Aquatic Therapy For Your Senior Dog
Some animal hospitals now have aquatic therapy for your pet. It is a good therapy to use during the rehabilitation process. Since Fido is weightless in water this therapy can be started earlier than other therapies. Just as for humans, it is low impact exercise that is good therapy. It is a better therapy for obese patients and after operations of an orthopedic nature, and osteoarthritic dogs or ones with neurological conditions.
It is done with the use of an underwater treadmill or a swimming pool. The hydro-treadmill can be used earlier than other therapies. It is a safer therapy that helps Fido get his muscles back into shape and the warm water soothes his muscles. His range of motion is improved and his endurance is increased. Because he is exercising in water his joints aren't stressed as much by his weight. Thus, pain, inflammation, and tissue injury are lessened.
The underwater treadmills used are made for dogs and they are calibrated. Thus, resistance, speed and temperature are controlled to be suitable for a canine. The buoyancy is also controlled so that the individual dog is weightless. When the dog is weightless the bones and joints are decompressed. So your pet can do more exercise, but feel less pain.
The belt of the treadmill moves in the water. Thus Fido can walk in his normal posture. The water level can be increased or decreased while he is walking. But more water equals more resistance. The speed can be adjusted so that he can start out walking, continue to running, and go to jogging. Hydrotherapy also gives your pet a psychological boost. When dogs are recumbent, not able to stand on their own weight without help it has a bad emotional effect on them. During hydrotherapy they can stand on their own and it makes them happier, which translates to recovering faster.
This is a very good way for older dogs to exercise. The resistance of the water and contact of the dog's paw on the treadmill promotes bone density. This is because it allows enough concussion, which is required to build bone density. It is good for conditioning in that it promotes cardiovascular health, develops muscles, it is relaxing, helps your dog attain peak performance, and it retrains his muscles.