Aquatic therapy, or hydrotherapy, can benefit dogs in many situations, though it’s often used to help injured or recovering pups. Let’s look at 8 times you might want to try hydrotherapy for dogs.
Hydrotherapy involves the use of water for therapeutic purposes. Hydrotherapy for dogs can help with pain, injuries, recovery, exercise, and overall well-being. The service is offered by some veterinary/medical practices, canine rehabilitation and physiotherapy clinics, and private centers, but you can sometimes practice it in a pool or at the beach. Here are 8 issues that hydrotherapy can help address for your dog.
1. Muscle and Joint Conditions
Dogs are buoyant in the water, which helps to support their weight. This reduces the impact on joints and promotes mobility and range of motion. Gentle swimming or underwater treadmill exercises can be great for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, muscle weakness, ACL issues, and more.
2. Post-Surgery Rehabilitation
After surgeries, such as orthopedic procedures or spinal surgeries, hydrotherapy can aid in the recovery process by providing a low-impact environment for exercise.
Swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that can help dogs lose weight without putting excessive strain on their joints.
4. Neurological Conditions
Dogs with neurological issues, such as spinal cord injuries or degenerative myelopathy, may benefit from hydrotherapy to maintain muscle tone, improve balance, and increase coordination.
5. Soft Tissue Injuries
You can use hydrotherapy, especially underwater treadmill exercises, to help your dog with rehabilitation after a soft tissue injury, such as a muscle strain or ligament sprain.
6. Pain Management
A dog’s buoyancy in water takes some of the pressure off their limbs and joints. As such, hydrotherapy for dogs can provide relief for pups with chronic pain conditions.
7. Fitness and Conditioning
Hydrotherapy is not only for rehabilitation: you can also use it for general canine fitness and conditioning, helping to keep your dog in good physical shape. It’s great for cardiovascular health, weight management, energy levels, and muscle strengthening.
8. Behavioral Issues
For dogs with anxiety or behavioral problems, hydrotherapy can provide a positive and calming experience. The warm water and controlled environment can be soothing. What’s more, exercise can help relieve stress and burn off extra energy.
Hydrotherapy for dogs can benefit many pups with various conditions, but it’s not suitable for all dogs or all situations. Be sure to consult with a veterinarian before starting hydrotherapy to ensure it’s appropriate for your pup.
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