Canine hot tub therapy surfaced in the late 1990’s. Several advocates in North America were having great success treating arthritic dogs with warm water massage. Over the years, several associations popped up, advocating the use of canine hot tub therapy for dogs suffering from muscle injuries, hip dysplasia and arthritis. From assisted swimming, underwater treadmills and massage, the range of restorative therapies expanded exponentially.
Last weekend, one of the Hot Tub Covers Canada team members saw canine hot tub therapy in action. Her friend’s beloved four-legged friend, and long-time running companion, was showing signs of arthritis. In conjunction with herbal remedies, Archie the Vizsla is benefiting from a daily warm water soak. His owners purchased a used (traded-in) hot tub, followed advice from the Association of Canine Water Therapy, and the results are nothing short of remarkable. Archie shows signs of improved mobility, especially when waking after a doggie nap.
If you are looking to provide canine hot tub therapy to your four-legged family member, here are some tips.
If you do not own a hot tub, contact local retailers. Many will offer used, trade-in or demo models at discounted prices.
Water temperature must be set lower, typically 80-100 degrees. This is dependent on breed, age, and coat type. Hot tubs set over 100 degrees should NOT be used for canine hot tub therapy.
Invest in a quality Pleatco filter, to capture dog hair. Clean filters regularly to wash away trapped hair.
Consider using a non-chlorine system to ensure your dog does not lose vital natural oils or suffer from dry skin.
Where possible, hire a certified Canine Hot Tub Therapy member. They will visit your home, and walk you through the steps for proper massage or rehabilitation exercises.
Canine hot tub therapy is proof we are seeking ways to improve the quality of life for both owner and our four-legged friends. As your companion ages, think about ways you can ease the pain of aching joints and muscles. Hot tub therapy might seem excessive, but imagine what life would be like without your soothing water-based rest and relaxation.