My clients and I are extremely fortunate that we have access to both an in-ground pool and an under water treadmill at the swim center where my business is located. I know…..extremely fortunate. Since I can offer both types of hydro therapy, I get asked this question literally 10 times a day.
I hope this chart is useful if you are ever trying to figure out which hydro therapy you would like to pursue with your canine. As always if you have a serious illness or injury, speaking with your Veterinarian or Rehabilitation Therapist is a good place to start.
When reviewing the chart here are some things to consider. The 10,000 foot view is that the Underwater Treadmill is better for hind end, swimming is a front end activity. If a dog is recovering from an injury with any muscle atrophy I am going to suggest Underwater Treadmill hands down. If economics is a factor and you just need some mild conditioning then the pool is your biggest bang for your buck. The underwater treadmill delivers the results, but it has to fill and drain so you are paying for that time.
I have some clients that need to mentally and physically wear out the dog to live with them. Sometimes the pool is a better option because we can incorporate impulse control games and conditioning all at the same time.
There are times the dog determines which modality they like best. I have dogs that LOVE the treadmill and dogs that HATE it. It is a closed in box where water surrounds them and their owners are on the outside of the box. Some dogs cannot deal with that, so we use the pool instead and build a continuous swimming program to do the best we can.
The next topic I tackle is frequency. To be honest, anything less than once a week is throwing money out the window. I do not say this to drum up business. I say this because I serve over 2000 appointments a year and the ones that come weekly or biweekly see results. The ones I see less will not progress. Whenever you stop an exercise regimen you will lose it quicker than you gained it. Most dogs either of a certain age or certain activity level need regular (weekly) exercise to stay at a desired level.
More and more people are exercising their dogs regularly and we are taking good care of our dogs so they live longer. Water therapy serves these dogs well. I would also say I love water therapy for humans that cannot do something active with their dog. Humans only need to throw a toy or feed dogs some treats in a treadmill to be able to perform the activity with their beloved companion.
Ok, I think that is it….
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I also have an online canine nail care program. Here is a free resource to get you started with stress free nail care.
Thank you for reading this resource! If you would like to connect with me about this article or doggie stuff in general, you can find me in my public Facebook Group 4 Paws Adrift.
Splash ya later!