FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below are a series of questions which address the most common enquiries about Canine Hydrotherapy.
If any questions or queries you may have are not answered below, please feel free to contact us!
Why do we need a signed vet consent form ?
Here at House of Hydro we will never swim a dog that has not been referred by your vet. This protects you, your dog and other animals visiting House of Hydro. Your veterinarian will assess your dog’s suitability for hydrotherapy (Rehabilitation, Weight Loss, Puppy Confidence or Fun & Fitness).
Hydrotherapy is not suitable for all dogs. Your vet will know your dog’s history and take into account any contraindications. We want to do what is best for your dog. It will give you piece of mind knowing that you have a signed consent form from your vet and a qualified therapist will be in the pool with your dog at all times.
How soon can Hydrotherapy start ?
This depends on the reason for attending Hydrotherapy. Your vet will inform you when they believe it is the right time, depending on the individual dog’s condition. If you dog is attending Fun & Fitness swims and has no health concerns the vet will usually sign the form straight away. After some surgeries or fractures, it may be 4-8 weeks before hydrotherapy can commence whereas it might only be a few days after stitches or staples have been removed and the skin has healed, that Hydrotherapy can begin.
Puppies can start Hydrotherapy as soon as their vaccinations are complete and they can mix with other dogs.
What if my dog doesn’t like water ?
Not all dogs can swim or even like water. Certain breeds have to work harder to stay on top of the water. Brachycephalic breeds (those with shortened muzzles, like Boxers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs and some Cavalier Spaniels) can struggle to get enough breath when working hard. These breeds need particular care and close supervision when they swim or attend Hydrotherapy.
Don’t worry if your dog is fearful of water. The therapist will go gently and at your dog’s pace. With some dogs it takes time. However, it is very important that the first introduction to water is a positive one. With lots of encouragement and praise, your dog will be swimming in no time.
What is the difference between taking my dog for a swim at a lake or river compared to a Hydrotherapy pool ?
Cold water causes constriction of the blood vessels near to the skin and to the superficial muscles which restricts the flow of blood, making the muscles less efficient. The increased circulation of blood created by the warm water relaxes these muscles and increases the intake of oxygen and nutrients which reduces pain and stiffness. The swelling around the injured area is also reduced, due to the increased circulation.
At House of Hydro our water temperature is always between 28-30 degrees and our water quality is checked 3 times a day. We have water jets in our pool to aid those fitness dogs who require a harder workout. We also have a qualified Canine Hydrotherapist who is registered with National Association of Registered Canine Hydotherapists (NARCH). NARCH ensures all RCHs adhere to the highest professional standards and ethics and these requirements are laid out on their website and within the Guide to Professional Conduct for Registered Canine Hydrotherapists.So you can rest assured your dog is swimming in good hands.
My dog can swim why does he/she need to wear a float coat ?
All dogs will initially wear a float coat for buoyancy and be assessed by the hydrotherapist. This will help build the dog’s confidence in the water. Depending on their reason for attending they may continue to wear a float coat or be changed to just a harness, but only at the hydrotherapist’s discretion.
My session is 30 mins but my dog only swam for a few minutes ?
Hydrotherapy is not about how long your dog swims for. Many factors need to be taken into consideration eg. the particular injury and/or surgery carried out, the medical condition, breed, age, level of fitness. Overdoing the time in the pool can have an adverse effect.
We want your dog to enjoy and gain the most out of their session. We ease them in slowly to this new form of exercise.
Why can only one dog swim in the pool at any time ?
The sessions are built around your dog’s individual needs. To offer you the best out of your session the therapist will work 1-2-1 with your dog and involve the owner by poolside participation. (Please inform the therapist at your Initial assessment, if you feel you have a specialist case)
Why can I not swim with my dog ?
Here at House of Hydro we want to do what we believe is best for your dog.
If your dog is with us for Fun & Fitness, we encourage owners to participate from the pool side, as a trained and qualified hydrotherapist will be in the pool with your dog at all times.
If your dog is with us for Rehabilitation, it is important that we understand your dog’s condition and use the properties of water to help build muscle or ease pain for that individual dog’s circumstances.
Can I feed my dog before/after the session ?
Please DO NOT FEED your dog for at least 3hrs prior to their session.
It is advised that they do not eat 1-2hrs after any exercise.
What do I need to bring ?
Yourself and of course your dog!
Your dog’s veterinary consent form (for the initial referral).
Your dog's towel.
Suitable clothing and footwear for yourself.