top of page
Canine Hydrotherapy

What is Hydrotherapy and how does it work?

Hydrotherapy uses the assistance of warm water which helps to soothe muscles and

provides pain relief by facilitating the movement of limbs in a semi-buoyant

environment. This means there is less impact to affected joints

allowing gentle and controlled exercise to help build strength which at the same time provides the opportunity for weight loss and improved cardiovascular fitness


It is well known that water has many therapeutic properties that can be used to implement recovery and endurance. These include:

  1. Buoyancy

  2. Temperature

  3. Resistance

  4. Hydrostatic Pressure

  5. Viscosity




Buoyancy helps lessen the impact and pressure going through the joints,

allowing ambulation with increased active range of motion and reduced pain.



A therapeutic effect on the patient can be achieved in temperatures between 28°C and 32°C

When warm water is applied to muscle tissue it causes: an increase in elasticity, an increase in cell metabolism and blood flow and relaxation. This provides:


  • Pain relief

  • Increase in function or performance

  • Effective and comfortable exercise during the hydro session



Resistance is greater in water than in air because molecules are more tightly packed together. Increased resistance to movement in the water can cause a patient to become more easily fatigued. The increased resistance during aquatic exercise can also be used in a beneficial way to promote muscle development and strength and improve cardio-vascular fitness. 


Hydrostatic Pressure

This refers to the pressure felt when the body is fully or partially immersed in water.

The pressure can help to reduce oedema and localised swelling in the limbs and the joints of the limbs. This in turn promotes a healthier circulation and lymphatic flow which helps with the removal of toxins


Viscosity/thickness of the water

This is the frictionless resistance due to the cohesive forces between the molecules of a liquid. The viscosity of a liquid is significantly greater than air because the molecules in a liquid are more tightly packed together.

Viscosity may enable unstable animal to stand for longer periods: falling over will take longer therefore they will have more time to rebalance themselves.


We work closely with your pet’s vet to ensure they receive the highest possible standard of care. Please look at the benefits of Hydrotherapy and some of the conditions it can help with. Here at Stay on Track Vet Physio & Hydro Centre we only operate with an Underwater Treadmill with a 360° view (as opposed to a Hydrotherapy pool). The benefit of an UWTM is that the water conditions can be adjusted according to the patient’s needs, which in turn allows a more controlled and precise form of treatment.

bottom of page