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Dog having a hydrotherapy session for article on hydrotherapy in dogs

Hydrotherapy for dogs: benefits and where to find treatment

Hydrotherapy is a water-based treatment that helps dogs recover from injuries, manage chronic conditions, and stay fit. It’s ideal for dogs recovering from surgery, dogs suffering from arthritis, or needing gentle exercise.

To find a hydrotherapy centre near you, check our referral guide, ask your local vet for recommendations, or visit websites like the Canine Hydrotherapy Association and the National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists.

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Where can I find hydrotherapy for dogs near me?

Here's a handy table to help you find your nearest hydrotherapy centre:

Resource Description Link
Referral guide Find a hydrotherapy centre simply by selecting hydrotherapy in the pull-down menu at the top right of the page Referral Guide
Local vet Ask your local vet for hydrotherapy recommendations. Find a Vet
Canine Hydrotherapy Association Directories of approved hydrotherapy centres. CHA
National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists More directories of hydrotherapy centres. NARCH


Choosing a canine hydrotherapy practitioner

Though practitioners don’t have to qualify to become a canine hydrotherapist, most are self-regulated by the CHA. Do your research before booking a trial hydrotherapy session. Once you’ve narrowed your search down to one or two options, it’s a good idea to visit in person to check the quality of the facilities, the insurance cover provided, the credibility and professionalism of the staff, and their treatment recommendations for your dog.

Can hydrotherapy help my dog?

Hydrotherapy has been proven to help dogs in the following circumstances:

  • Dogs recovering from nerve damage or muscle injury
  • Obese or overweight dogs
  • Dogs with arthritis or dysplasia
  • Dogs recovering from surgery, especially joint or spine surgery
  • Older dogs that find outdoor exercise too rigorous or tiring
  • Dogs that have suffered neurological insults
  • Dogs that need increased fitness and muscle tone

How does hydrotherapy work?

Canine hydrotherapy can be pool based or treadmill based. Pools allow the dogs to swim as we would in a swimming pool; however, with underwater treadmills, the dogs walk on the treadmill whilst being supported or resisted by the water depending on the type of exercise that is needed for the treatment protocol. Once a hydrotherapy professional has taken your dog’s measurements and discussed his/her medical history with you, your dog will be introduced to short sessions of hydrotherapy. Subsequent sessions can last longer as your dog becomes accustomed to the exercise.

Exercising in water can support your dog’s limbs, joints, and muscles in a way that everyday exercise can’t. Because your dog can then effectively be weightless, this controlled exercise can stimulate and exercise your dog’s joints and muscles with less of the stress or pain that can be caused by regular exercise.

Read more: Laser therapy for dogs

How much does dog hydrotherapy cost?

The cost of dog hydrotherapy varies depending on the location, the type of session (pool or treadmill), and the specific needs of your dog. Individual sessions can typically range from £40 to £70, with some centres offering package deals for multiple sessions. It’s important to enquire about the cost during your initial consultation and check if the hydrotherapy centre offers any discounted rates for ongoing treatments. Remember, investing in your dog's health through hydrotherapy could save you money in the long run by potentially reducing the need for more extensive medical treatments.

Advice on hydrotherapy for dogs

For expert advice on canine hydrotherapy, ask your local vet if he or she can recommend a hydrotherapy practitioner in your area.

Find your nearest vet using our find a vet page, or speak to a vet online using video vets service.