A dog may be a man’s best friend, but for home-bound seniors, a dog can be an only friend.

Brian Daly discovered that senior citizens receiving aid from St. Vincent Meals on Wheels — one of the nation’s largest privately funded nutrition programs for low-income seniors, which delivers 4,000 meals daily — were so devoted to their furry friends that they would share their delivered meals with them and go to bed hungry. Since creating Bone Appetit in late October, Daly’s program has provided 4,600 pounds of dry pet food for cats and dogs in 78 of the Los Angeles households served by St. Vincent.

“If he was my only companion,” Daly said, looking at Gunner, his English Labrador Retriever, “I would (eat less) so that he was OK, and I know that’s what’s going on with these seniors.”

Aside from delivering food monthly, the program also provides free basic veterinary services, including rabies shots, teeth cleaning and nail trimming.

Daly, an independent marketing consultant who previously brokered entertainment deals for Ford and Lincoln as senior VP at the Team Detroit ad agency, said a member of the Ford family has contributed a “healthy chunk” to the program, helping the org get halfway to it goal of raising $20,000. He’s hoping to one day expand the program into other cities.

“It’s not just about physical nourishment,” he says. “The companionship and love of that pet also nourishes them.”