Canine hydrotherapy can benefit dogs with a wide array of medical conditions. But what is hydrotherapy, and how exactly does it help dogs? Here’s what you need to know about canine hydrotherapy benefits:
How Does Hydrotherapy for Dogs Work?
In Greek, the word “hydrotherapy” means “water healing.” It’s primarily used to help humans, but even dogs who don’t like to swim can benefit from it.
Floating in water soothes and strengthens the body by providing resistance without joint pressure. It can help older dogs with joint pain, and post-surgery dogs as well. Hydrotherapy reduces the stress on their bodies by allowing them to move more freely while building strength and flexibility.
What Does Canine Hydrotherapy Look Like?
Canine hydrotherapy treadmills are made of watertight plastic or glass. Dogs stand in leg-high water and walk or jog.
Hydrotherapy for dogs may include whirlpools, underwater treadmills, or dog pools. Whenever a therapist is working with your dog, it will be a fairly hands-on event in a controlled environment. So you needn’t worry about your pup floating away!
What are the Benefits of Canine Hydrotherapy?
There are many benefits of canine hydrotherapy and there are several ways it can benefit your dog.
1. Low-Impact Exercise and Relaxation
Walking on this submerged treadmill benefits dogs by allowing increased joint flexibility and movement in a low-impact environment. Especially because their joints aren’t stressed by the force of gravity. This technique can also reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Other benefits of hydrotherapy include decreased pain, relaxation of muscle tension, decreased resting heart rate, and reduced edema. Hydrotherapy also gives a mood boost from endorphins released by exercise.
2. Muscle Strength and Cardiovascular Fitness
Increasing muscle strength, reducing the likelihood of secondary complications, increasing quality of life, and improving cardiovascular fitness are all positive results.
Spending time in the water can increase lymph drainage and help the immune system function better. It can also improve a dog’s digestion, and help their body quickly rid itself of toxins.
3. Balance and Flexibility
Hydrotherapy can improve a dog’s balance, coordination, and energy levels while improving well-being. Canine hydrotherapy can help return your dog to an earlier level of fitness and slow the progression of degenerative diseases. It can also serve as a great occasion for you and your pup to bond!
If your dog has any ear conditions or is prone to ear infections, you will need to take extra care to protect their ears. If water gets in their ears during a hydrotherapy session, it could worsen an ear condition, which could hinder their ability to balance.
Which Health Conditions Benefit From Canine Hydrotherapy Treatment?
There are many canine health conditions that are helped by hydrotherapy. Among them are hip or elbow dysplasia, injuries to the cruciate ligament, osteoarthritis, CDRM (chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy), orthopedic conditions, and recovery from trauma. Canine hydrotherapy is one of the great ways to help an arthritic dog.
Because it has so many physical, psychological, and social benefits, canine hydrotherapy is recommended for suffering pups. It offers a holistic way to help your dog recover from an injury, and get back to feeling like their old self again. It also helps keep up morale and physical function while treating a degenerative disease.