Picture of dogs, cat and rabbit
Burns Pet Nutrition Logo

John Burns' Blog

You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Published: Friday, June 16, 2017

The definition of Geriatrics:

Care of the old; from Greek geras old age and iatros physician

                                                                   (Chambers Dictionary)

A.) Golden years; evening of life; second childhood; longevity; mature; venerable; senior.


B.) Infirm; winter of life; dotage; decrepitude; senility; feebleness; debility; past it; in decline; old fogey; doddery, not long for this world;

Burns Testimonials:

 “I put my 10 year old cross Collie/ terrier on Burns Real Food about one month ago.  What a difference it has made to her!  She plays like a pup instead of being very stiff and old looking. She is running around playing with the cats, toys, anything she can.  Thank you, I thought she was on her last legs, but she has had a new lease of life.  No sore ears anymore and no scratching either.”                                Mrs Forrester, Edinburgh, 1994

“I am the owner of a thirteen year old Labrador, for the past year he has been receiving treatment for arthritis and a heart condition.  When walking he was panting heavily and stiff in his hindquarters. He was also dragging his rear end and scratching his ears which had to be regularly cleaned due to wax deposits.  It has been three weeks since he has been on the [Burns] food and there is a marked improvement in his condition.

1.)    His coat is smooth and shiny.

2.)    His breathing has greatly improved.

3.)    Scratching his ears has ceased.

4.)    Walking is easier.

5.)    The dragging of his rear end has ceased.

6.)    He has stopped taking the heart tablets.

I find the improvement in such a short time is remarkable.”

P. G. Williams, Burry Port.  1993

What point am I making?

Arthritis, Gum disease, diabetes, incontinence, loss of vision, kidney disease, cancer, dementia; problems with heart, kidney and liver..

...These are just some of the conditions we associate with getting old, whether human or animal, but nutrition can play a major role in slowing the process and even reversing deterioration in health. There are many veterinary-only or prescription foods which are usually formulated to manage one specific health condition. For example, arthritis.  But life is not like that.  Health conditions rarely occur in isolation; as we can see from the above letters, numerous ailments may be present at the same time.  Or, an older animal may show multiple non-specific signs of decline (slowing up, stiffness, lack of interest) without suffering from a specific, recognisable disease.

Holistic health is the way forward

This is where holistic health and nutrition comes into its own.  Rather than focussing on a specific disorder, Burns foods are intended to promote the health of the whole organism, both physically and mentally.  The correct lifestyle, of which diet is the most important, has an enormous impact on health and wellbeing.  The correct diet, and this means not just type of food but also quantity, allows the system to function at its best and to heal itself.

Some owners say that their pet is “too old to change now,” when what they really mean is that they themselves don’t want to change.  The fact is that you really CAN get an old dog to do new tricks!

At the beginning of this article, I listed a few words and expressions which are associated with old age.  Let’s try and move our pets away from the B- list into the A-list so that they can enjoy their later years.


For further information, I invite you to call my expert team of nutritionists on Freephone number 0800 083 66 96. They can provide bespoke and tailored free advice as well as literature and Burns food samples.


John Burns Signature

<< Back to all blogs