Nobody wants to see their dog in pain, so we will often do everything we can to help them get through their problems. As dogs get older or if they become injured, many may need to go through rehab in order to get back on their feet and regain their strength. Even overweight dogs can benefit from certain rehabs and therapies. One such therapy that is becoming more common for dogs is hydrotherapy through the use of underwater treadmills. There are several benefits that your dog can receive from undergoing hydrotherapy.
What is a Hydrotherapy Treadmill?
A hydrotherapy treadmill is a unit that contains a treadmill that is placed underwater. Generally, this unit may look like an aquarium, filled with water to a certain level. At the bottom, a conveyor type system operates a treadmill. This is a waterproof design so that the treadmill can function normally underwater. These units can usually be heated so that the water stays at a comfortable level.
What are the benefits of Hydrotherapy Treadmills?
Because water is buoyant and provides a strong level of resistance, a dog can work his joints and muscles without fighting against gravity. This minimizes the amount of stress that may be placed on the joints with regular therapy. Overweight dogs may be in pain simply from walking because of the added load on their joints. With hydrotherapy, they can get the proper amount of exercise without suffering from overworked joints.
The benefits of hydrotherapy aren’t just for overweight dogs, however. Dogs who have recently had surgery or are recovering from injuries may benefit from easing back into their range of motion through the use of hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy provides a safe, comfortable exercise that allows the dogs to regain their muscles and strengthen their joints without risking further injury.
It can also be useful for arthritic dogs or canines that have suffered from neurological conditions. These dogs can slowly learn to walk again. If their muscles can’t yet support them, they will not fall down painfully. Instead, they will be able to take advantage from the low impact of the water tank.
For all dogs undergoing rehab, the warm water helps to promote blood circulation. This is good for overall health but can especially help dogs who have had problems with muscle soreness or spasms. These benefits aren’t confined to the muscles, however. Improved circulation also helps reduce the amount of pain that dogs may have in their joints.
Hydrotherapy doesn’t have to be used only for recovering dogs. Dogs who participate in athletic competitions can use hydrotherapy as a way to improve muscle strength and fine tune their bodies to be more able to perform their tasks. It can also be used as a preventative measure after competitions to reduce swelling and inflammation that may arise from being overworked.
Hydrotherapy tanks can be customized based on every specific dog’s needs. The water can be set to different heights and the temperature can be controlled to make the dog more comfortable. The resistance and speed of the treadmill can be altered based on the dog’s strength level and adjusted as progress is made.