We get the word “hydrotherapy” from Greek roots which translates to “water healing. It’s a popular form of occupational and physiotherapy typically used in humans recovering from injuries or experiencing chronic pain.
If we can reap such benefits, could dogs reap them as well? Let’s find out:
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy for dogs uses properties of water such as buoyancy, resistance, viscosity, and hydrostatic pressure to help injured dogs and dogs suffering from pain. Hydrotherapy is especially beneficial for dogs with conditions such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, torn ACL, degenerative joint disease, paralysis, and lost limbs.
Types of Hydrotherapy
The three main types of hydrotherapy are underwater treadmills, whirlpool therapy, and dog pools. The underwater treadmill is the most popular type which uses a treadmill encased in a chamber. It is then filled to just above the dog’s legs and begins to move slowly. This strengthens joint muscles without the stress of gravity and is ideal for dogs with joint issues and arthritis.
Whirlpool therapy is sort of like a jacuzzi for dogs recovering from surgery or who experience chronic pain. The warm water massages injured muscles and grants relief. Dog Pools utilize water resistance to help improve a dog’s range of motion. The size and the depth of the pool will vary based on the issue.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy for Dogs
The benefits of hydrotherapy for dogs include:
- Pain relief
- Faster recovery time
- Reduced swelling and stiffness
- Muscle strengthening
- Increased blood circulation
- Tissue healing
- Reduction in muscle spasms
- Increased range of motion
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Gait modification