Water Therapy Service for Dogs

Like humans, a pet is often prone to physical ailments. Arthritis and hip dysplasia are common in many canines, while Obesity remains common in both canines and felines. Therapy has been proven to reduce physical pain and ailments in pets.

Water therapy service for dogs is specially designed to treat obesity and different forms of bone ailments in dogs.

Pet therapy service

Not to be mistaken with Animal Assisted Therapy, Pet therapy service is specifically designed for the pets. Pet therapy is a human-assisted treatment designed for pets as an intensive therapy session for various ailments, weight loss, physiological diagnosis, and treatment.

According to a study by the Association for pet obesity prevention, 56% of the pet dogs in the USA are overweight in 2017. Among them, 19.6% are suffering from obesity. Overweight is not only the problem in itself but also the cause of many problems in both humans and animals. Well planned diet, proper exercise, and regular health checkup is the key to healthy pets.

Every veterinary and pet hospital should be equipped with therapists and water therapy services for dogs.  They should be well prepared to rehabilitate major pet problems such as:

  • Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gait Abnormalities
  • Bone and Joint Injuries

Importance of pet therapy service

Pet Therapy service has both physical and mental benefits for pets. From reducing physical pain to gaining confidence, pet therapy has larger implications on pet health.

  • Depression and anxiety are common in pets with arthritis. The difficulty in movement often reduces endorphin (any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions including happiness). Intensive therapy can help dogs move freely which can certainly improve their mood.
  • Along with increasing endorphin, pet therapy can help decrease feelings of isolation and alienation. They will be encouraged to communicate with other animals and humans.
  • The decrease in anxiety, boredom, and increase in exercise can improve the overall health of the dog.
  • In the case of obesity, water therapy can help reduce the unnecessary weight by intensive underwater exercise. This has proven to be helpful to many overweight dogs and cats.

Water therapy service for dogs

Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is a technique of reducing weight within a short duration. Water therapy implies two different methods of reducing weight: exercising in the swimming pool and the underwater treadmill.

Water induced therapy in the swimming pool helps dogs to play and engage in an exercise in the swimming pool, whereas, the underwater treadmill is a focused therapy applied to reduce weight or treat physical ailments such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Hydrotherapy originally began as a treatment for humans in ancient times. It later expanded to include animals too. The first instance of the therapy saw benefits among racehorses as well as racing Greyhounds.

Various therapies used in the present-day treatment employ water jets, underwater massage and mineral baths (e.g. balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine therapy, Kneipp treatments, Scotch hose, Swiss shower, and thalassotherapy)

About pool therapy

The pool tends to be smaller than a human swimming pool and is heated. A dog's muscles benefit from the warming effects of the heated water. Most pools are equipped with a ramp for entry and exit and some have harnessed to maintain the dog in position in the water. Water is chlorinated or treated with an alternative chemical. Some have jets to add resistance and make the dog swim more strongly.

Benefits of Water Therapy Service for Dogs

The many benefits of water therapy service for dogs include:

  • Hydrotherapy helps in relieving pain and strengthen or re-training muscles. The dog is effectively weightless when swimming which helps to minimize pain and enforce the strengthening of muscles or bones.
  • It encourages a full range of joint motion, thus improving muscle tone without imposing unnecessary stress on damaged tissues.
  • It also helps your dog lose unnecessary body weight by encouraging regular exercise.
  • It helps dogs to recover from the injury or surgery.
  • It can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis due to old age. The water buoyancy helps to reduce joint swelling, stress on muscles and bones, etc.
  • The older dogs tend to experience sadness and fear, especially when their ailing health causes pain. The support of water and relief from pain promotes a sense of safety and well-being in them.

Why you should perform a water therapy service?

The hydrotherapy technique has been applied to animals since the 18th Century. It is one of the most effective forms of alternative treatment.

The water is denser than the air, thus making it 5x more effective for the exercise. The intensive exercise can help lose more weight through water therapy in a very short time. Although water therapy is mostly implemented for weight loss, it has many other health benefits. Regular water therapy helps maintain fitness, strength, and condition of body. Being in shape and good health will help reduce future medical costs.

Water buoyancy makes it possible for dogs with joint problems to exercise without any pressure. It is very useful for joint and limb problems.

Water therapy can help in healing after surgery or injury. It makes it easier for muscle mass development and muscle strength in necessary body parts. Water therapy, usually warm water, improves circulation and lymphatic drainage. It reduces swelling, increases mobility and relaxes the muscle.

It increases the metabolism in the body. It helps to digest the food and absorb all the nutrients and spread throughout the body.

Real news about “water therapy service for dogs”

The news was covered by ABC7 Chicago.

Montana beagle named 'Pearl' weighed 50 pounds. Within one year, she lost 20-25 pounds thanks to hydrotherapy.

Pearl's owner said, "She weighed 50 pounds, unable to walk more than 4 to 5 steps before her legs would give out. She had a dislocated hip that prevented her from being able to walk well."

Initially, she was only able to exercise 45 seconds along with many breaks in between. However, after sessions six days a week, he built up the endurance to swim for 15 minutes.

Pearl has Cushing's disease hence she has to follow a strict diet but enjoys a treat now and again.

Pet Care Service in Des Moines

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier veterinary specializing in pet care service in Des Moines. We offer different forms of pet therapy services such as canine massage, Low-Level Laser Therapy, different range of motion exercise, aqua paws underwater treadmill, magnetic field therapy, hydrotherapy - In the ground endless pool with swim current.

Our therapists perform special weight loss programs. Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort for the best pet care service in Des Moines.

All About Canine Therapy

We know dogs as our friend, family member or even as police dogs. But, do you know they have been serving humans as therapy assistants, too? 

Canine therapy is the guided interaction between a person and a dog with the goal of comforting and increasing joy in a person with mental or physical health condition. The patients may learn to give command to the dogs, play with them or pet and care for him. Therapists observe their actions and behavior with the dog and use them for in other situations and further treatment. 

Why Dogs for Therapy?

Question might raise, why to use dogs for therapy when there are well educated and experienced people in therapeutic interventions? Like other animals, dogs are comforting, accepting and non-judgmental. Canine therapy is particularly beneficial when the patient is resistant to treatment and struggles for verbal communication. It's also very useful in treating children and teenagers with problem in focus. 

Therapy Dogs

Any dog can be a therapy dog as long as s/he is well tempered, obedient, well socialized and loves to cheer others up. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training before working with patients. They work with the people with special conditions, for example people with learning difficulties, in special places such as, hospital, nursing home, hospices, schools, stressful conditions and disaster areas. 

Types of Therapy Dogs

Generally, there are three types of therapy dogs.

Therapeutic Visitation Dogs

These are household pets. The pet guardians make time to take them to place of need in scheduled times. Patients in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers love to play with them. The visitation from their canine companion brightens up their day, comfort them and motivate them to uplift their self esteem. 

Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs

These dogs usually live in rehabilitation centers and assist physical and occupational therapists. They are a major part of the therapy and each of them have goals in individual's recovery such as, gaining motion in limbs, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor control.

Facility Therapy Dogs

These dogs are trained particularly to work with the patients with Alzheimer's disease or other mental illnesses in nursing home. They live in the facility and are handled by trained member of the staff. 

Benefits of canine therapy

Anyone can benefit from dog's companionship, their unconditional love and care. Being with them for just some minutes is enough to overcome a whole day of stress and tension. Likewise, or more, people with special mental or physical conditions have been benefited by therapy dogs in many streams. 

  • Improved motor skills and joint movement 
  • Improved dependent or independent movements and increased physical activity
  • Decreased stress and relief from anxiety and depression
  • Increased focus and attention through hands-on interaction
  • Improved communication and social skills
  • Learning the appropriate way to treat themselves and others
  • Unconditional love, affection and nurturing
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Elevated mood
  • Reduced loneliness and enhanced sense of purpose
  • Setting and respecting boundaries
  • Motivation to stay in treatment and participate fully in therapy

Who Should Consider Canine Therapy?

Canine therapy can be useful for:

  • people undergoing chemotherapy
  • residents in long-term care facilities
  • people hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • children having physical or dental procedures
  • stroke victims and people undergoing physical therapy to regain motor skills
  • people with mental health disorders
  • people involved in substance abuse 
  • people with attachment issue

Risk of Canine Therapy

  • While uncommon, safety can be an issue with canine. If used unsuitable dog, it can harm the patients.
  • On the other hand, risk is always there that the patients with mental condition and bad temper can harm the dog.
  • The handler and guardian should always be careful about sanitation and cleanliness of the dog.
  • Some people might be allergic to dog dander, which can some time create serious medical issue.
  • People tend to be attached to things easily. Sometimes, the patients refuse to be detached from the canine companion. This sometimes, leads to low self-esteem and depression.