Hydrotherapy For Dogs [Facts, Benefits and More]

What is Hydrotherapy? Hydrotherapy simply means water therapy. You can refer to it as a therapeutic use of water to improve the health of your canine. For us, it includes physical activities like water aerobics, swimming, and other activities like whirlpool baths, mineral baths, and saunas. 

Water exercising provides benefits to your canine by providing strength and building endurance without exerting pressure on the joints. Hot water bathing also helps to dilate blood vessels and provide relaxation to the muscles and joints. 

Benefits Of Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Therapy For Dogs

There are many benefits of hydrotherapy for dogs. The hydrostatic pressure that is exerted on the canine’s body while he is in water helps in reducing the body’s inflammation. 

Moreover, water provides resistance as well as buoyancy. This helps to improve muscle strength. Additionally, it also helps in building endurance and does not exert more stress on the joints and muscles. 

Further, bathing in warm or hot water helps relieve pains and aches, relaxes joints, and dilates blood vessels. This ultimately helps to heal injuries. 

These benefits of hydrotherapy also help in walking better and overall good health. It is also good for keeping your dog in top condition. 

Hydrotherapy For Dogs [Facts, Benefits and More]

Hydrotherapy is beneficial for…

  1. Post-op recovery from orthopaedic procedures
  2. Overweight pets
  3. Painful osteoarthritis
  4. Pain because of hip dysplasia
  5. Cushing’s disease and diabetes
  6. Paralyzed dogs
  7. Neurological conditions

3 Types of Hydrotherapy

There are 3 common hydrotherapies – Swimming pool, Whirlpool, and Treadmill.

Swimming Pool: 

This includes muscle building, aerobic exercise, circulatory health, cardiovascular health, etc. Canine swim using the front side of the body. This helps them fight the issues related to the front side of the body. It is better not to go for it if you have issues in the remaining back. 

Whirlpool:

It includes loosening and circulation of joints and muscles. The warm water brings the blood to the outermost surface. Moreover, it helps in promoting relief to the joints and muscles. 

Treadmill:

This includes muscle building, gait retraining, cardiovascular health, improving motion, and performing less painful exercises. 

What Does A Dog/Canine Hydrotherapist Do?

A hydrotherapist uses hydrotherapy to help your canine to recover from certain injuries. This technique is used to cure diagnosed injuries on canines. Moreover, it is also used as an enjoyment. 

There is a level 3 certificate in hydrotherapy for smaller animals. One can get this certification from various hydrotherapy centres. Although certification is not essential, still it will help a hydrotherapist attract customers. 

A hydrotherapist is compassionate and has a great interest in dogs and handling them. A professional hydrotherapist must know swimming and have great observation skills. In this profession, one needs to handle the dog carefully and understand what he is suffering from. 

What Happens In Dog Hydrotherapy?

The decreased gravitational force and buoyancy of water in the pool help the dog perform exercises that they would not do easily on land. Canine hydrotherapy can range from floating, paddling, and some intense exercise. These exercises also depend on the condition of your canine. 

Is Hydrotherapy Good For Dogs With Arthritis?

Hydrotherapy is one of the most effective ways to take care of arthritis. When it affects the dog, the dog’s physical activities become painful. This may cause your canine to gain weight and lose muscle.

This makes things worse; During hydrotherapy, the dog swims in the pool. It allows the canine to relax the muscles without experiencing pain.

The warm water helps to increase blood flow in the body. Dog hydrotherapy can help a lot with Arthritis. 

When Should You Not Use Hydrotherapy On A Dog?

Hydrotherapy is not a good option if your dog is going through Epilepsy. Moreover, any unhealed sutures, infectious diseases, skin issues, and open wounds are contraindicatory to the security of the canine. Aqua-phobic canines will not benefit from hydrotherapy. 

How Much Does A Hydrotherapy Session Cost?

A single hydrotherapy session cost depends on the type of issue your dog has, how long it needs the therapy, and where you are residing. As a standard cost, a 30-minute hydrotherapy session can cost between $30 to $60.

How Long Does A Hydrotherapy Session Last For Dogs?

The initial sessions can last for around 45 minutes to 1 hour. It will be carried out by a qualified professional. Afterwards, the follow-up appointments can last around 30 minutes to 45 minutes. 

What Conditions Does Hydrotherapy Treat?

Here are a few common conditions that hydrotherapy treats-

  • Chronic Pain
  • Paediatric 
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries 
  • Neurological
  • Cardiovascular
  • Post Surgery

How Much Does Dog Hydrotherapy Cost Uk?

In the UK, a dog’s hydrotherapy cost starts from £50. You can use your dog’s medical insurance or pay it on your own. Check with the insurance provider that your dog’s policy covers hydrotherapy.

How Much Does Dog Hydrotherapy Cost Us?

In the US, a 30-minute hydrotherapy session usually costs around $30 to $50. The pool-based therapy is cheaper than underwater treadmill hydrotherapy.

How Much Does Dog Hydrotherapy Cost Au?

In Australia, a 30-minute hydrotherapy session costs around $18.

Dog Hydrotherapy at Home

Hydrotherapy does not always need to be carried out in a clinic. Recreating hydrotherapy sessions at home is possible using a larger water container or swimming pool. 

In the case of smaller breeds, you can also use a kiddie pool. However, not all canines are born swimmers. Therefore, it is important to supervise your canine closely. 

Additionally, it is important not to force canines that do not like being in the water. It can result in your canine hurting himself and you as well. If your vet feels your canine can get help from hydrotherapy and still he is afraid of water, then it is better not to do hydrotherapy at home. 

If your dog has any severe medical condition, it is better to skip hydrotherapy at home. Using an underwater treadmill in a professional environment is highly recommended. 

If you’re thinking about including water exercises for your dog’s bodily conditioning and education regimen, make sure to first clear it with the vet, as not all puppies are a very good candidate for this form of exercise.

If signs of the pressure are found, the activity needs to be stopped immediately. Pets which are anxious or pressured might also additionally experience increased blood stress and increased heart rates. Others might also additionally panic in the water, which may create lower back muscle pain. The purpose of hydrotherapy is mild exercise.

What If My Dog Doesn’t Know How to Swim?

Not every puppy is a natural swimmer. Just like humans, pets may also really need to learn a way to swim.

Each facility has extraordinary techniques for teaching puppies to swim or making them much less fearful. 

But, regardless of the education may be, protection and comfort are usually key. Pet proprietors have to examine their canine’s signals and do what’s exceptional for their puppy’s intellectual and bodily fitness at all times. 

Dogs ought to never be pressured to swim if they’re scared, as it is able to bring about damage for the puppy or the individual or both. If your vet believes that swimming could be advantageous to your puppy, but, he’s stressed about water, it is exceptional to seek expert guidance.

What Is Not Hydrotherapy?

A random pool wherein your canine is permitted to splash about isn’t always hydrotherapy. Many canines love swimming, and at the same time as it is a remarkable exercise, it isn’t always hydrotherapy.

Dogs which have a clinical condition ought to usually seek out an expert hydrotherapist to assist and guide them via the right program. Without the right guidance, you could end up doing more harm than good

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that hydrotherapy for dogs is an effective way to handle certain health concerns in dogs. A hydrotherapist can assist you well in understanding your canine’s needs. 

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more informative and effective pieces of writing. Till then, stay connected. Thank you.