We all know how beneficial physiotherapy in warm water can be for humans suffering from spinal conditions, arthritis, or sports injuries, but can the same be said when treating dogs? Of course! Hydrotherapy for our canine friends is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s clear to see why.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is therapy in the water; it’s that simple. Like humans, you might find that your dog needs rehabilitation following orthopaedic, neurological and soft tissue injuries, with hydrotherapy proving an effective treatment.
For dogs, hydrotherapy generally involves walking or swimming underwater, whether in shallow water on the beach or using an underwater treadmill in a pool.
A mixture of the warm temperatures, alongside the weightlessness due to being in the water, allows your dog to exercise comfortably and safely while building muscle and strengthening at the same time.
Benefits of canine hydrotherapy
Recovering from injury or surgery
One of the most common reasons a dog might need hydrotherapy is if they are post-surgery or recovering from an injury. As mentioned, water buoyancy means that your pooch will be able to exercise in a non-weight bearing environment.
When recovering from an injury or surgery, it might be tempting to allow them to rest - and, while it’s essential dogs take their time to get better, it’s equally as important for dogs to continue moving. After all, if they are still for an extended period, dogs will lose muscle quickly, which is where hydrotherapy offers a perfect solution. The warm water will help loosen tight muscles and ensure your pet is still exercising but doing it safely.
Of course, if you are considering hydrotherapy for your dog, then always liaise with a professional vet first.
If your dog is suffering from joint pain, even walking might seem uncomfortable for them. Again, the weightlessness of the water during hydrotherapy will ensure your pet is getting the exercise they need without straining muscles or causing additional damage to their joints.
Also, the warm temperature is excellent for increasing blood circulation and tackling those swollen joints, making hydrotherapy a great alternative to medicines.
Keeping fit and losing weight
Just like humans, dogs need to live a healthy and active lifestyle. However, this might not always be possible - whether they have an underlying health condition that means they struggle to keep fit, or they’re old, or perhaps overweight and need a kickstart. Hydrotherapy provides dogs with the perfect environment to take part in low-impact exercise.
And remember, it’s not just about your dog’s physical health; their mental well-being is equally as important. If they are old or unable to exercise, this could lead to your dog becoming depressed and have an impact on their behaviour. Not exercising doesn’t have to be an option, thanks to hydrotherapy.
Providing hydrotherapy for your dog
If you are considering hydrotherapy for your dog, then contact Balance Veterinary Care. We offer pet rehabilitation, and are will be offering dog hydrotherapy in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in the not too distant future. It’s always best to speak to an experienced and professional vet before booking sessions for your dog, so get in touch with our team today.