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What Does Hydrotherapy Do for Dogs?

Updated: May 12, 2023

There are few greater pleasures in this world than sinking into a warm bath. An achy body is suddenly weightless and relaxed. Dog hydrotherapy gives your pet a similar feeling by immersing them in soothing warm water with the added therapeutic aspect of an underwater treadmill.

Exercising in water provides enough resistance for your dog’s muscles and joints to strengthen while also giving buoyancy so that stress isn’t placed on the body. Old, sore, or overweight, hydrotherapy is an opportunity for your dog to exercise without discomfort.

Get Fit and Trim

Hydrotherapy is a great option for sporting dogs in need of conditioning, but it can also help overweight pets on their health journey. Weight gain with a pet can be a challenging cycle to break. Often as a dog gains weight, they become less mobile and so gain more, especially if the issue is connected to illness or injury.

Hydrotherapy can break that cycle without putting too much strain on your pet. The underwater treadmill helps your dog get fit, while the water provides a sense of weightlessness that keeps them comfortable.

Ease Achy Joints

It can be heart-breaking to see a pet stay home from walks they used to beg for or struggle down paths they once raced through. Dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other joint-related diseases often find traditional forms of exercise uncomfortable and even painful.

Hydrotherapy offers a form of exercise that is as soothing as it is strengthening. The warm water relaxes sore muscles and allows the dog to move and strengthen sore joints without placing added stress on them.

Being immersed in water also allows them the benefits of “hydrostatic pressure” which is essentially the pressure that the water places on the dog’s body. This pressure helps to improve circulation and as a result, reduces joint swelling.

Start Moving After Surgery or Injury

Like humans, dogs recovering from surgery often need to be kept still for long periods so that their bodies can mend. The downside to this is that immobile muscles weaken and atrophy over time, making a return to exercise that much trickier. Hydrotherapy allows dogs to perform non-weight-bearing, low-impact movement without compromising their recovery.

Some dogs will try to stay off a limb after a surgery which can complicate their walking and cause other issues later. Hydrotherapy is a gentle enough environment that these dogs can often be coaxed to put down that limb and get used to walking normally again.

Get That Tail Wagging

Humans aren’t the only ones who receive mental health benefits from working out. Whatever has affected your pet’s mobility, dog hydrotherapy isn’t just an option to get them moving after surgery, pain, and weight gain, but it can get them feeling better again too.

We will soon be offering dog hydrotherapy in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Contact us now to book in with one of our vets for a consultation so that we can assess if hydrotherapy is appropriate for your dog.

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