Water treadmill therapy is a form of physical therapy for dogs. Treadmill therapy can help dogs rebuild muscle and stamina after a surgery or injury. It can also help ease the pain of chronic joint diseases like arthritis. And it can even help improve cardiovascular health through low-impact exercise. Could your dog benefit from water treadmill therapy? Read on to learn more about how hydrotherapy works and the conditions it can treat.

How does water treadmill therapy for dogs work?

The warmth of the water aids in healing by relaxing tense joints and muscles, dilating blood vessels, and easing aches and pains. Just like a soothing bath can help you relieve tension, warm water also helps to relieve physical and emotional stress in dogs. The hydrostatic pressure of water also reduces your dog’s perception of pain, so they can exercise more comfortably.

The buoyancy and resistance of water help to strengthen muscles while easing stress on the bones and joints. Because the water takes most of the weight off of a dog’s legs, it allows for easier movement with less pain. Floatation devices like swim vests can make dogs who are new to swimming feel more comfortable in the water, and also provide extra support if needed.

What types of conditions can hydrotherapy treat?

Many dogs can benefit from hydrotherapy techniques like swimming or walking on a water treadmill. Whether they are recovering from a surgery or injury, need to relieve joint pain from arthritis or excessive activity, or need assistance exercising to maintain a healthy weight, water-based physical therapy can help. 

Benefits of water treadmill therapy:

  • Hydrotherapy helps speed up recovery times after a surgery or an injury like an ACL tear.
  • Hydrotherapy relieves joint and muscle pain in dogs that suffer from arthritis and other chronic conditions.
  • Hydrotherapy can help active and sporting dogs build stamina and prevent injuries.
  • Hydrotherapy also provides an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, and can help obese dogs get back to a healthy weight and improve their physical fitness.

Does your dog need physical therapy?

East Valley Animal Hospital will begin offering water treadmill therapy for dogs starting in December, 2021. If your dog suffers from arthritis, had a recent injury, or needs preventive care, our rehabilitation specialists can help. We can provide several types of physical therapy, and will work together with you to develop an individualized recovery plan for your dog. If you are interested in learning more about physical therapy for dogs in the Gilbert and Mesa area, contact us today at 480-568-2462.


Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 11/08/2021.