Hydrotherapy is a form of therapy that utilizes water to provide buoyancy, stability, and hydrostatic pressure. These components are good for the post-operative, arthritic, neurologic, debilitated, and/or geriatric dogs.
Hydrotherapy is great for athletic dogs because they benefit from the resistance created by the water and a total body strengthening! The underwater treadmill is also a great tool to exercise young dogs that are injured or dogs that need rehabilitation from surgery.
What Are The Benefits of Hydrotherapy?
WARMTH of the water (28°C-32°C) helps relax muscles, decrease pain and muscle spasm, and increases range of motion. The warm water also prevents small dogs from getting cold.
HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE of the water reduces swelling by creating a perpendicular pressure to the body and limbs, thus reducing any existing edema in the limbs of the body during exercise.
RESISTANCE of the water promotes maximum muscle use, increased joint range of motion and minimum pain during exercise. The resistance can also provide for a more intense work out as heart rate and oxygen consumption can be greater when working in water as compared to land.
BOUYANCY of the water decreases the concussive forces on bones and joints during exercise. In dogs with weakness and poor balance and co-ordination, the buoyancy of the water provides assistance, as 60 – 80% of the dog’s body weight can be supported by the water.