Let Your Dog Swim for Physical Therapy

If you have ever been injured, you may remember being told that swimming can really help you get back into your fitness regimen. The same can go for your dog! But, your dog does not necessarily know that swimming can help their muscles. However, if your dog is a fan of water, they do know that swimming is loads of fun. Hydrotherapy can be exactly what your dog needs, so let us learn more about it. 

What Exactly is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is essentially a form of physical therapy. The buoyancy, viscosity, and resistance that water offers can positively affect pain management and muscle strength. Differing from running, water does not place as much pressure on muscles, joints, and bones. This can also help your dog avoid inflammation. Different water temperatures can also mean that the water will affect your dog’s body systems differently. 

You will most likely see the best results for your pet by seeing a certified hydrotherapist since they can engage with your dog using various equipment. A vet may prescribe hydrotherapy for your dog’s disability, injury, to improve their fitness, or as part of surgery recovery. 

Different Types of Hydrotherapy

The type of hydrotherapy for your dog will be chosen based on what your dog needs. There are several tools and practices that will be used to help target specific parts of your dog’s body. While your dog exercises, the therapist will place a harness on your dog so that they can stay safely above the water line. They will then utilize toys, balls, and other items like that to motivate the dog to swim. You can also probably be present for your dog’s session so that you can encourage them as you would on land. 

The facility you go to should also set the temperature to one based one what the session aims to accomplish for your dog. For example, colder temperatures are good for if a dog is recovering from exercising. This may remind of you any ice baths you took if you grew up playing sports.

Underwater Treadmills

Now this is cool. Basically this looks lie a treadmill but in a glass box and filled with water. The treadmill belt will move once your dog is lifted into the box or enters from a ramp. The hydrotherapist will monitor the speed and make sure they are using proper form and are achieving the desired range of motions.

Whirlpool Therapy

Floating down the lazy river can be quite relaxing and sitting in a hot tub after a long day is the dream. Both of these combined is the treatment your dog would be getting. Can we join in, please? After an injury or surgery this can be helpful as warm water jets can massage your dog’s sore muscles. It can also aid in your dog’s feelings of relaxation and decrease anxiety while reducing stress. 

There are many benefits to hydrotherapy that go beyond what has been listed here. It can even be used as a weight loss or management tool. You can contact a hydrotherapist near you to find out what could work for your dog in the water world!

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