Hydrotherapy provides a non-weight bearing form of exercise. At Snowy’s Canine Therapy Centre, there is a specially designed heated pool, measuring 7mtrs by 4mtrs; heated to a minimum temperature of 29oC. The pool is also equipped with jets providing additional resistance in the pool if required. The water quality is tested a minimum of 3 times a day, maintaining cleanliness and ensuring the water is of the highest standard.
Our hydrotherapy programmes are designed around each individual dog.
The heating of the pool aids in providing comfort, relaxation, and pain relief. In addition, hydrotherapy provides excellent therapy for dogs in need of careful rehabilitation after injury or those suffering with general orthopaedic conditions. The size of our hydrotherapy pool enables dogs to come for fitness and enjoyment swims too.
Hydrotherapy or water therapy is the use of water to relieve discomfort and promote physical wellbeing. The warmth of the water will relax muscles by initiating an expansion of surface blood vessels therefore increasing the skin temperature, which can bring about a decrease in pain and muscle spasm. A dog may have a decreased range of motion; this may be caused due to pain, swelling, or stiffness.
It is an ideal exercise for any dog whether recovering from an injury, on an exercise programme to lose weight or simply to swim for fitness and enjoyment. Many people think “ah well my dog can swim in the local lake”. This has it’s down falls, not only from a safety point of view, as you can never be sure what is in the water, or are able to see how tired the dog may be becoming. It is far better to swim dogs in heated water since cold-water cause’s constriction of the blood vessels near the skin and to the superficial muscles, which may restrict the flow of blood making the muscles less efficient. It is understood, that Hydrotherapy is able to be a natural anti-inflammatory through its ability to reduce tissue swelling.
There are four forces working on a dog immersed in water:
Hydrotherapy is a great way to improve the performance and stamina or your working dog. The performance and stamina can be improved through regular workouts in the pool. A 5-minute swim is equivalent to about a 5 mile walk.
Hydrotherapy uses the properties of water — buoyancy, viscosity, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure this enables the dog to move their joints without the addition of impact. Water makes the body buoyant, so when submerged, the weight of the body is supported. This means the dog is not fighting gravity. The buoyancy of water reduces stress on the joints and this creates a much safer environment for the dog to improve his fitness and maintain muscular strength.
Hydrotherapy is a great addition to their fitness programme, being a non-weight bearing therapy there are numerous benefits such as;
Swimming tones most of the major muscle groups and improves general overall fitness of the dog. Movement in water is more difficult due to the resistance of the water. Water based exercise uses 30% more oxygen than similar land-based exercising. By encouraging pain-free limb movement against this resistance, muscle bulk can be improved.
Under water, the chest is under pressure from the force exerted by the water squeezing inwards. This means that every breath requires more effort – the muscles used, particularly when breathing in, have to work much harder. As any muscle will strengthen with exercise, this improves the whole respiratory system.
The heart has to work harder in order to meet the increased demand for nutrients required by all the muscles, which are being worked.