Paddling their way toward fitness.
Walking in the underwater treadmill helps animals that have trouble walking on land because of arthritis, weakness, poor balance or coordination, painful joints, neurologic conditions, recent surgery or obesity. The water provides pets a supportive medium, allowing them to strengthen muscles and increase endurance with little compression on joints. For many post-surgical and neurologic patients, hydrotherapy is a great first step toward regaining a normal gait.
The benefits of hydrotherapy are plentiful, including:
- Improved circulation and cardiovascular fitness
- Increased range of motion in joints
- Stronger muscles
- Better flexibility
- Relief from pain, swelling and stiffness
And because water workouts involve every muscle group used in day to day movement minus the stress of walking on hard surfaces, hydrotherapy provides a great total body exercise, whether your dog is overweight a little or a lot, or in top athletic shape.
Aquatic exercise can help service pets, sporting pets, competition pets and loyal lap pets. Vet approval is required, however.
Each session is a ½ hour. Initially, your dog may not swim the session until fitness levels increase. Remember that 15 minutes of swimming is the equivalent of 1 hour running, but without the impact on joints.
That depends on his condition and the rehabilitation that is required. Some post-operative dogs visit us twice weekly for a few weeks then less often once their fitness improves. Other dogs come once a week for mobility and senior swimming or just for the fun of it.
Many dogs that visit for hydrotherapy services are not typical “water dogs.” Some take a few sessions before they find their confidence and enjoy their swims. We have found that many of these same dogs soon turn into real water babies, however.
Yes, open wounds, bitches in season, or infectious or contagious conditions including gastric upsets, kennel cough, ear, eye or skin infections and bleeding.