October 25, 2016

Association of Canine Water Therapy

To build a Pool vs a Treadmill?

Question: Hi! I am wondering why there are not more pools for hydrotherapy here in Australia yet? I have been researching the water treadmills and believe they would be an excellent rehab process amongst other types of medical reasons. Do you recommend them as an alternative if you do not have the room for a full functioning pool set up?

Thank you, Cathy

Answer (by Cindy Horsfall): Hello Cathy,

This is a great question.

To build a POOL vs a TREADMILL....
Many things to consider here...

First, it's important to consider the intent of your investment. After you have considered this,- you'll want to explore the local laws to make sure you can legally do what you are intending.

If you get a treadmill, your goal would most likely be for rehabilitation work, gait re-patterning and strength building. In many parts of the world, there are laws against anyone but a licensed veterinarian to do any kind of rehabilitation work. Many in the USA have been shut down who have treadmills as its hard to say you are doing anything ELSE except rehab with a treadmill. Not so with a pool as you can change your wording to swimming and resistance work in water and stay away from the more clinical (and illegal) terms used with treadmills.

So the first thing I advise is for you to check your local laws and build a vision that complies with the laws.

Second, you brought up space as an issue... and yes, a treadmill can be carried in through a smaller door, you don't need the headroom as your work is done at ground level and takes up half the space as a swim spa.

A smaller swim spa still takes up about 8x14 or more in floor space ... with 3' around it you're looking at needing to dedicate a space at least 14x20. More than this, you do need a larger door or window so that the spa can be carried into the space and ideally you would have at least 10' ceilings so you could build a ramp up and deck around it for safe access.

Expenses? A treadmill usually runs twice the cost of a swim spa as it's a highly specialized item. Most likely, the expenses to run the treadmill are less however...

Both are excellent options and rewarding things to offer in your business. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do and good luck!!!! Let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts - - - -

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