Hydrotherapy is a great tool that dog owners can use to help their beloved pups manage different health issues or simply maintain a good lifestyle. While there is nothing cuter than watching a little dog paddle around a pool, the activity does come with plenty of benefits. The only negative is having to deal with a soggy doggy at the end of it, so be armed with a towel and dry shampoo, to mask that wet smell.
We all know that magical weightlessness feeling that comes from having a dip in the pool, thanks to the buoyancy effect. For dogs, this means that they can get their exercise or simply relax without the weight and strain on their muscles and joints. With increased circulation and a little bit of pressure from the water, it can also reduce swelling. It’s particularly good for dogs with conditions that cause them pain when moving.
If the water is warm, this will automatically help your pup’s blood circulation. However, the ability for your dog to move around so freely and comfortably will allow blood to move a lot easier, which really helps with dogs that live a more sedentary lifestyle.
If your dog is not very fit and is struggling to get about, hydrotherapy allows him to get all the exercise that he needs, while raising his fitness and overall health. The weight of the extra fat and the strain on the muscles will not be as great in the water as on land, meaning that even the most immobile dogs have the chance to get moving and enjoy a little run.
As with humans, water, warm or cold, can have a list of benefits for the health of our heart. Hearts and lungs will work a lot harder in the water, especially when exercise is involved. With hydrotherapy, this could be either swimming or using a treadmill immersed in water. Essentially your pup’s whole cardiovascular and respiratory system will get a deep work out, while in a safe environment.
With any workout, we need to use our muscles. Even taking our dogs for a walk can help them gain strength. For some dogs it’s not that easy but water can provide a chance for muscles to grow. We all know that water can be a bit tricky to walk in, as you can feel the pressure and resistance going against your legs. While it can be a strange sensation, it can become an intense workout and be more effective than if you were to walk on dry land.
Always remember to talk to a vet before taking your dog to a hydrotherapy session, as with introducing anything new to your little friend, it’s vital that you ensure that there are minimal risks. For more information on hydrotherapy, visit the Canine Hydrotherapy Association.