Hydrotherapy for dogs involves the controlled use of water to promote healing, rehabilitation, and overall well-being. It typically takes place in a specially designed pool or tank with features like jets, ramps, and treadmills to accommodate different types of canine patients. Hydrotherapy can be beneficial for dogs in various ways:
- Rehabilitation and Injury Recovery: Hydrotherapy is commonly used as a part of rehabilitation programs for dogs recovering from surgery, injuries, or musculoskeletal conditions. The buoyancy of water reduces weight-bearing stress on the limbs, allowing dogs to exercise and rebuild strength without putting excessive strain on joints, muscles, or injured areas. It helps improve range of motion, increase muscle strength, and promotes faster recovery.
- Joint and Arthritis Relief: Dogs suffering from joint conditions, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, can benefit from hydrotherapy. The water’s buoyancy helps support the dog’s body weight, reducing pressure on the joints and providing pain relief. The warm water used in hydrotherapy sessions can also help relax muscles, decrease inflammation, and increase circulation.
- Weight Management: Obesity is a common issue among dogs, which can lead to various health problems. Hydrotherapy provides a low-impact exercise option that burns calories and helps dogs lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Water resistance provides a challenging workout while reducing stress on joints and minimising the risk of injury.
- Cardiovascular Fitness: Hydrotherapy can improve cardiovascular fitness in dogs. Swimming against the resistance of water provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart and lungs. It can improve overall endurance, stamina, and fitness levels.
- Mental Stimulation: Hydrotherapy sessions can provide mental stimulation and engagement for dogs. It offers a new and exciting environment for them to explore while receiving therapeutic benefits. The interaction with the water and the exercise involved can help alleviate boredom and improve a dog’s overall mood and well-being.
It’s important to note that hydrotherapy for dogs should be supervised by trained professionals, such as veterinarians or certified canine hydrotherapists, to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the sessions. They can tailor the therapy to meet the specific needs of each dog and monitor their progress throughout the treatment.
You can discuss the benefits of hydrotherapy for your dog with your Vet, and they can provide a referral. There are several Hydrotherapy centres around Melbourne that can assist – Canine Hydro in Croydon, Melbourne Animal Physiotherapy in Kensington, Dogs in Motion in Highett to name just a few.
Less therapeutic, but just for fun – at Dogdayz our dog boarding and dog daycare guests have supervised access to several types of water activity including sprinklers, paddle pools and plunge pools. A great way for our guests to burn energy and stimulate the senses, keeping them relaxed and happy throughout their stay…it is always a hit!
Don’t forget, we also provide Dog Minding services to ensure your furry friend is well-cared for when you’re away!