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Hydrotherapy for Dogs: Why Pet Owners Turn to It at Increasing Rates

dog hydrotherapy

If your dog suffers a traumatic injury or his joints ache from age, you want to help them. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is increasingly becoming the option of choice for pet owners. Over the past several years, more veterinarians and owners have seen its benefits firsthand. Hydrotherapy helps pets recover from injuries and improves their quality of life.

Hydrotherapy isn’t limited to dogs recovering from surgeries or dealing with arthritis. It’s an excellent way to keep dogs fit. People whose dogs compete in athletic events turn to hydrotherapy to build their animal’s muscles to give them an extra edge.

 

Natural Healing

Educated consumers are looking for natural, organic, holistic products and services. A vet might prescribe medication for dogs with mild to moderate arthritis, but those drugs come with potential side effects – even the risk of death. Nothing is more natural than hydrotherapy, and its origins go back to the dawn of civilization. It’s safe and effective for dogs and their people. The only side effect is fun.

 

Postponing Surgery

In some cases, regular sessions of hydrotherapy can eliminate the need for surgery. For example, dogs who have not severely torn their cruciate ligaments – one of the most common canine injuries – may recover with hydrotherapy and medical management alone. A young dog who won’t use their leg while walking will in the hydrotherapy pool. Your vet will advise you whether this is a possibility for your pet. Cruciate ligament repair surgery is expensive, and many people simply can’t afford it. Hydrotherapy becomes an alternative offering a pet some relief.

 

Pre-Surgery

While most people think of canine hydrotherapy as rehabilitative and used post-surgery, it’s also helpful for dogs prior to their scheduled surgeries. If your dog can’t exercise normally because of the condition that warrants surgery, hydrotherapy can generally keep them fit. Maintaining a level of fitness prior to surgery usually means their recuperation goes more smoothly.

 

Proactive Therapy

It’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive, and hydrotherapy fills the bill. Regular sessions help your dog build muscles that ease joint pressure, which is a big plus as they get older. Dogs with strong muscle tone are less likely to develop arthritis until quite late in life, giving them years of strong mobility.

 

Weight Loss

If your dog has put on a few pounds, dietary adjustments and regular exercise are the best ways to get them back to a healthy weight. Hydrotherapy is one of the best ways to exercise an obese dog, since it is non-weight bearing. It’s easy to overdo exercise in out-of-shape, fat dogs if walking is the primary form. That’s not true of hydrotherapy, and it will get a dog in better condition so they can eventually join you on those long walks.

 

Cardiovascular Fitness

Many people practice cardio fit workouts religiously, for their overall cardiovascular health and general physique. Hydrotherapy offers a cardio fit workout for dogs, aiding recuperation or just maintaining good fitness. Regular hydrotherapy sessions improve cardiovascular fitness relatively rapidly.

 

Hydrotherapy Contraindications

For all its benefits, hydrotherapy is not suitable for every pet. If your dog has been diagnosed with heart disease or any condition that affects their breathing, they aren’t a good hydrotherapy candidate. Your vet can answer any questions you have about your dog’s participation in hydrotherapy.

 

K9 Aquatic Center

K9 Aquatic Center offers rehabilitation, fitness and conditioning programs for dogs of all ages. Our team includes a rehabilitation specialist and a veterinarian. We are open every day of the week except Monday. For more information, contact us at 240-683-1100, or visit our website.

 

References

http://www.canine-hydrotherapy.org/

http://iheartdogs.com/thinking-about-hydrotherapy-for-your-dog-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

 

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