Did you know as many as 59% of all pets (cats and dogs) are obese?
Over the past ten years, there has been a 169% and 158% rise in the number of overweight cats and dogs.
One way to treat pet obesity is to control their daily diet, but a more effective way is to administer water therapy to lose significant weight in a short time.
In fact, water therapy is equally helpful in treating arthritis, injuries, and aching joints.
Water therapy service is beneficial for a wide range of issues in pets and can be administered to both dogs and cats.
Like humans, animals are often prone to physical and age-related ailments, leading to arthritis, hip dysplasia, and joint aches. However, treating them only with drugs and diet may not suffice; hence, water therapy often comes as a rescue.
Read to find out more about water therapy and how to introduce it to your pet.
What is Water Therapy?
Water Therapy, also known as Hydrotherapy or Hydropathy, refers to any therapeutic use of water to aid or improve health conditions.
A form of physical therapy, it utilizes the buoyancy of water and a series of exercises to improve severe health conditions, mainly obesity, joint ailments, arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.
In fact, it also helps with rehabilitating pets in various health stages, including:
- Post-operative recovery from orthopedic procedures
- Neurological conditions
- Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
- Dogs dealing with pain due to hip dysplasia
- Gait Abnormalities
- Hip and elbow Dysplasia
- Metabolic conditions such as Cushing’s and diabetes, resulting in muscle atrophy
- Paralyzed dogs
- Helping overweight pets get the exercise they need to lose weight
According to Westchester Vet Med Center,
Aquatic therapy utilizes the buoyancy, resistance, viscosity, and hydrostatic pressure of water to help your dog work painful joints and limbs.
Why Water Therapy?
The hydrotherapy technique has been applied to humans since the 18th Century. However, it took a while to adopt it as a canine therapy treatment, which was formalized by the Greyhound racing industry.
Ever since its introduction, it has been known as one of the most effective forms of alternative treatment.
Veterinarians would use water therapy to treat different forms of bone and muscle ailments.
The water is denser than the air, thus making it 5x more effective for exercise, especially for dogs who cannot exercise or move from bone or joint pains.
Water buoyancy makes it possible for dogs with joint problems to exercise without exerting significant pressure on the joints.
It can also help in healing after surgery or injury, making it easier for muscle mass development and muscle strength in necessary body parts.
Hydrotherapy relies on the use of warm water that improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, even reducing swelling and increasing mobility. Moreover, it increases the metabolism in the body, helping to digest the food and absorb essential nutrients.
Today, it has been adopted in the forms of underwater treadmills, dog pools, and doggie whirlpools to administer therapy for different pet-related problems, including obesity.
It has been proven effective in helping reduce the weight of obese pets through exercises conducted in water. The underwater treadmill therapy can help lose more weight in a very short time which is most beneficial for obese dogs and cats.
Veterinarians opine that regular water therapy helps maintain fitness, strength, and condition of the body, preventing unforeseen future medical costs.
Benefits of Water Therapy
The many benefits of water therapy service for dogs include:
- Hydrotherapy helps in relieving pain and strengthening 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 assists in losing unnecessary body weight by encouraging regular exercise.
- It helps dogs to recover from 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 support of water and relief from pain promotes a sense of safety and well-being
Importance of Water Therapy
From reducing physical pain to gaining confidence, pet therapy has larger implications on pet health.
Let us take a look at a few of the unavoidable importance of water therapy.
- Reduces Depression and Anxiety: Depression and anxiety are common in pets with arthritis, where the difficulty in movement often reduces Endorphin (happiness-inducing hormones). Regular water therapy may help lessen it over time.
- Elevates Mood: Intensive water therapy is known to encourage dogs to move freely which improves their mood.
- Beat Alienation: Regular water therapy can help decrease feelings of isolation and alienation.
- Encourage Communication: They will be encouraged to communicate with other animals and humans.
- Improves Overall Health: The decrease in anxiety, boredom, and excess weight will help improve the overall health of the dog.
Water Therapy by Urban Pet Hospital
Urban Pet Hospital located in Urbandale, Iowa specializes in different forms of water therapy to help animals struggling with overweight, joint aches, hip dysplasia, and arthritis.
Our existing water pool is well-facilitated to conduct the underwater exercise and an underwater treadmill.
- Water-induced therapy will help dogs play and engage in forms of exercise in the swimming pool.
- The underwater treadmill is a focused therapy conducted to reduce weight and assist with physical ailments such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Our specialization also ranges from water jet showering to underwater massage, and mineral baths (e.g. balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine therapy, Kneipp treatments, Scotch hose, Swiss shower, and thalassotherapy).
Book an appointment for water therapy by filling up an inquiry form or call up (515) 727 0607 (Normal Office Hours).
If you are wondering, the pool intended for water therapy is big enough for medium or large dogs and is heated.
It is equipped with a ramp for entry and exit, along with a harness to maintain the animal in position in the water. Moreover. the water is chlorinated or treated with an alternative chemical to prevent bacterial or fungal infections.
NEWS: Beagle Named "Pearl" lost 20-25 pounds within one year
This news piece was covered by ABC7 Chicago in 2020.
Montana's beagle named 'Pearl' weighed a whopping 50 pounds. Within one year, she managed to lose 20-25 pounds thanks to hydrotherapy.
The owner claims,
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 for 45 seconds along with many breaks in between.
However, after sessions lasting six days a week, Pearl 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 then.
Water therapy can be an amazing alternative treatment for your pets to save expenses on medications and prevent expensive surgical procedures.
We offer different forms of pet therapy services such as canine massage, Low-Level Laser Therapy, different range of motion exercises, aqua paws underwater treadmill, magnetic field therapy, and hydrotherapy.
Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital Resort, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, to learn more about therapy services.