Is Hydrotherapy Good for Dogs With Arthritis?

January 13, 2022 | ​​​​​​​

Is Hydrotherapy Good for Dogs With Arthritis?



Hydrotherapy is beneficial, reliable, and safe for dogs who have arthritis. But it is ideal to note that qualified dog therapists must handle this therapy. Also, there needs to have specialized equipment. As a result, you can target the arthritis-stricken areas of your dog. It is ideal to consult your vet if you consider hydrotherapy for your dog.



What Is Hydrotherapy for Dogs?



Hydrotherapy uses water to rehabilitate the pain that your dog has as treatment. It is beneficial for dogs that have conditions such as arthritis. The therapy helps your dog move and rehabilitate the affected joints. It works by using hydrostatic pressure, buoyancy, viscosity, and resistance. 


Hydrotherapy removes the added gravity pressure. The buoyancy your dog has in water reduces tension on its joints as they recover from arthritis. The treatment reduces swelling in body tissues. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.



How Does Hydrotherapy Help Dogs With Arthritis?



A pool set at 90 to 95 degrees is safe and enables lubrication of the muscles. As a result, the joints and muscles relax and reduce swelling. Warm water provides oxygen to the cells. It builds muscle mass to strengthen the area affected with arthritis.


Your dog begins losing muscle mass within the first three days of immobility. Keeping your pet active through hydrotherapy despite arthritis is vital. It is crucial to note that hydrotherapy is not letting your dog swim in the water. You should not attempt to perform this therapy if you are not a professional. 


A certified hydrotherapist can locate affected areas and work on them. Doing so helps keep your dog safe from harm. They can notice signs and symptoms that your dog has while in the water.

Your dog should never be alone at any time while in the water. Assuming your dog will start swimming is not the case. Dogs do not have an instinct to swim right away. They can risk drowning.



Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs 



Below are some common signs of arthritis in dogs:


  • Lameness or limping.
  • Hesitant to move.
  • Squeaking when touched.
  • Change of behavior.
  • Irritability.
  • Muscle atrophy.
  • Tiredness.



Benefits of Hydrotherapy for Your Dog



The following are the benefits of hydrotherapy for your dog:


  • Tissue healing.
  • Muscle strengthening.
  • Relief of stiffness, swelling, and pain.
  • Muscle spasms alleviation.
  • Enough blood circulation.
  • Faster injury recovery.
  • Modification of gait.
  • Cardiovascular fitness.
  • Increased range of motion.



What a Hydrotherapy Center Should Have



Check whether the center has qualified and experienced staff. It is also ideal to ensure you take your dog to a place with suitable facilities for the therapy. Your pet needs handling with care. The center should not use a local swimming pool. There should be ramps that can assure you of your dog’s comfort and security. 


Your dog might need support through the therapy. Ensure the hydrotherapist is inside the water for the entire treatment. There might be a need for a flotation device or harness for safety. Ensure you hand over your dog to the right hands and in an excellent center.


For more about hydrotherapy, visit Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center at our office in St. Petersburg, Florida. You can call (727) 677-9500 to book an appointment today.

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