|Dental | Ear | Eye | Flea and Tick | Heartworm | Joints | Medications | Pain | Skin and Coat | Supplies | Vitamins | Specials|
Heart Blood Pressure
Urinary Tract and Kidneys
Hydrotherapy for Dogs
Hydrotherapy is a form of treatment and exercise that provides a variety of benefits for dogs. It is comprised of two main techniques – swimming and aquatic treadmill therapy. It can be used in the treatment of almost any accident or illness, but is especially useful for osteoarthritis, neurological conditions, and soft tissue injuries, as well as for general fitness, muscle tone, and weight management. It is a safe, unobtrusive form of exercise that doesn’t place undue stress on the joints and provides for freer movement.
Water in general is an excellent therapy tool. Water increases blood circulation, which can improve the condition of the dog’s skin and coat. It can also provide a good workout in a short amount of time. With the resistance water provides, a five-minute swim can be equivalent to a five-mile run. And with 54 percent of pets in the United States being overweight, this can be an excellent exercise option to take off a few pounds in a short amount of time.
Underwater treadmills specifically allows dogs recovering from health issues to regain muscle tone and balance while allowing the dog to re-learn walking and agility skills. As the dog walks, new muscle groups are engaged and the limbs are guarded from the strain endured on land.
For all of its physical benefits, hydrotherapy provides a wealth of emotional benefits as well. Water can be calming for the dog, allowing the dog to relax and decrease its stress level. In water, the dog’s body weight is taken off of its joints, allowing the pain to diminish. As that pain decreases, the stress and fear the pet is feeling decreases as well. It is becoming more and more common for a veterinarian to take a whole-body approach to treating a pet for an accident or illness, which includes the mind as well as the body. Hydrotherapy is one way to do that.
The benefits of hydrotherapy make it an attractive and practical option for many pets as they struggle with physical and mental issues. This form of therapy can be the difference between a long, hard road to recovery and a smooth, calm transition into health. If you think hydrotherapy would be a good option for your pet, consult with your veterinarian.
Bio: Heather Kalinowski is a pet lover who is owned by two rescued dogs – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She works for Trupanion pet insurance, an insurance provider that covers 90% of veterinary bills, including hydrotherapy.
- What is glucosamine for dogs?
- Knee injuries are common in working dogs
- Connect with your dog through massage
- How to support your therapy dog
- Physical therapy for pets – a do or don’t?
Tags: hydrotherapy for pets