Water therapy tips

If your vet and physical therapist have OK´d doing water therapy at home for your dog, a floating device could be useful if your dog can´t support any weight on it´s hind legs.

First gently place the dog in an empty tub or a kiddie pool (some dogs freak out if they are placed in a full tub, we want this to be a fun experience).

Gradually start filling the tub with lightly warm water, just a couple of inches at a time to keep your dog from going into ¨we´re all gonna die¨ mode. Take short breaks while filling the tub or pool until your dog calms down.

Fill the tub halfway up the dog's chest. This level of water is deep enough to provide buoyancy, yet shallow enough for the dog to walk instead of swim, which results in a good workout to build muscle and coordination.

Buy a cheap pool noodle (you can buy at Walmart or any pool store), and bend it around the dog´s waist, just before the thighs, and secure it with duct tape. It should not be tight, just stay in place. This will help the dog´s hind legs stay in position to help the dog try to move them. It will also help YOUR back as you won´t have to support the dog's hind end all through therapy.

Use low cal treats and toys to encourage the dog to walk in the tub or pool. Gently turn him if needed so he walks back to the other side.

Do this for 5 minutes during the first sessions, gradually increasing the time in therapy over the next few days or weeks as the dog builds muscle and his coordination improves, or as your vet or physical therapist recommends.

Always have your Vet or Physical Therapist OK any exercises.

Have fun in the tub!

Don´t forget to share with your friends!