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Difference between recreational swimming and canine hydrotherapy treatment

We get a lot of people asking us what the difference between recreational swimming & canine hydrotherapy is.

Hydrotherapy is a subset of swimming. Hydrotherapy is a controlled swim that aims to help dogs with physical conditions/ issues and to help them to recover their full fitness. The hydrotherapist employs methods to correct your dog's swim movement or triggers body motions with their fingers. Recreational swimming refers to dogs enjoying swimming freely in a swimming pool, in the sea or some poorly maintain recreational water source. It does not require the assistance/ guidance of a certified hydrotherapist.

Here is a simple breakdown;

1. Hydrotherapy treatment must be conducted in a temperature controlled heated pool. The pool water maintains a temperature of around 29- 30 degree Celsius. You may google the benefits of warm water swimming for dogs. Common recreational water sources do not have this feature which is critical in hydrotherapy.

2. Hydrotherapy pool water is maintained and managed by trained pool management personnel. The health & safety standard of the pool water is enforced so that your dogs and our hydrotherapist are safe swimming in the water. When you swim in the sea, you are exposed to many medical issues such beach diarrhoea (by ingesting too much salt water), vomiting, jellyfish sting, insect's bites, Leptospirosis to name a few. You may read more from the link below*

3. Certified and qualified hydrotherapist conducts hydrotherapy treatment. They must be trained by qualified hydrotherapist trainer from a reputable and recognised school that provides hydrotherapy for small animals training. To swim a dog with physical/ medical issues without the proper knowledge, training and method may lead to more harm for your dog. Their conditions may worsen due to the lack of awareness and understanding of the medical/ physical conditions.

4. If your dog is injured or otherwise compromised, recreational swimming may not be appropriate, and hydrotherapy is necessary for your dog to get back into the pool. In hydrotherapy, we understand the conditions and manage/ control the dog's swimming positions and movement. In this way, we get the better responses and result from the controlled swim instead of letting the dog swim freely and doing the wrong actions and further aggravating their conditions with each swim.

It is without a doubt, swimming, in general, is a great exercise for your dogs. It is also a fun and social activity for dogs and owners. The health benefits of swimming are undeniable.

Swimming provides 1. excellent cardiovascular conditioning and helps maintain muscle mass. 2. a great weight control exercise and alleviates stress on the joints so that overweight dogs can get back into the swing of things while reducing the risk of injury. 3. is an energy outlet, for sure. A tired dog is a happy dog, and often a tired dog makes for a happy owner.

Hydrotherapy will be considered for a variety of reasons including pre-surgery and recovery from post-surgery, chronic conditions such as arthritis, degenerative myelopathy or hip dysplasia, obesity or weight management, or sports/ fitness conditioning.

At Hydro Canine, We provide both recreational swimming and hydrotherapy treatment for dogs. Our lengthy pool allows the giant breeds to swim laps with ease and not going in circles; they get the full range of movement that they need.

More information on water parasites & diseases that your dogs can get from common recreational water sources

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