Hydrotherapy and your Dog 

Does your dog struggle to get in his daily dose of exercise due to illness, injury or old age? Just like their humans, dogs struggle with many health issues that make exercising a real struggle and often times, even impossible.  One solution to this very problem for both you and your dogs is Hydrotherapy.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy allows your dog to exercise without the stress and impact of the usual daily exercises such as walking or running.  How? Essentially, hydrotherapy uses the water to support your dog’s weight.  The properties of water, like buoyancy and viscosity help your dog to move his body in the water without the gravitational pull that causes stress on the body.  This is one of the safest forms of exercises and even benefits dogs that have just undergone surgery and have limited use of their limbs.

This low impact avenue for exercise has many other uses. From weight loss to alternative treatments for other diseases, hydrotherapy provides your dog another opportunity on his path towards healing.  How so?

  1. Serves to increases range of motion
  2. Reduces pain
  3. Promotes healing of tissue.
  4. Reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, hip dysplasia and disk disease.
  5. Promotes proper circulation.
  6. Promotes post-operative healing.
  7. Improves a dog’s overall stamina.

If you’re considering the use of hydrotherapy in your dog’s overall health plan, we suggest that you do your research before selecting a facility.  As with any other facility that you enlist the services of to treat your dog, you need to feel comfortable and one way to do that is to educate yourself by asking questions and even asking for recommendations. If you’re not sure what questions to ask here’s a start:

  • Is my dog provided rest?
  • How will you get him in and out of the water?
  • What plans are set in place, in the event of an emergency?
  • What chemicals, if any, are used to treat the water?
  • How often is the water cleaned?
  • Will my dog be under constant supervision?
  • Are life vests provided for my dog to wear?
  • Are blow dryers used to dry off the dogs? If so, what kind?

Remember, weight gain is one of the main causes of other health issues in dogs. Diabetes, respiratory disease, and even heart disease may result from excessive weight.  Hydrotherapy makes it possible for all dogs to exercise and even if your dog exercises with no problems, you should really give it a try.   It’s fun, safe and simple.


5 thoughts on “Hydrotherapy and your Dog”

  1. Hydrotherapy is also recommended for humans who are looking for low-impact exercises, so it makes sense to let animals try as well. It may be a good idea to do it together with our dogs! How different is it from swimming, though? My dog looks somehow sensitive to chlorine, so she doesn’t swim that often again these days.

  2. I think hydrotherapy is a good idea, especially if the dog seems to really take to it. I’d want to find a place close to home so that I could engage with my dog immediately after the therapy is done to see how the dog is behaving. If the dog is behaving in a relaxed and calm manner, then I would be okay with taking the dog to that place again. As you mentioned here, one has to feel comfortable about the facility. If the dog seems agitated and not like itself, then I would have to rethink the whole thing. I like the list of questions that you recommend asking prior to allowing your dog to go to a certain facility, and ultimately how the dog acts after the fact, and how the dog acts before going into the facility on the next couple of visits would decide the whole thing for me. That being said, I think these kinds of places are great if things are done right.

  3. DenverDogLover82

    I’ve heard great things about hydrotherapy for people with arthritis, so it makes sense that hydrotherapy would also be beneficial for dogs with joint problems. My dog is starting to show signs of stiff joints, so I’m going to look into the facilities in my area. Thank you for providing a list of questions for me to start from.

    Weight gain is not only associated with conditions like diabetes, but extra weight isn’t good for a dog’s joints. The extra weight puts more pressure on a dog’s joints, which can make them hurt even worse. It’s so important for us, as dog parents, to provide our dogs with exercise so they can stay as healthy as possible.

  4. The picture of the pool is really wonderful. Although, the article did not mention whether dog owners can be with the dog during hydrotherapy. I think we can add that question to the list of questions. Woolsy will surely be calmer if I am with him at his side while doing hydrotherapy.

  5. I can see this being beneficial for dogs as they reach their golden years as well. Age makes it harder for them to exercise in the ways they used to, so this looks to be a good way to go for them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top