Therapy for Dogs

Hydrotherapy for Dogs is a Form of Pet Physical Therapy

Underwater Treadmill for the Health of a Dog

Dogs in Water and on a Treadmill

Any form of hydrotherapy for dogs whether in a pool or underwater treadmill, is pet physical therapy. An underwater treadmill is very beneficial if used in the right fashion and with trained professional hydrotherapists. Canine hydrotherapy or as some call it aquatic therapy, is one of the most amazing methods of physical therapy for your dog.

The potential uses of hydrotherapy for dogs are huge. Many of them being:

  • Rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery
  • Osteochondrosis dissecans, fractures of sorts, cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, hip joint replacement
  • Neurological injuries
  • after intervertebral disk surgery
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Hip Dysplasia

    What are we waiting for?

    There are certain conditions hydrotherapy is not recommended for as a physical rehabilitation modality. These would fall into the category of:

  • Heart disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Open or weeping surgical wounds
  • Infections
  • Infectious skin diseases or other infections


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Why is Dog Massage Needed

There are Four Common Stress Areas in Dogs

Dogs and their Muscles Need Massage Therapy

There are four common stress areas in dogs, these areas being where several muscle groups attach. When a dog is performing any intense physical exercise, these areas will show tension varying from mild tightness to chronic contracture to even spasms. When a dog is recovery from injuries or surgery, there will be compensating muscle tension on the other limbs, the back and the neck.

The four common stress points are:

  • head and neck
  • shoulders and forelimbs
  • back and rib cage
  • hind quarters and hind legs

A dog uses its head to balance the rest of their body. We can witness this by watching when a dog runs; the downward swing of the head helps propel the rear legs off the ground as the dog runs forward. When a dog plays tug of war there is a huge  amount of strain being placed on the entire rest of the body as well as the neck area. You can start to see how dog massage can really help these robust beings!

For proper athletic performance a dog requires… Continue reading

The Truth About Hydrotherapy for Dogs

Hydrotherapy for Dogs is Powerful

Here’s Startling Proof of How Dog Hydrotherapy Works

Every once in a while we come across someone or a dog that profoundly changes our lives. The magic in that transcends beyonds words. These are the little life lessons and teachings that come our way by angels.

One day I met such a person and such a dog, who profoundly changed my life. I didn’t think something so out of the ordinary yet so incredibly ordinary, could have tugged heartaches  from my soul. But it did. It did because I witnessed a miraculous recovery and such enormous love between a guardian and her companion dog. This is what hydrotherapy and love is all about. About never giving up on those you love and being there for them all the way down the line.

I cannot emphasize enough how hydrotherapy can be life altering for people and dogs. Witness this for yourself…it will change your life!

A Story About Me

To learn more and to offer your companion all that you can, check out my e-book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs


Dog Symptoms and Kinesiology

Symptoms in Dogs

Kinesiology is Incredibly Useful for Feedback on Dogs

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Two in my e-book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs

“This is a form of muscle testing which is very useful in checking various muscle groups for strengths and weaknesses, to help determine what the proper therapy is for a dog. Essentially, this is a muscle to organ to gland connection, to determine what the cause of illness is. By checking the resistance of the muscle when tested against various substances, we can see if this is empowering to the body or disempowering.

To test an animal, a surrogate holds the substance in his/her hand and places this hand on top of the dog’s body while being tested. With the surrogate’s other arm extended parallel to the ground, the therapist presses down on the arm to determine the strength of the muscle. The surrogate’s ability to hold that arm upward against the pressure determines the energy field. The energy flows from the dog through the surrogate and the weakness or strength will be visible in the surrogate’s body. There will be either a strong, normal or weak response and the therapist can then determine structural, chemical, emotional or energetic imbalances. Applied kinesiology can help the following dog symptoms:

• Ongoing back pain
• Confused animals
• Depressed animals
• Dogs with digestive problems
• Allergies in dogs
• Dog symptoms with chronic and acute fatigue
• Neck pain symptoms in dogs
• Nervous system disorders in dogs
• Nutritional imbalances
• Trauma from injuries
• Pain relief in dogs
• Mental, physical and emotional stress
• Incontinence
• Anxiety in dogs
• Phobia symptoms in dogs

Muscle testing is a system of obtaining feedback to determine…”

Go Ahead and Test Me

To read more about his amazing modality, check out my e-book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs

How to Stretch a Dog

Safely and effectively stretch your dog

 Five basic guidelines to follow:

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Two, on Holistic Dog Care, from my e-book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs”

• “The muscles should be warm. By increasing the blood flow to the muscles, the tissues get heated up. This in turn lubricates the joints and prevents injuries. It also provides the best stretch and increased range of motion. Warming up the muscle can be done by exercising for a short period first. Over time the joint integrity decreases and so this is very important for older dogs. An excellent exercise for this is swimming, but if that is not possible a short ten minute walk outside or on a treadmill will do.

• The muscles should be completely relaxed. The muscle will not stretch properly unless it is completely relaxed. Make sure you are relaxed and calm when you begin, because if you are stressed or pressed for time the dog will feel it. Place your hands on the dog and stroke her/him while taking some deep breaths. The only way to get an effective stretch is to have the dog lying down. Also recognize that some of the body positions can be intimidating or threatening to certain dogs. If your dog is rigid, excessively panting, shaking, pawing, kicking, yawning, showing the whites of their eyes, licking their nose or squirming, your dog is telling you that they are either stressed, in pain or scared. Stop and give it a break. If your dog growls at you it is advised to see a veterinarian to make sure everything is medically okay.

• The joint needs to be stabilized. If the bones are held properly, it sends a message to the brain that the joint is secure and the muscles can now relax. To achieve this you have to hold the bones above and below the joint confidently and steadily.

• Stretch the limbs using a straight plain movement. This is achieved by holding the long bones of the limbs in alignment with the joint. By stretching in this fashion we prevent injuring the dog by stretching something we never intended to, like the medial ligaments of the stifle. This is very important for the stifle joint and the hip joint. With the frequency of hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and cruciate ligament tears, it places both of these joints at a risk for injury. If your dog has underlying conditions do not stretch them until you have gained clearance from your veterinarian.

• The stretch of the muscle needs to be held for at least 30 seconds. By holding it this long it reaches both the elastic and non-elastic fibers of the muscle. After the 30 seconds of stretching, the fibers will return to their natural state and the integrity of the joint and the muscles surrounding it will be improved.

The following are maintenance stretching routines for a healthy dog…”

You can read more on stretching your dog, along with pictures demonstrating how, in my e-book ,  “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs

What is Dog Therapy?

Dog therapy is an incredible gift from them to us.

We all receive therapy from our dogs, but a therapy dog who has a job is priceless!

Our loving dogs are the best therapy for us at the end of a hard day. They are always happy to see us and can’t wait to lavish us in loving kisses and follow us around to the end of the earth! They don’t care what we look like, feel like, or act like, they just love us no matter what! What a wonderful presence to arrive home to.

These incredible creatures are so gifted that they have jobs as Therapy Dogs. This is different than a Service Dog, which would be like a search and rescue dog, a cadaver dog, a police dog, a narcotics dog, and a bomb dog. All these jobs are equally important and highly skilled, they are just different.

Therapy dogs visit hospitals, schools, nursing homes, libraries, detention centers, rehab centers and all the places where the people residing there benefit from interacting with dogs as therapy. They accept petting, brushing and attention from people. Some dog therapy involves doing tricks or obedience routines for the residents. Children read books to them which helps them with confidence and reading abilities.

Dogs for therapy need to be:

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Top 12 Benefits from Therapy for Dogs

  Understand Why Your Dog will be Healthier and Happier

Therapy for dogs has been recognized by veterinarians as a treatment protocol for proper rehabilitation.  Pre-operatively and post-operatively it is now being incorporated into dog care for optimum results. Physiotherapy has been a missing link for many years as the profession focused primarily on medical and surgical management. In today’s practice, that has all changed.

There are a number of modalities for dog therapy. The goals of physiotherapy remain the same and the benefits are astounding. Any pet owner with a dog that needs surgery or has had surgery, must ensure a rehabilitation program has been laid out for them. It would be like sending a person home after surgery on a broken leg without crutches to walk with.

The following is a list of goals for providing physiotherapy for your canine friend: 

  • physiotherapy eliminates the cause of the dysfunction
  • therapy for dogs improves a general return to functioning
  • dog therapy alleviates pain. Pain can cause a host of unwanted conditions such as immunosuppression, cachexia, a disuse of limbs and inappetance.
  • therapy for dogs reduces inflammation. By reducing the inflammation in their body, you will increase their recovery time and encourage them to use their limbs.
  • canine therapy can prevent and minimize the atrophy of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone and cartilage
  • dog therapy enhances cardiovascular fitness
  • canine therapy brings awareness to the management of post-operative musculoskeletal conditions, preservation and improvement of joint function

Therapy for dogs can be applied to a whole host of conditions. The need and desire to improve post-operative patient care since traditional ways, has increased the need for veterinarians learning how to utilize and apply many different modalities. Here are the 12 benefits a “therapy for dog” can provide: Continue reading