March 6, 2009

We just found a terrific organization: Association of Canine Water Therapy that advocates warm water therapy for injured or arthritic dogs.  Water therapy is an excellent way to help rehabilitate dogs with joint or muscle injuries, or those with arthritis and hip dysplasia. It can include underwater treadmills, assisted swimming, and warm water massage. Founded in January of 2005, the Association for Canine Water Therapy works to promote and advance the safe practice of canine water therapy through education, establishing industry standards, and building a support network for therapists and their clients. The association already has 70 members and is continuing to grow.

Their results have been amazing.  Occasionally Olympic Hot Tub has used/trade-in hot tubs including Hot Spring Spas that would be perfect for canine therapy.

To use a hot tub for canine therapy, set the temperature lower than for humans: 80-82 degrees. A good filter is a must to filter out dog hair.  A non-chlorine system is best so a dog’s hair doesn’t lose natural oils and dry out.  Before you attempt this at home, though, you’ll want to check with your vet AND get some how-tos from the Association of Canine Water Therapy or hire one of the certified therapist members to come to your home to work with your dog.

If you do try this at home, we recommend that hot tubs over 100 degrees be off-limits for pets.  Dogs have no way to dispel excess body heat except through hard and heavy panting. If your dog starts to pant heavily, take him out to cool down.  Clean filters often to rinse away the short hair.

SANUM PER AQUA– Latin for Health Through Water.