Even though it’s commonly used by humans, hydrotherapy which is a certain kind of swimming therapy meant for rehabilitation is gaining popularity among pooch owners as well. You can now use canine hydrotherapy at home to rehabilitate your furry friend, considering the various benefits that come with this low-impact type of exercise.
Such an exercise is not only beneficial to ailing dogs but healthy ones as well especially when seeking exercise options for your pooch. Canine hydrotherapy pools are specially designed for dogs, and as such differ from human hydrotherapy pools and swimming pools alike. As such, you do not want to create one for your dog as a DIY project, or even worse put Fido in a human hydrotherapy pool.
You can, however, consider purchasing a canine hydrotherapy pool for your dog and having it installed in your home. Before making such a decision, however, it would be a great idea to equip yourself with some knowledge about the subject. So let’s get down to business and discuss what you need to know:
What sorts of dogs can benefit from hydrotherapy?
Several dogs can benefit from hydrotherapy, including:
1. Young growing dogs
In cases where your growing dog has some developmental conditions, it would be a good idea to engage them in canine hydrotherapy at home to try and keep the issues at bay for as long as you can.
2. Obese dogs
Hydrotherapy is also recommended for obese dogs, as it helps in weight loss when combined with moderate exercise, and a healthy diet.
3. Dogs with arthritis
The water used in hydrotherapy pools allows for buoyancy which is so beneficial as far as alleviating pressure and weight is concerned. That way, a pooch with joint issues can exercise without having to experience unbearable pains.
4. General fitness
As stated earlier, your dog does not have to be experiencing a health issue to benefit from canine hydrotherapy at home. Hydrotherapy for canines can be used for general health benefits, in conjunction with other exercises.
5. Aging dogs
Senior dogs might not have so much energy to engage in high-impact activities, which is why hydrotherapy would be a good form of exercise for them.
6. Additional conditions
Hydrotherapy is also recommended for several other canine conditions such as:
- Surgery recovery
- Preparing for surgery
- Limited mobility
- Chronic pain
- Fear of water
- Spinal Stenosis
- Luxating Patella
- Hip or Elbow Dysplasia, and several other conditions that require low-intensity exercises.
If your dog has any of the above conditions, it can be a good idea to engage them in canine hydrotherapy at home. All you need to do is fill the pool with warm water and salts or medications if need be.
How to choose a canine hydrotherapy pool
You will need a pool for canine hydrotherapy at home, and since that there are lots of products to choose from, it would be best to consider the following:
1. Permanent or not?
You can opt to go in-ground with a custom pool built to fit the properties you’ve specified. That, however, means that you might be making a permanent decision, which is why it’s better to opt for such a pool if you don’t have any plans to move in the future.
2. Preformed fiberglass pool
Another option you have is to go for a fiberglass pool, but be sure that you want it since it’s also quite permanent. Also keep in mind that some of these pools cannot empty as a result of their design, and will, therefore, need to be drained using other means if cleaning is required.
You might also need to put such a pool in a cement vault to prevent it from popping up when there is groundwater – a common problem with preformed fiberglass pools.
3. Swim Spas
This is a good option considering that it’s portable, just in case you want to move house. Another significant benefit of this kind of canine therapy pool is that it’s quite easy to empty, clean, and refill.
However, you might need to take your time on this one since it not so easy to get one with good access for your pooch. See to it that the one you choose has easy entry steps as well as benches so that Fido can feel comfortable using it.
4. Above-ground liners
These rise above the ground and use a waterproofing membrane made of vinyl. The walls require support from behind so that they won’t bow from the weight of water. Nevertheless, they are an excellent option for someone who needs a portable canine therapy pool for their home. Besides, they are cheaper than the alternatives. Cleaning the pool is, however, not such an easy task as it lacks water flow.
Benefits of installing a canine hydrotherapy pool at home
Canine hydrotherapy at home is not an impossible thing to achieve as long as you have the funds and space. Besides, installing such a pool comes with some benefits that include:
- No appointments – A canine hydrotherapy pool gives you the advantage of accessing dog therapy from the comfort of your home whenever you wish to. That means that you won’t have to make any appointments or even transport Fido to a treatment center like RA Healing Centre that offers such a service.
- Customization – Another significant benefit of installing a canine hydrotherapy pool at home is that you can have it designed uniquely to accommodate the needs of your pooch. Your goal should be to tailor the build according to what will work best for your pet.
- Health safety – This is perhaps the best reason for canine hydrotherapy at home, depending on what your concerns and preferences are. Ensuring that your dog(s) uses a private hydrotherapy pool eliminates the possibility of your furry friend picking up infections or even an illness from a public facility.
Most dog owners resort to using shared hydrotherapy pools as that seems to be a sensible and cost-effective solution in the long run. Canine hydrotherapy at home is, however, the best thing you can ever do for your pooch if you have the capability. Even though making such a decision might cost a fortune, and require special skills to use the pool, it’s totally worth it in most cases.