When humans are ill, they have lots of different treatment options available to them. In addition to receiving a prescription for drugs from their doctor, they might also consider a wide range of alternative therapies and treatments to relieve their symptoms. This is now a trend that is also becoming popular amongst pet owners. Loving owners now often consider alternatives to medication from a vet to help ease the pain and suffering of their beloved pet. One option that is available for dog owners is hydrotherapy for dogs. Here is everything you need to know about dog hydrotherapy.
What is Hydrotherapy for Dogs?
Hydrotherapy is simply a Greek term that means water treatment. Dogs are partially submerged in water as a form of therapy for a wide range of health conditions. The water is used in a variety of ways, depending on the specific problem.
Are There Different Types of Dog Hydrotherapy Available?
There are a variety of different forms of hydrotherapy for dogs and which of these is used will depend on the exact nature of the problem. Some of the different forms of hydrotherapy include whirlpool tubs, dog pools, and underwater treadmills.
How is an Underwater Treadmill Used?
One of the most common forms of dog water treatment is the underwater treadmill. This is a large plastic or glass case with a treadmill inside it. The dog is put on the treadmill and then the tank is filled with water to just above the top of the dog’s legs. When the dog then walks on the treadmill in the water, the water acts as a form of resistance. This is needed to create a low-impact environment in which the dog can strengthen its muscles. It is intended to improve circulation, reduce joint pain, and increase joint flexibility. Underwater treadmills are also used to improve cardiorespiratory endurance and to increase agility, flexibility, the range of motion, and endurance.
How Might Hydrotherapy Help a Dog?
The aim of hydrotherapy is to use the properties of water to benefit various aspects of a dog’s health. The useful properties of water include resistance, buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, and viscosity. If a dog is partially submerged in water, they are in a low-impact environment in which they do not have to fight against gravity. This type of treatment is often used for dogs with joint problems including degenerative joint diseases, dogs that have suffered an injury to their back or limbs, and dogs that have undergone surgery.
The Benefits of Hydrotherapy
The main benefit of hydrotherapy for dogs is that it will relax, strengthen and stimulate the dog. Water therapy can also improve things such as energy levels, coordination, and balance. Furthermore, it can reduce stress and pain that an animal is experiencing. Another known benefit is an improvement in the circulation and this is good for the skin and coat. Hydrotherapy is also believed to improve the immune system, increase lymph drainage, help the body get rid of toxins, improve digestion, and promote weight loss.
Can You Deliver Hydrotherapy Treatment Yourself?
People often wonder if they can give dog’s hydrotherapy treatment themselves by filling either a large container or a bath with water. Another option they consider is taking their pet to the local park so they can swim in the lake. Professionals advise that you should never try to give your dog hydrotherapy treatment yourself.
Dog hydrotherapy is a specialist treatment that should only be delivered by a professional with expert knowledge and experience of delivering this form of therapy. They will have a clear understanding of how the treatment works and which specific techniques will benefit your dog the most.
Trying to deliver dog hydrotherapy yourself is potentially dangerous. It can put the dog in a risky situation where their injuries or health condition mean they are unable to safely exit the water. Encouraging exercise in water when you do not know what you are doing may mean you do more harm or good to the parts of the body that are injured or affected by a health condition.
If you think that your dog would benefit from receiving dog hydrotherapy treatments, then you should consult your vet who will advise you if this is the best treatment option for your dog and refer you to a professional with the appropriate training.