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Underwater Treadmill (UWT) in action
Obesity is associated with shorter lifespan, diabetes, arthritis and diseases of the heart, liver, and kidneys. Being overweight or obese can also greatly reduce the mobility of your dog or cat, leading to problems with joints and muscles and aggravating the effects of old age and arthritis. It can also greatly increase the risk of re-injury after a completed rehabilitation program.
It is important to work with your dog’s veterinarian to develop an individualized program for safe and healthy weight loss. The progress of your dogs’ weight loss will be constantly assessed by regular consultations to ensure the weight loss and exercise programme continues to meet the pet’s specific requirements.
The buoyancy and reduced dead weight that a hydrotherapy pool provides enables your dog or cat to get a low impact, but effective workout; helping to strengthen muscle tone, improve mobility and increase fitness levels.
Maintaining an optimal weight can be tricky at times, and to channel an overload of energy into a positive direction can take up a huge amount of time and effort. Thus, a good fitness program for dogs is probably the most overlooked part of being a responsible dog owner! We cater for most of our dogs’ needs, but often think they will automatically stay in shape. Unfortunately, our dogs count on us to help provide appropriate exercise. We, as good owners, must plan and even participate in our dog’s fitness program.
Before beginning a fitness program, it may be a good idea to take your dog to the vet for a check-up. We have all been told to check in with our physician before beginning a new physical exercise program or diet. Dogs are no different, especially older dogs. We just want to rule out any physical ailments that could be made worse by exercise.
Fitness and leisure swimming are great low-impact exercise for dogs and contributes to toning muscles and improving fitness and mobility.
Most dogs enjoy nothing more than a good swim; and it is part of their instinct to jump into water, swim, and play, therefore, Hydrotherapy fitness and weight loss treatments draws on this. Whether your dog is a working, hunting, competition or family companion, dogs can utilize the underwater treadmill and other therapeutic exercises for a comprehensive, individualized conditioning program. Exercise in the underwater treadmill is an excellent cross training activity to increase the overall fitness of your canine athlete while decreasing the risk of overuse injury by separating fitness training from skill training.
At Paws-itive Paws-abilities I have designed two programmes for dogs with no current injury or medical condition. I make use of the underwater treadmill and/or swimming pool as well as various therapeutic exercises. I support a range of specific Veterinary Weight Loss Diets and incorporate the Fitness, Stamina and Recreational programmes to assist the animal to get its target weight in a specific period.
Fitness and Stamina Programme: This swimming programme is designed to provide intensive workout sessions; increasing fitness and stamina levels for the following types of dogs: Working, Agility, Showing, Tracking and Companion Dogs. This programme can also act as an advanced recreational routine for dogs with high fitness levels.
Recreational Programme: This swimming programme provides a gentle workout session that gradually builds-up muscle tone and maintains fitness and weight levels.