Hydrotherapy is the cornerstone of many canine rehabilitation programs. A majority of our patients swim; however, it is not an absolute for those that are not candidates due to a medical condition, temperament, or lack of skill. Our staff has been highly successful in transforming non-swimmers into avid fans.
Angell hosts an above-ground 8′ x 20′ warm-water pool with a 4′ depth. The pool is heated to a therapeutic 84-89°, and can be accessed via a ramp or stairs. Our facility also offers 2 water treadmills, providing an option for low-impact, high resistance exercise for rehabilitation, conditioning, and weight loss. Angell provides towels, life vests (required for each dog), inflatable collars for dogs who are uncomfortable with getting their ears wet, and a variety of toys of different sizes and shapes for dogs that enjoy playing fetch. Our pool also features adjustable massage and resistance jets. Rinse and blow-drying facilities are available onsite as well.
What to Expect
Every new hydrotherapy client begins their appointment with an introduction to the staff and facilities, allowing your dog to become familiar with the environment before beginning water exercise. Your dog will be fitted with a life vest and slowly introduced to the pool or water treadmill. During the initial swim, an Angell staff member will enter the pool or treadmill with your dog.
Throughout each subsequent hydrotherapy session, a skilled staff member will supervise your dog, monitoring energy, proper movement, and pace, adjusting the intensity of the program as appropriate based on your dog’s condition and abilities that specific day.
Swim time in the pool is adjusted gradually and as needed. To ensure safety and individual attention, only one dog is allowed in the pool at a time.
You are invited to observe from poolside or at the treadmill. If your dog is reluctant to swim, we may ask you to move around the outside of the pool or at the level alongside your dog’s head while he is in the treadmill to help encourage your dog’s involvement.
Here is a video progression of one of our patients from her first time in the pool to after a few sessions, and finally to the point of achieving her family’s goal of having her able to swim outside. The low-impact exercise was wonderful therapy for her surgical recovery and helped her channel her puppy energy in a healthy way during the healing process.
Some of the key benefits of therapeutic swim include:
- Zero-low impact to joints
- Restored mobility & gait retraining
- Enhanced stamina
- Increased strength
- Cardiovascular health
- Weight loss
- Improved confidence
Fitness swims are an excellent way for canine athletes and family pets alike to maintain weight, increase muscle tone, improve mobility, and enrich your dog’s life.
Trying something new provides mental stimulation, which increases a dog’s confidence and reduces anxiety. As a dog grows less anxious, they become less prone to destructive behavior and less likely to engage in fear-based aggression. Using a variety of toys, changes in water resistance, and other aspects of the workout, Angell staff ensures that each swim is both engaging and challenging for your dog, which maximizes the behavioral health benefits.
In humans, 15 minutes of swimming at a moderate pace equals a 3-mile run. Adding swimming to your dog’s routine helps burn calories and boost cardiovascular health in a low-impact, fun, and safe environment.
Swimming is a great way for your canine athlete to cross-train. Water-based exercise takes gravity out of the equation, giving dogs the opportunity to develop muscles in a different way than they do on land. Angell is proud to work with agility competitors, flyball competitors, rally and obedience competitors, show dogs, and recreational athletes.