What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy for animals is a water-based treatment that works to gently rehabilitate joints, especially after injury or surgery. Think of it as a controlled form of swimming, which takes place in a heated pool or aquatic treadmill. You know that feeling of ‘weightlessness’ in water? Your pet will feel that, too, and because hydrotherapy is a non-weight bearing environment, it’s gentle on their joints.


When might my pet need hydrotherapy?

Just like humans, pets need to move in order to maintain good health. After injury and during recovery, exercise levels drop off and muscles quickly lose strength and tone so after an initial period of rest, it’s vital to rebuild muscle in a safe environment. Swimming is one of the best ways to do this as it’s low-impact. The support of the water allows a full range of movement in normal patterns, which correctly builds muscle and can help speed up recovery. And because it’s more difficult to move quickly in water than on land, your pet is less likely to injure himself while exercising, so the injury site is protected from further damage.


Vets refer pets for hydrotherapy for many reasons, including pre-surgical conditioning, post-surgical rehabilitation and pain management, getting obesity under control and painless exercising for pets with arthritis and other conditions without putting excess pressure on weakened joints. Hydrotherapy isn’t just about rehabilitation. It can also play a vital role in helping to improve mental wellbeing in convalescing and senior animals and can slow the progression some symptoms of degenerative conditions. 

What conditions can be treated with hydrotherapy?

  • Post-operative recovery from fracture and ligament repair and spinal surgery

  • Orthopedic conditions including hip and elbow dysplasia

  • Chronic illnesses, such as arthritis 

  • Neurological conditions and spinal injuries 

  • Conservative management of non-surgical cases

  • Soft-tissue injuries

  • Obesity and general fitness

  • Decreased mobility in older dogs


This list is not exhaustive and every case is different so please contact us to discuss your animals individual needs. Please also check your insurance policy
as most reputable policies cover rehabilitation services.