Hydrotherapy to maintain fitness
Obesity in dogs is a huge problem, with PDSA research indicating that 35% of UK dogs (2.9 million dogs) are now overweight or obese. It is estimated that being obese reduces the average lifespan of a dog by 1.8 years, and obesity greatly increases the risk of a variety of health problems. Over-feeding treats and an incorrect diet are the primary cause of pet obesity (90% of dog owners admit to feeding treats such as crisps, cakes, toast and takeaways), however, changing diet alone is rarely enough to achieve substantial weight loss in dogs.
Non-weight bearing and low impact
Hydrotherapy is the perfect way to increase the exercise levels of an overweight dog, as it is non-weight bearing and will not place strain on joints, muscles or ligaments. This gives hydrotherapy a huge advantage over simply walking the dog, which may place more stress on already overloaded joints. The low impact, cardiovascular exercise will accelerate the dog’s weight loss by rapidly improving their fitness levels. Hydrotherapy uses a heated indoor pool with a ramp to make it easy for the dog to get in and out of the water. Flotation devices are used for nervous or older dogs until they are comfortable, confident and strong swimmers. We have resting stations that are used during the hydrotherapy session to allow the dog appropriate recovery periods during their treatment protocol. Our experienced hydro-therapists always take the time to make sure that the dog enjoys the experience!
Supervised weight management programs
Therapaws can work in conjunction with your veterinary practice to ensure a good quality service is offered to weight management clients. We can provide you with a weight management diary, where the dog’s food and activity levels are logged, and will have a graph demonstrating their weight loss so everyone can see their progress. All weight loss programs are supervised by your practice, and you will receive regular updates on their progress at Therapaws and provide input to programs as necessary. We encourage owners to seek nutritional advice from their vet or vet nurse, and use our weight management diary to record food intake and cheats to help increase owner awareness and compliance. We have received very encouraging feedback from our current clients and achieved excellent results with a variety of breeds. One of our owner incentives is our Slimmer of the Month competition, where the dog with the highest monthly weight loss (as a % of starting weight) receives a half price swim!