At Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center, we know just how helpful hydrotherapy can be for dogs, but we also know that many owners are not aware of this beneficial therapy yet. Located inside the Central Animal Hospital, at TBK9 we help dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages heal from injuries and surgeries, and well as lose weight the healthy way. We are dedicated to helping pooches live happier and healthier lives, and we know that starts with educated owners!
What is Hydrotherapy?
Humans have been using water therapy for hundreds of years; the first animals to utilize it were race horses and greyhounds. However it soon expanded to treat a variety of conditions for all dogs. All hydrotherapy is done in a heated pool that is generally smaller and shallower than a normal pool. Many will have a ramp and some kind of hoist to get the pooch in and out; at the Tampa Bay K9 Rehab Center we also use an underwater treadmill for therapy.
Hydrotherapy for dogs is used in place of many painful weight bearing exercises, and has been shown to speed up recovery while slowing down the progression of degenerative diseases. It is also a great way for overweight pups to exercise without hurting themselves!
How Can My Dog Benefit?
There are a variety of ways that hydrotherapy can benefit your pup’s overall health, especially if they just underwent surgery or if they are injured. It has been proven to help dogs suffering from orthopedic problems, joint pain/injuries, chronic pain, hip dysplasia, circulation issues, tendon and ligament injuries, and with post-surgery rehabilitation.
This type of practice is great for strengthening muscles without experiencing the stressful shocks that bones and joints feel with every step. While normally this shock is what builds healthy and strong bones, they can cause a lot of damage to joints with arthritis or ones that are recovering from surgery. Because water offers a higher resistance, the muscles around the joints will grow stronger, since they will work harder than they would on land.
The warm water and the gentle movements increase circulation and flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles. The more oxygen tissues have, the faster they heal. Better circulation will also lessen swelling around an injured area.
If your pup seems to be in pain with every step, hydrotherapy could be extremely beneficial for pain relief. The water buoyancy reduces the weight on their joints. Reduced weight lessens pain and allows for an increased range of motion during exercises. More range of motion ensures your pup will be able to move freely on land once they are healthy again!
Hydrotherapy exercises use 30% more oxygen than land-based exercises, which creates a higher demand for nutrients by the body. To meet this need, your dog’s heart will need to start working harder. While this form of exercise is gentle on joints and bones, it is definitely a great muscular and cardiovascular workout! Because there is no chance your pup could slip or injure themselves further, this is a great way to exercise.
Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center
At the Tampa Bay K9 Rehab Center, our focus is helping dogs live happier, more comfortable lives. No one likes to see their pet in pain. However, our hydrotherapy sessions are a great way to help your pup feel more like themselves again.
Since 2004 we have been helping the dogs of Tampa Bay feel better, and we want to help you too! If you think your pup could benefit from any of our therapy services, contact us online or call us today at 727-521-3518.