Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy is a non-weight baring exercise, which means, for injured or old dogs that may be suffering from arthritis in particular, this is the perfect exercise to gain muscular strength and endurance, without putting the joint under too much pressure. The swim will be gradually increased, depending on progression and what your dog is happy with.
• Relieves pain, stiffness and swelling (through warmth of the water and the hydrostatic pressure)
• Improves circulation (aiding faster recovery)
• Improves muscle strength (without putting pressure on the joints)
• Improves range of motion within a joint
• Improves fitness
• Can improve the well-being (not just physically but also mentally)
There are many conditions that hydrotherapy can help a canine with, from very serious traumas to general fitness. Dogs that can't walk very well can finally get the exercise they crave with a gentler, but equally beneficial, exercise without causing themselves any damage. Below are some conditions that the hydrotherapy can help your dog with:
• Pre-and post-operative conditioning
• Hip/elbow dysplasia
• Chronic Degenerative Radiculomelopathy (CDR)
• Cruciate ligament management and post op recovery
• Osteochronditis Dissecan (OD)/ Osteoartheritis
• Recovery from injuries and trauma
• and many many more…
The benefits of hydrotherapy extend past injuries and post op recovery. Hydrotherapy can also be hugely beneficial for managing weight loss. Just like humans, when we put on weight, exercises like running become stressful; the same applies to our pets. So, by exercising in water, there is less stress on the body but the necessary exercise can be achieved for positive results. Other benefits include swimming for fitness (for our more athletic canine friends) and the enjoyment for the owner to see their pet swimming for fun.
Why swim them in a pool and not just in the river?
The local river or sea may seem a great place to swim your dog, but there are many hidden dangers that you need to take into consideration before allowing your dog to swim, just like you would with your own child. Firstly, it is not possible to monitor how much exercise your dog is doing and they could easily over exercise and this can have negative effects on their health. In open water, you are always likely to have an undercurrent and are often unable to detect this in time and they could become troubled, especially if they are already tired. There is also the risk of pollution and water born disease that can put your dog in danger. Finally, the cold water can actually act counter productively to the rehab of your dog, and with cold muscles they are more likely to have cramp and pull muscles - meaning it could be doing more harm than good. In the pool, the water is tested regularly, kept at a warm temperature and constantly monitored by a registered canine hydrotherapist - so you can be safe in the knowledge they are safe.