By Tamara McRill
Who can resist the joyous tongue-lolling grin dogs get when they play in water? Not me… and I’m guessing that as a pet lover, not you either! Turns out this canine fun – in the form of dog water therapy – can also help the health of our pets.
Sounds like a great match, so let’s explore just what dog water therapy is, what you can expect and how it can help with pet rehabilitation.
Well, it’s sort of like taking a bath. Dog water therapy – also known as canine hydrotherapy – is most commonly performed in a small heated pool. A dog’s muscles are similar to ours, in that they can benefit from the warmth of heated water. Most hydrotherapy pools are also treated with a chemical such as chlorine.
Most therapy center pools have either a ramp for dogs to get in and out of the pool, a hoist to lift your dog out, or both. If your dog has difficulty walking, be sure to ask about this at centers you are checking out.
Some pools also have jets to spray underwater, which is great for building strength. Also something to ask about, if it meets your dog’s medical needs. Always be sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting any type of therapy for your dog and to get your vet’s recommendations on what types of pool features are best for your pet’s treatment.
By Julia Williams
When age or injury makes it more difficult for your dog or cat to get around, many pet owners assume that nothing much can be done. However, thanks to new treatment options and modern technology, our pets don’t have to hobble about in pain anymore. Pet rehabilitation centers are springing up all around the nation, and they’re helping pets regain mobility and get relief from the pain. Rehab can be a great help for humans, so why not for our pets too? Whether the aches and pains are from tendonitis or arthritis, a pinched nerve or surgery, a pet rehabilitation center can help to get your pet back on his paws.
Pet rehabilitation involves using a variety of treatments and technology to help restore normal function to their joints and muscles. Rehab can improve a pet’s flexibility and mobility, enhance limb use and mitigate pain. The pet rehab facility takes a holistic approach to health and considers all factors, including medical history, current issues, body condition, lifestyle, nutrition, supplements and medication. Pets typically visit a rehabilitation center about twice a week, and owners are also taught how to do core exercises with their pet at home.
Pet rehabilitation centers combine the education and expertise of a veterinarian with a doctor of physical therapy. This produces optimum results because vets understand the nature of pet injuries and diseases while physical therapists understand the science of rehabilitation – e.g., how a body moves, joint and soft tissue mechanics and the impact of exercise. Add cutting edge technology to the mix, and it’s easy to see how beneficial this could be for aging or injured pets.