What is hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is the external application of water in the therapeutic treatment of disease or injury. The use of water in the treatment of disease is first documented by Hippocrates, but historically, the Romans are the most commonly recognised civilisation to use hydrotherapy.

Small animal and canine hydrotherapy is a recognised form of rehabilitation which aids in the recovery of animals after injury or surgery. A complimentary therapy, it specifically uses the properties of warm water to aid rehabilitation.

  • Buoyancy - Allows non weight bearing exercise, reducing impact in injured joints. Aids in the rehabilitation of weak muscles and painful joints.
  • Viscosity - Enables weak muscles to move joints and bones more easily than on land, can assist in stabilising unstable joints, can help give an animal increased sensory perception and neurological awareness. Viscosity can provide resistance and exercising in this environment can strengthen muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Water Resistance - Improves cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
  • Warmth - The warm water increases circulation and flow of blood to muscles, relaxes muscle tension and muscle spasm, increasing flexibility and reducing pain.

Conditions & benefits

Hydrotherapy can help with the following:

  • Pre Operative Conditioning – Build up strength and muscle mass prior to surgery aids a faster recovery time post surgery.
  • Post Operative Recovery – Builds muscle mass, aids with pain relief and increases range of motion. Improves recovery time and helps to alleviate boredom for dogs on crate rest. Hydrotherapy can usually commence a few days after the stitches have been removed.
  • Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Patella Luxation
  • Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Fractures – Helps healing and new bone growth
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Neurological Injuries
  • Spondylosis
  • Degenerative Diseases
  • Muscle Atrophy (wastage)
  • Behavioural Issues – Often caused by pain, boredom or frustration. Hydrotherpay can alleviate all of these.


  • Improves Fitness & Stamina
  • Maintains Muscle Strength & Tone
  • Improves Circulation & Joint Mobility
  • Increased Active and Passive Range of Motion
  • Reduces Pain and Stiffness
  • Reduces Inflamation
  • Reduces Obesity (as part of a weight loss plan)
  • Reducing Frustration In Dogs On Reduced Exercise Or Cage Rest
  • Improved Quality of Life