘I wouldn’t recommend giving any other dog a diet like this as it could make them poorly and be shock to system. ‘But Titch has lived like this all his life and is used to our food.’
Lorry driver Luke, 34, picked Titch – a Beddlington Terrier crossed with a Whippet – up from a rescue centre in 2004 after his first family moved abroad. He and Candice then met two years later and got married – with the dog an integral part of the family.
Candice said: ‘I don’t treat Titch like a dog – I treat him like another son. ‘He likes Modern Family on Netflix. He started watching that with me, but he watches it over and over again on his own now. ‘I leave the television on when I go out, if he wants to watch it. ‘He also likes to go out in his dog pram and sleep. He does have little walks but he gets very tired.
‘Sometimes he’ll have a crazy five minutes where, out of knowhere, he will just start running around jumping up on settee and running in and out. ‘But mainly he likes to snuggle in front of the television. He likes Power, Episodes, Impractical Jokers and Gavin and Stacey.
‘He has just started mixing with other dogs too. He wouldn’t go near them before and would always get mad – but suddenly he doesn’t mind. ‘Now we can go to Pets at Home. He loves going there and meeting new mates, looking at the rabbits and guinea pigs and picking out treats.’
When Titch hits the big 21 next February, there will be a big party at a local club, complete with a DJ. ‘There’s more people going to that than who came to Luke’s surprise party,’ said Candice. ‘I think around 80 are coming.’