Hydrotherapy is performed in warm water to help loosen the muscles. The water protects joints from impact and helps to improve endurance.
If your pet has an injury or surgery, hydrotherapy is a great way to increase strength and range of motion. Since it's low impact, it's safe for dogs of all ages. And it is beneficial in treating medical conditions like:
- Neurological dysfunctions, like IVDD (intervertebral disc disease)
- Orthopedic injuries
- Post-surgical healing
- Weight loss
Swimming in a large pool can help to increase endurance while strengthening muscles. And it allows the trainer to focus on problem areas. Does your dog favor one side while kicking? Does your dog drop his rear when swimming? These are issues that can be seen while swimming versus using an underwater treadmill.
An underwater treadmill can be great for focusing on target areas. It also allows for quick modifications. Change the depth of water for more resistance. Or change the speed to increase endurance.
Water therapy is a great tool but shouldn’t be used as the sole type of rehabilitation for your pet. When used with other exercises, hydrotherapy can decrease recovery time.
If you're interested in hydrotherapy for your pet, there are a few things to consider.
- Look for a center with certified rehabilitation specialists
- Ask questions before booking a session to make sure you are comfortable
- Read reviews to ensure others are happy with their visits
Success is dependent on both you and your pet being at ease with the trainer and condition of the facility. It’s worth doing the research up front!
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