Hydrotherapy for dogs has become very popular as a conservative management for an injury or disease because it stimulates the cardiovascular and lymph systems, strengthens muscles, and allows painful joints to move comfortably.  According to the Canine Hydrotherapy Association, hydrotherapy can also be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis due to old age as the warm water helps reduce joint swelling.

Hydrotherapy uses the buoyancy of water to create a safer environment to exercise joints and strengthen muscles, especially after surgery.  Hydrotherapy works because water makes exercise weightless and eliminates the jarring effects from gravity and on hard surfaces.  This treatment can be accomplished in whirlpools, dog pools or underwater treadmills which are often used for dogs with joint problems.  The treadmill is encased in a glass or plastic enclosed chamber. The dog enters the chamber, the door is shut and the water fills up just above the dogs’ legs. The dog begins to walk on the treadmill and the water creates the resistance needed to strengthen the muscles in a low-impact environment.

Despite its benefits, there may be some situations when hydrotherapy may cause more harm than good, such as dogs with cardiovascular issues, a serious fear of water or ear problems. According to Jonathan Rudinger, founder and president of the Association of Canine Water Therapy, “If the dog has any compromises to the ears, they are not candidates for water sessions. The water could exacerbate any imbalanced condition within the ear.”

Owners are cautioned not to try hydrotherapy on their own dog without proper instruction.  There is a huge difference between going to a hydrotherapy clinic with a trained professional and swimming in a lake or backyard pool with your dog.  Without proper supervision, a dog recovering from surgery may not have the muscle strength needed to swim and the water temperature may not be regulated. Also, if your dog is not properly stabilized in the water, he may be putting pressure on the area in recovery and possibly do more harm than good.  Always check with your veterinarian before starting any new forms of exercise with your dog.

Ask your veterinarian if your dog may benefit from hydrotherapy treatments.  Learn more about hydrotherapy at –





- Want To Adopt -

If you are writing us about adopting a dog and do not have an adoption application on file with us, use this link to review our policies and process and complete an application.

If you have completed our adoption application, and/or have another inquiry, please use the email link to contact us.

Adoption Application Email Us