2826 Shader Rd., Orlando, FL 32808

(407) 295-3888 •


Hydrotherapy for Maintaining Your Dog’s Health and Fitness

It’s now the beginning of 2016 and the Rocky’s Retreat/Barking Dog Fitness house dogs,  yankee and beauYankee and Beau are 8+ and 10+ years old respectively. Both are at an ideal weight, muscular and physically fit. Both Toby and I have worked hard to make sure our dogs stay this way, and as a new year begins, we renew our pledge to keep our dogs in top health.

As owners of a business with a canine hydrotherapy pool, we’ve often not given our dogs the opportunities to maintain their health by taking advantage of our pool. It’s the “cobbler’s children” syndrome – if you’ve ever heard this story – everyone in the village has new shoes except the cobbler’s children.

So while we encourage people with dogs who are over 8 to begin or continue a regular swimming regimen, we haven’t always done the same for our dogs.

So with a New Year, we have a New Year’s resolution specifically for them – our dogs will swim weekly!

If both dogs are so physically fit, why would we insist that they swim regularly?

First and foremost, we want them to stay that way.

At age 10, Beau looks like he might have some arthritis in his hind end plus he has some issues with his elbows. He’s never been much of a runner or heavy player, although Toby used to jog with him when he was younger.

At age 8, Yankee still goes full tilt chasing a tennis ball, but is starting to stop and rest a bit more. I’m concerned that the pounding his joints take in chasing a ball everyday may be taking its toll on his joints as he ages.

So swimming in our indoor warm water pool is the ideal solution for both of them.

Warm water swimming is hands down the best exercise possible for dogs, even those who either can’t swim or who hate water.Hydrotherapy for arthritis

  • It’s a full body workout, building muscle strength and improving cardiovascular and respiratory health.
  • It helps to increase range of motion and joint flexibility.
  • It strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation.
  • The low impact nature of the workout is a great way to save wear and tear on joints and muscles.
  • It dramatically improves endurance.
  • For dogs with arthritis or other degenerative joint disease, it helps to rebuild or maintain muscle mass without pain.
  • It helps dogs who are recovering from surgery or non-surgical injury heal and return to normal mobility and activities much more quickly.
  • It’s the best exercise for weight loss, since many overweight dogs can’t effectively exercise on land.
  • It improves confidence and behavior.

Swimming your dog at a true hydrotherapy center with a trained and certified hydrotherapist, such as the staff at Rocky’s Retreat, is the best way to see results.

Trained hydrotherapists know how to maximize the session for the benefit of your dog. Each session is customized for the dog. Temperature in the poolcanine hydrotherapy is regulated for maximum benefit.

For example, at Rocky’s Retreat, the pool is maintained at 92 degrees and is sanitized with ozone instead of chlorine to protect skin and coat.

I know both Toby and I will keep swimming our dogs for as long as they are able. We’ve made this commitment to them.

Barring anything unforeseen such as cancer, we know this one simple act will not only prolong their lives but will maintain their quality of life for much longer.

What will you do for your dog?