December 08, 2013
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How to Pick a Therapist or Pool
Canine water therapy and aquatic swimming can serve many purposes, from pure, recreational fun to post surgery rehabilitation. There are different types of pools and spa services to meet these needs. Spas may offer assisted swimming alone, self swimming where you can swim your own dog, or they may offer massage, Ttouch, acupressure, reiki, aromatherapy, etc. The facility might also have an underwater treadmill.
Before choosing a pool or therapist, think about what benefits you hope your dog will gain from swimming and/or aquatic massage. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if your dog is a candidate, and ask what type of pool is best for your dog's specific needs.
Note – in some states a veterinary referral is needed prior to certain services, such as massage, and in some states massage can only be performed by or under direct supervision of a veterinarian. A list of requirements by state can be found on the IAAMB website, www.iaamb.org or by calling your local veterinarian or massage board and inquiring. The laws are 'up in the air' in this rapidly growing field of service and in the process of being defined in each State/Province.
Things to consider:
Swimming provides a non weight-bearing form of exercise. Benefits may include the following:
Conditions which may benefit from water therapy include:
Some questions to ask about the therapist:
Some questions to ask about the pool:
Some questions you can ask yourself:
Canine Water Therapy has profound effects on many levels, each therapist and each pool will offer a different 'feeling' or service. Explore and Inquire and Try a few different programs. Don't be shy about asking that your dog be removed from the pool or the session if you feel uncomfortable. Remember that is is YOUR emotional safety and YOUR DOG's emotional and physical safety that is the priority.