Humans have been swimming for centuries, but bringing our dogs to the pool for hydrotherapy is a newer phenomenon. In recent years, it has become increasingly common for veterinarians and board-certified veterinary surgeons to recommend hydrotherapy for certain conditions that can benefit from the low-impact exercise it provides. It has also become more popular with pet owners as a recreational activity. The bottom line is, yes! Hydrotherapy is beneficial for dogs for many reasons.
One of the reasons you might take your dog to hydrotherapy is that it was recommended to you by your veterinarian or board-certified veterinary surgeon following surgery. Care for dogs with ACL tears or other orthopedic injuries can include hydrotherapy as a means to promote healing and maintain strength and muscle mass in the affected area.
Whether hydrotherapy is right for your dog after an injury needs to be determined by your primary veterinarian or board-certified veterinary surgeon. It is not recommended that you attempt hydrotherapy at home for any reason other than recreation. When it comes to managing injuries with hydrotherapy, the best option is usually an underwater treadmill because the dog will be supervised by professionals, and they will be in control of the treadmill’s speed as well as the water’s depth. They can tailor your dog’s hydrotherapy to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of further injury or strain.
Another reason hydrotherapy is great for dogs is that it is great for physical conditioning and injury prevention. The presence of water offers a low-impact workout that helps strengthen the body without excess strain. While this is a good option for overall conditioning and strengthening a dog’s core muscles, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does point out that these exercises do not target specific muscles and are instead better for general conditioning and providing a strong cardiovascular workout.
Hydrotherapy is also a great option for low-impact exercise. Dogs who may need this include dogs that are overweight and dogs with arthritis, who are at risk of injury when doing high-impact exercises such as running or jumping. In both of these cases, having your dog brought in for hydrotherapy can be a great way to offer gentle and comfortable exercise without causing excess pain to their joints. For overweight dogs, it has the added benefit of assisting in their weight-loss regimen.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.