What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is controlled exercise that takes place in warm water. This offers a weightless environment avoiding stresses to limbs, tendons and joints.
What are the benefits of hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy in warm water allows the body to achieve increased mobility in stiff or sore joints and helps to build muscle mass around the affected area. Hydrotherapy also provides mental stimulation and help prevent depression in a dog which has restricted movement.
Why is it important to choose a registered canine hydrotherapy centre?
Some pet insurance policies will cover hydrotherapy if your hydrotherapist is registered. Being registered ensures that Hydrotherapists meet the highest standards that their patients deserve. Registered centres are safe and professionally run whose members follow strict Quality Standards and Code of Conduct and are committed and passionate about delivering the best possible canine hydrotherapy experience and therapeutic care.
Why is it important to choose a trained and qualified Hydrotherapist?
A registered Canine Hydrotherapist meets the highest standards in Canine Hydrotherapy through accredited training programs and keeps ontop of the latest research and topics. Hydrotherapy practice is audited and controlled.
Why do we need referral from your Vet?
As per the Vet Surgeon’s Act 1966, we only work under veterinary referral. Veterinary referral is a legal requirement for registered veterinary physiotherapists and hydrotherapists, which safeguards your dog by ensuring both the vets and us have all the information needed to provide the appropriate treatment programme. We keep in touch with our referring vets and provide regular progress reports to promote clear lines of communication to the benefit of the canine patient. Please do contact us to discuss arrangements for this.
Can my dog come for Hydrotherapy without a referral?
Your Vet must confirm they agree to the dog undertaking Hydrotherapy with us as we must understand your dog's condition and fitness level & tailor the program to their needs if they have a specific condition to produce optimum results. For example if Your dog has a heart condition Our Team are trained to record and assess breathing, heart rate & capillary refill time & report back tif we are concerned.
What results should I expect?
Hydrotherapy improves fitness, muscle mass and tone; it reduces lameness and improves the general well-being of the dog. You should expect a healthier, livelier, more supple and content dog. We measure your dog's muscle mass & analyse gait at our initial sessions, usually every 5 session after that & report back to your Vet at session 10.
What breed of dog may undertake Hydrotherapy?
All breeds can benefit and all are welcome. We cater for all, from the smallest Chihuahuas to the largest Newfoundlands. We own giant dogs ourselves and all equipment is set up to accommodate even the biggest breeds.
My dog swims in a river or the sea isn't this just as good?
A nearby river or the sea may seem the obvious place for your dog to swim as it's free but it isn't the best environment for rehabilitation. Outdoor water is usually cold, which restricts blood flow in muscles and can lead to cramps which is counter-productive to healing. Warm water is needed to increase blood flow and effectively build up muscle mass. It is not possible to monitor the amount of exercise they do, there may be strong tides or currents, slippery banks and of course pollution and rubbish to contend with. A dog can be a good swimmer but if caught in a cold current it is not as buoyant as you might hope, if your dog gets into difficulties it may not be possible for you to reach him quickly.
Will the chemicals in the water harm my dog?
No, we check our water in house 3 times a day and adjust as necessary to ensure that the chlorine levels are within the recommended guidelines for human pools. This ensures that the pool water is hygienic and completely safe for your dog to swim in. We also send our water samples off to laboratory to be analysed for bacteria. A shower is given after their swim. Many owners tell us that their dog's coat condition improves with bromine treated water after a few sessions. Canine hydrotherapy pools have used this method safely for many many years.
Does my dog require rinsing after their Hydrotherapy?
We shower and dry your dog for you, but they do not always need to be rinsed if you do not wish.
What temperature is the water?
We keep the water at an average temperature of 30 Centigrade. This ensures optimum muscle relaxation and blood vessel dilation to enable maximum benefit from the weightless environment.
Do I have to get wet?
We like to get you involved in your Dog's treatment as most of the time we find that you provide the most motivation for your dog. However, we also understand that sometimes you don't want to get wet and that is absolutely fine too - we will ask you to stand back from the session and you can even chill out in our reception room and we will update you on the session once we have showered and dried off your dog.
Can my other dog(s) come along too?
For rehabilitation or introductory swims we only allow one dog in the pool at a time. For other swim programs there may be a possibility of a dog from the same family sharing a session, but only one dog may be in the pool at any one time. This is to ensure that your dogs receive the best quality and care. Your other dog is welcome to come into the treadmill room with us during the session as long as it doesn't disrupt the session for the dog we are treating.
How does my dog enter the pool?
Your dog walks into the water via a wide non-slip ramp accompanied by a Hydrotherapist. Canine life jackets and harnesses are provided to aid in confidence and to support your dog in the water if needed.
My dog is not confident in the water and does not like swimming, how can you help?
Many dogs that visit our hydrotherapy centre are not “water dogs”. Some can take a few sessions before they find their confidence and start to enjoy their Hydrotherapy. We have found that many of these same ‘non water dogs’ soon turning into real water babies-dogs that avoid puddles on a walk end up loving coming swimming or enjoy their treadmill sessions! Your dog will be gently guided into the water wearing a life jacket or harness using positive motivation. We take our time to gain your dogs trust and confidence and aim to make hydrotherapy a positive experience. Some dogs do really well in our underwater treadmill & are actually not worried at all as their feet can still touch the ground.
Can I claim my hydrotherpay sessions back through my insurance?
Your pet insurance policy may well cover hydrotherapy. Some pet insurance policies will cover hydrotherapy if your hydrotherapist is registered as We are. Please check with your insurance provider. We are happy to sign your insurance forms & give you insurance receipts at each session.
Does my dog need to be vaccinated?
Please bring your vaccination certificate on your first appointment. If you and your vet have your dog on an alternative vaccination protocol, we can also accommodate this, just make us aware of this.
Can I feed my dog prior to swimming?
Please do not feed your dog for at least 2-4 hours before and 2 hours after sessions.
Do I need to bring a towel or dog coat?
Yes for the journey home. After your dog’s hydrotherapy session we will shower your dog down for you and gently towel dry or use an adjustable grooming dryer suited to a variety of coats . We sometimes find that many dogs are anxious or noise sensitive to the drying equipment and as a result we will get your dog as dry as possible using our own towels but it is a good idea to have a towel or blanket for the car journey home. Dogs that are older or very sensitive to the cold may also benefit from having a jacket to wear after a treatment session.
How much is a hydrotherapy session?
For fun, fitness & rehabilitation:
£55 per single session in our underwater treadmill. Initial sessions are priced at £70 as we allow more time for assessment.
How do I pay?
We accept cash and card -payment for services is due on the day. Receipts are provided as requested.
What if I have to cancel or rearrange a booked appointment?
We agree that occasionally you may need to cancel your booked appointment and our cancellation policy requires a 48-hour notice period. For cancelled appointments outside of this period or non-attendance, the appointment fee will be charged unless your dog is ill.
What are your opening hours?
We are usually open Monday-Friday including evenings by appointment only.
What should I expect from my first hydrotherapy session?
On your first visit to us we will go through your Veterinary Referral form and discuss your dog's history, condition/injuries, character and behaviours, to understand them as best as possible. This will also allow your dog time to adjust and gain our trust. We will give them choices and options and always use a reward based positive attitude when introduced to the centre and the water. Please bring some nice high value treats along with you. Your first session will take approximately 1 hours and subsequent sessions unto 45minutes depending on your dog's program.
We will also carry out a health check, record muscle mass and tone, record gait analysis and weigh your dog. We will discuss treatment, outcomes and gain an understanding of what you would like to achieve. Your dog’s hydrotherapy treatment programme will be individually tailored to suit his or her needs. Not only is the treatment provided specific to your dog’s diagnosis, it is also tailored to their condition on the day of treatment. Just like us, our dogs have good and bad days so your dog will not have the same treatment each session but a totally unique plan based on a full re-assessment on the day.
We will introduce your dog to the new equipment and surroundings and let them familiarise themselves with the pool or underwater treadmill. Whist most dogs go into the pool or underwater treadmill on their first visit, it is important to note that on some occasions it is decided against and takes a little longer, all depending on how your dog reacts and other contributing factors which will be discussed on the day.
What should I do when we first arrive?
Please toilet your dog! Even if your dog went at home it is a good idea to toilet them on arrival as car journeys can be very exciting! Please pick up after your dog, there is a rubbish bin for waste outside the main door. If your dog defecates in the water there will be a fouling fee as it means we will have to shut the centre down in order to sanitise it, empty, refill & heat up which can take unto 24 hours. Please do not allow your dog to toilet inside our hydrotherapy and rehabilitation centre.
Bring your dog in on a lead and under control. We have an on-lead policy and no dogs are allowed off lead until otherwise directed by a staff member. There is only one dog family allowed in the centre at one time.
Giving your dog a good brush to remove loose hair before their swim and make sure they have a clean coat will be greatly appreciated!
How long is each session?
Each session is a maximum of 45 minutes long dependent on your dog's program. This includes assessment, swim or treatment, showering and drying. Each session is tailored to your dogs needs so it is not unusual for a dog post surgery to exercise for 3-4 minutes in the water. Initially your dog may not swim/exercise for the whole session until fitness levels increase. Remember that 15 minutes of swimming is the equivalent of 15 miles of running (1 minute swim = 1 mile!) but without the impact on joints!
How many sessions does my dog need?
This depends on the condition of your dog and the rehabilitation that is required. For post-operative swims your dog may visit once or even twice weekly for a few weeks then come once a week or even once a fortnight when their fitness improves. Remember your dog may have not used the muscles we are asking them to use in our sessions for a long time so it takes time for them to adjust and build up strength. Most dogs will visit once a week for increased mobility or just for fun! Some dogs it takes a few sessions to see the difference and others benefits are seen straight away.
How do I book a hydrotherapy appointment?
Please fill in our registration form on our website, email or phone us to arrange an appointment and we will be in contact with your vet to get you referred over. If you require any assistance or have any queries please do not hesitate in calling us, we are more than happy to help. Telephone 01829 782627, email email@example.com or visit our contact us page on this website.
I have difficulty walking, can I still bring my dog to Hydrotherapy?
Yes, of course, just let us know your needs and we will be able to help, so don't worry. We have wheelchair access options, ramps and pathways.