Hydrotherapy for Dogs

You may have heard that swimming is an excellent way to get a workout in. That’s also true for Fido! In fact, water exercises and therapy can be very beneficial for our canine friends. A local Forest Hill, MD vet discusses hydrotherapy in this article.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

Water therapy is good for Fido in several ways. It can help keep him fit, and is a wonderful way for him to get his workout in. This is particularly beneficial with pets that have bone/joint problems, such as arthritis. Aqua therapy can be done year round indoors. This can be a great way to keep your canine pal in shape during winter, when long walks aren’t very appealing due to weather. Hydrotherapy is also a good option for helping chubby pups lose weight safely. Sessions usually last between 10 and 30 minutes, and can be repeated as often as needed.

Uses of Hydrotherapy

As mentioned above, hydrotherapy can be used to help dogs stay in fit. It is also often used to help pooches that are recovering from surgery. Because the water will support Fido’s weight, hydrotherapy can help prevent pets from losing muscle mass when they can’t walk or run very much. This can help reduce or prevent muscle atrophy.

Types of Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy actually encompasses multiple types of water exercise. Each facility may have slightly different setups or equipment, ranging from underwater doggy treadmills to simple pools. Some dogs may be encouraged to fetch balls or do laps, while others may just walk slowly on a treadmill. The temperature of the water may also vary from pup to pup. A pooch with tight muscles may need warm water, while cooler water may be used for pets that are trying to get into shape. Since treatment options are always offered on a case-by-case basis, ask your vet for specific information.


Swimming is very different than walking on an underwater treadmill: it works very different muscles. It’s also important to understand that water therapy may not be the best option for a pup that is afraid of the water and/or unable to swim. That isn’t to say hydrotherapy can’t still help Fido: he just may need a bit of coaching first. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you think your dog could benefit from hydrotherapy? Contact us, your local Forest Hill, MD pet hospital, today!

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