However old or healthy a dog is, there are many reasons you should take them to hydrotherapy. Performed in either a pool or on a treadmill, this medical practice can provide your pooch with long-lasting health benefits that will see them through the remaining years of their life. Below, we explain what hydrotherapy is and list some of its benefits.
What Is Canine Hydrotherapy?
Canine hydrotherapy uses water facilities to help a dog who has undergone an injury or other health issue build up its strength and stamina again. A pet who has suffered from muscle deterioration or just undergone major surgery might have trouble walking due to their newfound weakness.
Engaging in this therapy takes the weight off their limbs and allows them to walk freely in the way they would have done before without any of the added discomfort.
The vet or nurse who runs the hydrotherapy session can conduct specialist exercises that target certain parts of the body.
This is invaluable for a dog that has a specific problem in one area of the body, such as the leg, pelvis or chest. Plus, if your dog loves water, the sheer enjoyment they will derive from being immersed will be enough to keep them motivated with their workout.
Increased Tissue Healing
Did you know that hydrotherapy is the best way for your dog to heal their damaged tissues? This is because there is an increase in blood flow during the session, which means that there is more circulation around the muscles.
This causes them to relax and flush away any waste products that are causing stiffness or pain, encouraging the tissues to grow in the process. Dogs who have torn ligaments can greatly benefit from this and even relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
In water, the heart needs to work much harder in order to meet the demands of the muscles, which can make the workout extremely challenging for dogs. However, due to the buoyancy of the water and the absence of any sharp falls or turns, this makes the experience relaxing and safe.
Most pets will have an improved heart and respiratory system from extensive hydrotherapy, alongside being generally healthier and fitter than the average canine.
If your dog seems stiff and bristled a lot, there could be an underlying issue with their muscles, possibly due to undiagnosed pain or anxiety. Being immersed in water can help your dog to relax.
Even if it’s for a short while, you could start to see improvements in their well-being, from getting a longer night’s sleep to being generally more relaxed in the house. Anxious dogs can derive plenty of confidence from hydrotherapy too, realising that they can make their own decisions as the sessions are built around their preferences.
If you want some more specialist advice on how to care for your pet, and what therapies they might benefit from, contact us today at Illawarra Animal Hospital or book an appointment at either our Figtree or Yallah branch.