Hydrotherapy for Dogs

a white labrador gets canine hydrotherapy in an Original Endless Pool

Increasingly, humans get prescribed hydrotherapy after surgery or to treat certain conditions. Hydrotherapy minimizes the impact of gravity and weight on the joints, which decreases pain; so in water, we can do exercises to speed the recovery process that are too difficult on dry land. Unsurprisingly, hydrotherapy is beneficial for dogs too!

Hydrotherapy benefits animals in the same ways that it benefits humans. A veterinarian might prescribe hydrotherapy for your dog after surgery or a diagnosis for an ailment, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. The buoyancy of the water lowers the impact of movement on the joints; when walking on dry land might cause a dog pain, canine hydrotherapy gives dogs the chance to be mobile.

Proper hydrotherapy exercise can:

  • Keep dogs active and healthy
  • Get dogs off otherwise necessary pain medication
  • Improve tissue healing and relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness, thanks to the increased circulation with warm-water hydrotherapy
  • Build muscle without strain, especially for dogs with mobility impairments
canine hydrotherapy in the Commercial Endless Pool at Mississippi State University
At Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, they've had a Commercial Endless Pool for canine hydrotherapy since 2012! That put them way ahead of the curve: in most places, hydrotherapy for dogs can be difficult to find, despite its many health benefits.

Gus Gets Moving

Hydrotherapy can have profound impacts on man’s best friend. Gus, a 9-year-old Boxer, was paralyzed after a stroke. He had to be carried to his first hydrotherapy appointment. However, after just a few sessions, he was running again – and excited to get into the pool!

Even though hydrotherapy has such great results for dogs, it can be very difficult to find a canine-friendly facility. While a human interested in aquatic therapy might just go to their local YMCA, dogs don’t have that option. Canine hydrotherapy is starting to become more popular, but few facilities are available for them, at least not yet.

Canine Hydrotherapy in Big Sky Country

Montana dog-lover Varen Chapman had this same issue. Her solution was to install an Original Endless Pool® in her garage and hang out her shingle as Montana Water Dogs, a canine aquatic therapy facility. She's been offering canine hydrotherapy for over 15 years now!

With her canine hydrotherapy pool kept heated to 86 degrees, it is the perfect environment to allow the dogs' muscles to relax. The best part is that the Endless Pools’ advanced filtration system makes it easy to keep the pool clean and sanitary for her four-legged patients … and for herself.

canine hydrotherapy in the Original Endless Pool at Montana Water Dogs
When Varen Chapman couldn't find a canine therapy pool near home, she installed this Original Endless Pool in her garage. Her home business, Montana Water Dogs, has provided canine hydrotherapy since 2003. 

Choosing Your Canine Hydrotherapy Pool

What if your furry friend is afraid of swimming? Luckily, an Endless Pool makes it easy for dogs to get comfortable in the water.

The Original Endless Pool features built-in benches surrounding the perimeter of the pool. That permits medium-to-large dogs to stand up in the water and get properly adjusted before doing any exercises. For smaller dogs, you can choose to add steps leading down to the bench.

The pool's compact size and adjustable swim current make it easier to keep dogs controlled and calm. With a built-in temperature control system, you can ensure that your dog is getting hydrotherapy comfortably and at an appropriate temperature for their specific condition.

If you’re wondering if your dog could benefit from hydrotherapy, consult your veterinarian at your next appointment. Or decide if a therapy pool for the whole family, human and otherwise, is right for your home.

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Teamwork at Montana Water Dogs!!!

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I love keeping this boy strong and balanced. I get to work with him every Friday.

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