Swimming has many benefits: it provides you with a cooling opportunity on a hot day and it helps you stay in shape.
As stated by PetHandBook.com, it is beneficial to dogs too as well as for human. Water for pets cools their bodies down, eases the pain of arthritis, and is a great form of exercise as well.
The Pros of Hydrotherapy for Dogs
Dr. Block, a veterinarian in a rehabilitation center for canines based in New York, expressed that hydrotherapy is a preventive method that benefits canine fitness, provides dogs with aerobic exercise, and keeps their bodies in a better condition. It causes your pet to continue to be in optimal shape.
Despite being a great form of exercise, hydrotherapy also provides relief after surgery related to ACL tears and diseases such as arthritis. It allows your pet to exercise his joints, keep his muscle mass at a healthy ratio, and have fun comfortably with minimal discomfort.
Dr. Kern, a veterinarian in Michigan’s Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation and Therapy for Pets, explained that the buoyancy of water and its resistance to movement exercises muscles so well that a less amount of time may be needed for exercise in water than on land.
The Types of Exercise Your Dog Can Do in The Water
However, all aquatic facilities are the same. When searching for the right one for your pet, it is best to decide on the one that is suitable for your dog’s needs.
Some places only have pools while others have underwater treadmills and many types of equipment. Most aquatic centers for canines provide activities for dogs including laps, playing fetch in the water, and swimming lessons with a licensed staff.
Dr. Fuoco, a veterinarian and canine rehabilitation therapist based in Pennsylvania, explained that underwater treadmills primarily give dogs buoyancy as they walk on it and relieve pressure from their aching joints and limbs. It can be set to the pet’s exact needs.
Dr. Block explained that dogs may need different water temperatures – athletic dogs need colder temperatures, but dogs in therapy need warmer temperatures to loosen their muscles and speed up their recovery process.
How Long Should a Hydrotherapy Session Last?
It is best to get your veterinary doctor’s opinion on how long your pet should stay in the water. Most sessions last for 10 to 30 minutes.
Taylor, a canine hydrotherapy expert, recommends that therapy begins with shorter sessions, especially if the dog is in therapy. Most aquatic centers monitor the heart rate of the dog and determine when he needs to rest or end the session.
Hydrotherapy Will Help Dogs Who Don’t Know How to Swim
Each center has different facilities that will teach your dog how to swim and enjoy being in the water. Your dog must not be forced when he’s frightened as it may hurt you, himself, or anyone around him.
If the veterinarian recommends swimming for your pet who is not a swimmer, getting help from a professional canine trainer is the best way to guide him.
What Are the Risks of Hydrotherapy?
Ear infections, worsened skin disease, and excessive tiredness that leads to drowning are the most common risks of hydrotherapy.
Dr. Block recommends that all dogs with ear infections, open wounds, skin infections, and infections in the urinary tract should not be subjected to hydrotherapy until they are completely healed and cleared by their veterinary doctors.
Excessive tiredness will not occur if the pet is monitored closely when he’s in the water. Dr. Kern recommends that pets must be pulled out of the water once they become stressed as stress and anxiety only increases their heart rate and blood pressure.