Frequently Asked Questions about Hydrotherapy

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is controlled exercise that takes place in warm water. This offers a weightless environment avoiding stresses to limbs, tendons and joints.

What are the benefits?

Swimming in warm water allows the body to achieve increased mobility in stiff or sore joints and helps to build muscle mass around the affected area. Swimming sessions also provide mental stimulation and help prevent depression in a dog which has restricted movement.

What breed of dog may swim?

All breeds can benefit and all are welcome. We cater for all, from the smallest Chihuahuas to the largest Newfoundlands.

What results should I expect?

Hydrotherapy improves fitness; in most cases it reduces lameness and improves the general well-being of the dog. You should expect a healthier, livelier, more supple and content pet.

How often should my dog swim?

This depends on your dog's level of fitness and condition. In the early stages of treatment we recommend twice a week. This may reduce to once a week or less as the response to hydrotherapy improves.

Will the chlorine harm my dog?

No, we regularly check and adjust our water to ensure that the chlorine level is within the recommended guidelines for human pools. This ensures that the pool water is hygienic and completely safe for your dog to swim in. A shower is given after their swim. Many owners tell us that their dog's coat condition improves after a few sessions. Canine hydrotherapy pools have used chlorine safely for many years.

Do I need my vet's permission to swim my dog?

Yes. We (and the Law) require our Clients to confirm their Vet has no objections to hydrotherapy as a treatment for the dog's condition. This means that we can help your dog in the best possible way. This is because we will know your dogs exact problem, if your dog is swimming for fitness or weight loss we must know that he has no heart problems. All this means that we require confirmation from your Vet explaining any medical conditions or injuries.

Can my dog come for Hydrotherapy without a referral?

We must understand your dog's condition and fitness level. We can then offer a treatment program tailored to your dog's needs. Your Vet must confirm they agree to the dog swimming with us.

What temperature is the pool?

We keep the pool at an average temperature of 27 Centigrade. This ensures optimum muscle relaxation and blood vessel dilation to enable maximum benefit from the pool's weightless environment. Our spa is heated to 37 Centigrade.

Will my dog be dried after a session?

Yes, we dry every dog.

My dog swims in a river or the sea isn't this just as good?

A nearby river or the sea may seem the obvious place for your dog to swim but it isn't necessarily the best environment and there can be hidden dangers. It is not possible to monitor the amount of exercise they do, there may be strong tides or currents, slippery banks and of course pollution and rubbish to contend with. A dog can be a good swimmer but if caught in a cold current it is not as buoyant as you might hope, if your dog gets into difficulties it may not be possible for you to reach him quickly. Outdoor water is usually cold, which restricts blood flow in muscles and can lead to cramps which is counter-productive to healing.

What time and days are available?

The pool is open six days per week and also some evenings on an appointment basis only. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

What results will I see?

Feedback from the owner and/or vet is essential in gauging the progress being made. Generally though you will see fitness improve, lameness reduce, condition of the coat and general well being improve and a long nap after each swim!

Is it suitable for older dogs?

Very much so it can lead to a new "lease of life" when well managed. Age is no limit to Hydrotherapy - we have dogs coming from 5 months up to 16 years old!