Introduction to dog Hydrotherapy
Dog Hydrotherapy has become a popular form of physical therapy for dogs. It is gaining greater interest among pet owners. We will discuss what is Dog Aquatic Therapy, its principles, and its benefits in this article.
Hydrotherapy for dogs used to improve dog‘s fitness, treat arthritis, stress reduction, weight reduction, to improve health during pre-operative, and post-operative recovery. It is useful to reduce stress and give relaxation to your pet.
Dog hydrotherapy is also known as,
- Dog water therapy,
- Dog aqua therapy,
- Dog aquatic therapy,
- Canine Hydrotherapy,
- Canine water therapy
- Canine aqua treatment etc.
All these terms are having the same meaning only.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydro means water and therapy means treatment. In this treatment, water is used to treat ailments. Hot water, cold water, tepid water are used for various diseases.
For various disease, various temperature, various duration, various pressure of water is used.
Physiological and therapeutic effects of Hot water:
Hot water causes Increased sweating, Dilatation of superficial blood vessels, improved joint flexibility and mobility, removing toxic morbid materials from tissues.
Physiological and therapeutic effects of cold water:
Coldwater causes constriction of Blood Vessels, Reducing blood flow, reduce swelling, and Inflammation.
Hydrotherapy for Dogs
So What is Dog aqua therapy?
Treating various diseases, and conditions of dogs, by using water is called Dog Hydrotherapy.
Is water therapy good for dogs?
Dogs are natural swimmers, And they love to swim in the water. Dog aqua therapy improves a dog’s joint mobility, can help with rehabilitation and stress reduction. Moreover, it significantly improves the quality of life for your dog.
Aquatic therapy is also used as a form of exercise. So water therapy is good for your pet dogs.
What kind of water is used in canine hydrotherapy?
Generally, warm water is used in canine hydrotherapy. The therapeutic exercise for dogs is done pool or underwater treadmill. The physiological and therapeutic effect of warm water gives increased blood circulation to muscles, improved joint mobility/flexibility, and reduce pain and swelling.
The water treatment gives a non-weight bearing environment which is helpful to re-mobilize the joints. It is not possible when the dogs are not in water.
How often should a dog have hydrotherapy?
Depends on your canine’s condition the water treatment session should be given twice a week. Once the condition improves we can reduce the treatment sessions to weekly once.
Types of Dog aquatic therapy
For humans there are many types of hydrotherapy are there. However, for canine water therapy, there are three types of treatments that are mainly used.
- Underwater Treadmill
- Swimming in dog Pools
- Whirlpool or Jacuzzi
This Underwater Treadmill for dogs contains a hydrotherapy treadmill that is enclosed in either a glass or plastic enclosure. Initially, the chamber was emptied, then Dog entered inside the chamber. The hydrotherapy treadmill should be started at a low speed.
Once the dog starts to walk on the treadmill, then the chamber is filled with warm water. The desired water level is approximately hip level. Make sure the legs are fully immersed in warm water. The legs must be fully immersed in warm water.
On the treadmill, the dog should continue walking. The treadmill’s speed is adjusted to achieve the correct gait pattern. As the dog’s weight is reduced inside the water, the joints have less stress. the joints are less stressed. It gives your dogs low-impact physical exercise. If your canine needs physical therapy then you can use this hydrotherapy treadmill.
Dogs who have joint issues and arthritis, on rehabilitation can benefit from this type of hydrotherapy. Exercise on an underwater treadmill can be used for weight loss and fitness training for your pets.
It can be used to build muscle and cardiovascular endurance. It helps to recover from hip abnormalities, muscle damage, tendon repair, ligament tear.
Various chambers have different dimensions. It depends on the size of the dog to determine the chamber’s size.
Hydrotherapy Pools for Dog
It is a swimming pool for dogs, smaller than humans use. Your dog will be cared by a qualified therapist in the water. While dog owners encourage him from the outside of the pool.
The water in the pool provides buoyancy, which relieves pressure on joints and muscles. A hydrotherapy pool can provide significant benefits to dogs with arthritis. They can also be used to make your dog feel less stressed and anxious.
A hydrotherapy pool facilitates healing and recovery by increasing blood flow. As a result of the buoyancy of the water, the range of motion of degenerative joints improves.
They also provide physical exercise, pain relief, and emotional support. Warm water in the pool helps to improve circulation, reducing muscle tightness, and improves blood flow, which in turn increases muscle relaxation.
Chlorination of the pool water is required to prevent bacterial infection. The dog should take bath with warm water before entering the pool and after finishing the swimming. It is recommended that the dog take a bath in warm water prior to swimming and at the end of swimming. Dogs should wear life jackets.
Before your dog swims, do not feed him for at least three hours. Do not feed him for at least an hour after taking swimming.
Difference between hydrotherapy pool swimming and Swimming in River, lake, beach
Hydrotherapy pools are a controlled environment and provide safety. They use clean, chlorine-treated water. Also, the hydrotherapy pool uses warm water.
Swimming in natural water sources like rivers, lakes, and beaches is not always safe. snakes and crocodiles are likely to be present in them. which could be harmful to your pets.
Whirlpool or Jacuzzi
In these kinds of treatment, A Large tub full of water is used. Additionally, it has multiple jet streams. Your pet will receive an effective massage from these jet streams.
This is an ideal setting for your pet to receive the best massage experience. Your pet’s affected joints will be deeply benefited from this treatment.
The therapy is great for dogs who have been in surgery, and for dogs with arthritis. The jet streams release thousands of bubbles per minute to soothe joints and muscles for an instant sensation of well-being
The dog would be placed on a harness and slowly dropped into the pool. The warm jet stream inside the whirlpool effectively massages your dog once he enters it. These water jet’s streams create a deep effect on your pet’s joints, giving them the relief they need.
Benefits of aqua therapy for dogs
Hydrotherapy is generally beneficial to dogs with the following conditions.
- Relieving pain, swelling, and stiffness
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Spinal Injuries
- Weight Loss
- Increased range of motion of joints
- Tissue healing
- Increased blood circulation
- Relief from Muscle Spasms
- Degenerative Medical Conditions
- Cardiovascular Benefits
- Gait Correction
- Increasing Muscle Tone
- Increasing Muscle strength
Cost for Dog aqua therapy
What is the average cost of hydrotherapy for dogs?
The cost of hydrotherapy depends on the dog’s health condition and size.
For an initial consultation, You have to pay around $30 to $50.
You should expect to pay between $20 and $30 for 30 minutes of hydrotherapy session of dog pool swimming
A 30 minute underwater treadmill hydrotherapy session, can cost you $30 to $50.
Dog hydrotherapy near me
If you are living in the USA use the following links to find canine water therapy centers,
https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=dog%20Hydrotherapy&find_loc=New%20York%2C%20NY (Change the location to find the clinic near you)
If you are living in the UK use the following link to find the pet clinic that offers dog aqua therapy.
Conditions that are not suitable for dog hydrotherapy
- Vomiting Conditions
- Ear Infections
- Eye infections
- Bitches in season
- Skin infection
Before taking hydrotherapy treatment on your dogs please consult your veterinarian doctor. Prior permission from your veterinarian doctor is a must.