Dog Hydrotherapy for healthy dogs?

SadKen

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I took Sirius, my 2yo GSD mountain biking yesterday (he ran, he can't pedal) and he ended up having a little swim in the lake! It's the first time he's ever swum, although he has gone in water before, and likes playing in it. I mentioned to OH that it might be nice to take him to a nearby hydrotherapy pool.

Is it just for dogs with health problems (my lad has none). Also is the pool chlorinated? He has drunk sea water before resulting in a condition that has since become known as 'sea belly' in connection with 'the dreadful sea belly incident of 2012' where he swallowed some seawater in Lynmouth when we took him on holiday, and threw up in the pub's beer garden, to my eternal shame. It would be awful if he tried to drink chlorinated water. I do tell him off, but I can't really stop him taking a bit in!

Do you take your dog in yourself, or does someone else do it for you?

Finally, I presume it's good exercise? He is mega, mega fit - I did 12 miles on a mountain bike with him running alongside on Saturday, and another 8 yesterday and he wasn't even tired. I'd quite like him to be tired, even if just once, and swimming did seem to reduce the excitement level a bit!

Would love to hear others' experiences before I decide to take him.
 

tillysmum

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Will watch this thread with interest, there is a hydrotherapy pool near me soon and am thinking my 5 month old JRT might like it.
 

Teaselmeg

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I take my Teasel for hydro once a fortnight, just for muscle building, she loves it. Lots of dogs go for hydro for recreation .
 

NikkiF

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No reason you can't take him just for fun and fitness building. It's much better for them as the water is heated.

I take my oldie regularly for his arthritis, and apparently showing people take their dogs to get the muscle tone, agility people for fitness, so all sorts!

Your dog is taken in the pool by trained personnel, they get in with them, floating toys are used to make it more fun.

As for the chlorination, I've never noticed that 'swimming pool' smell!

So go for it and let's see the piccies !!
 

mynutmeg

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My girl goes regularly as she is very arthritic now but our other dogs come along and join in - they do love it. I have friends that take them jsut for the exercise as it's very good exercise with no joint impact.

I know the pool we use is treated but doesn't smell of cholrine or anything like that, our guys do drink the water with no ill effect. The girl that runs it goes in the pool with them and they have balls etc thrown to make it fun (our love going) then at the end of the session they get a full bath with shampoo / conditioner and then a towel/blow dry.

This is one of my mom's tibetian's first sessions swimming - he's not a particularly natural water dog unlike the collie!
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/1ktifjzzhg3kvnl/oygsCs7TZz

Swimming1_zps82a888f6.jpg


Swimming3_zps810f9a50.jpg
 

blackcob

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One of mine went weekly as part of rehab following a cruciate op and continues to go once a fortnight just for fittening and exercise as she does various sports. We use a water treadmill rather than a pool so only the dog gets wet! :) The water used for the treadmill isn't chlorinated, it's just filtered of dog hair as it's slurped back up into the tank and is presumably changed regularly.
 

Calcyle

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Yes, hydrotherapy is still great for dogs who don't have health issues, and lots of dogs do just go for 'fun swims'. Pools will be chlorinated, and generally levels monitored very closely. Both NARCH and CHA members will have had training in pool maintenance, which should be to a high standard. Dogs rarely 'drink' the water, but some obviously end up swallowing a bit, though most therapists will try to minimise the amount this happens.
Who goes in the pool does vary a bit by centre - I prefer places where the therapist gets in the pool with the dog, it allows for the best control over the situation. Some centres will have just the dog in the pool, and the therapist outside of it, generally with the dog attached to a harness. Lastly, I have heard of a centre or two, which I'd hesitate to call hydrotherapy centres, and are more 'swimming pools for dogs', where owners just get in the pool with the dog and have a splash a round. Fun, I'm sure, but I doubt the therapeutic value!
For a dog doing fitness swimming, I'd prefer a larger pool (they vary hugely in size), which would allow for some free swimming. Generally the owner gets involved in either walking circles around the pool, or throwing toys.

Drying also depends on the centre - some places will request you bring some towels and give them a quick rubdown before leaving, other places will rinse and thoroughly dry your dog for you.

I'd say go for it, it has so many benefits for them, especially if they really enjoy it.
 

milo'n'molly

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I swim my dog a lot through the summer, he is very fit and active and I have found swimming is the only thing that really tires him out. I like it because it flattens his energy levels without hammering his legs. I have looked into getting him a vest so he doesn't get too cold in the cooler temperatures but I'm considering taking him to a hydrotherapy pool for the winter months to keep his fitness up.
 

paulineh

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Hydrotherapy is good for any animal whether they have a problem or not. One of my dogs goes for a health problem the other two just for fun.

I have even seen a cat in the pool having a lovely swim.

This is my boy having a session in the pool

 
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Leo Walker

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I've had my 2 out today for a walk round the lake and a swim. Both are absolutely shattered! And thats from 10 or so shhrt retrieves. Mine arent racing fit which they have been in the past, but they are way fitter than a lot of pet dogs. They run 5k 4 or 5 times a week and can go out for a few hours on a weekend and they gallop pretty much the whole time. Swimming tires them out like no amount of walking does, so must be good for fitness :)
 
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