Paws for a Splash welcomes any dog that would like to swim whether it is for recuperation from injuries and operations, on an exercise programme to lose weight, improve living with an arthritic condition or to improve their cardio vascular fitness.
The word Hydrotherapy originates from Greece and translates into water-healing it has been used and proven for thousands of years all over the world. It was originally used for humans but over the years has been just as successful on dogs.
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise using nearly every muscle in the anatomy. It also allows the dog to exercise in a non-weight bearing environment which relieves pressure on joints reducing pain and encouraging a better range of joint movement.
The warm water 32 degrees increases the circulation to the muscles leading them to relax which reduces pain, stiffness, swelling and enhances healing.
I have successfully run a dog day-care and dog walking business since July 2007 called The Pet Connection. During this time, I have gained a lot of hands on experience with all breeds of dogs and loved every minute. I completed the NVQ Level 2 in Animal Care and Completed a certificate in Canine Behaviour and Handling.
Canine Hydrotherapy has been a keen interest of mine and this along with a good friend’s encouragement, I signed up for a Level 3 Certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy with Hawksmoor Hydrotherapy and Referral Centre in Nuneaton.
I have recently completed this AMAZING very intensive course which will allow me to treat dogs from a rehabilitation point of view (following surgery and or injury), assist the elderly with arthritic pain, provide fitness for working, show dogs and fun for those that love to swim in a safe controlled environment.
Please take the time to read the following pages and call or email me with any queries.
I will look forward to swimming with your furry children
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
The Benefits of Rehabilitation Hydrotherapy
Intended effects include:
Conditions that benefit from hydrotherapy
What to expect
Before the session
We must have received the vet referral form at least 48 hrs prior to your first appointment.
This referral is essential in order to ensure that your pet is suitable for treatment. It should also provide us with an accurate record of your pet’s condition as well as a concise clinical history, to include any other medical conditions which need to be considered before treatment. This is both a legal and ethical requirement.
Do not feed your dog 3 hours prior to your visit.
Please read the Terms and Conditions as you will be asked to sign a copy on your first visit
You may need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Veterinary Referral / Approval form in PDF. You can download a free copy from Adobe here
During the session
Initially a short head to tail health check of your dog, weigh and check dogs muscle mass and record findings.
Your pet will then be showered to remove excess dirt and loose hair on the coat. Your pet will be fitted with a life jacket before we enter the pool, where your dog will have 1 on 1 assistance with the Hydrotherapist in the water.
The length of time in the water will vary for each dog, depending on your pet’s fitness level, other medical conditions, age etc. Your dog may only be in the pool for a few minutes initially, up to a maximum of 15 minutes with rest periods.
We also have head collars and ear wraps to protect the ears from taking in water, as many dogs do not like this or can be prone to ear infections.
After the session
Your pet will be showered for the second time to wash off chemical residue and relax muscles. A blaster is used to dry your pet, but as some dogs do not like this we can towel dry, you are advised to bring your own towel/dry bag for the trip home and a coat in the colder months.
All findings will be recorded in your dog’s file and if necessary forwarded to your vet.
Do not feed your dog for approximately 1 hour after swimming.
VETERINARY REFERRAL / APPROVAL FORM
Fitness, Pups, Seniors
Swimming is a great way to build muscle, improve cardiovascular fitness, and burn off energy. In fact, it is one of the best total body conditioning exercise a dog can take part in! Most dogs love to swim and the mental stimulation combined with a good cardio workout will often lead to a quiet evening for the owner. This is perfect for working, agility and show dogs to help them stay in peak condition.
NOTE - Fitness swims are for dogs without any medical conditions and / or previous injuries. Paws for a Splash provides a controlled swimming environment.
Hydrotherapy is an excellent form of exercise for young dogs. The non-weight bearing exercise is a safe way to burn off all that excess puppy energy without the risk of damaging developing bones and joints. In addition, the mental stimulation of a new situation provides an ideal socialisation opportunity and exposes your puppy to swimming in a completely safe environment. We will swim puppies from the age of 4 months provided that they are fully vaccinated.
Hydrotherapy is extremely useful for the older dog, as it is non weight-bearing and will relieve stiffness, pain and the strain of old age. A full range of motion is achieved in the pool environment, allowing joints to move freely and muscles to strengthen. Additionally, the cardio exercise helps to keep the heart and lungs in good condition.
Please note for any of the above swims a vet referral / approval form will be required.
Rehabilitation Hydrotherapy - £34.50 per session per dog**
Rehabilitation Hydrotherapy is defined as treating a chronic illness such as arthritis, treating pre & post surgery, puppy/senior swimming & weight control. Any other medical condition such as heart failure, diabetes, Cushing’s, Addison’s, Hypothyroidism, Epilepsy, Renal disease, obesity, autoimmune disease & skin conditions will all require a rehab hydro session.
PLEASE NOTE VET REFERRAL/APPROVAL ESSENTIAL*
Fitness Hydrotherapy – £34.50 per session per dog**
Swimming to improve muscle tone & definition, target weak areas, weight control & improve cardiovascular function. This will include muscle mass measuring and gait analysis.
PLEASE NOTE VET REFERRAL/APPROVAL ESSENTIAL*
Leisure Swimming - £24.50 per session per dog
Leisure swimming is for those dogs who want to gain confidence and have fun the water. PLEASE NOTE LEISURE SWIMMING WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE FOR DOGS WITHOUT HEALTH COMPLAINTS
Book and pay for 5 session get the 6th half price saving £17.25
* VETERINARY REFERRAL/APPROVAL FORM AVILABLE TO DOWNLOAD UNDER SECTION ‘WHAT TO EXPECT’
**Discounts will apply for more than one dog within the same family, please ask.
All packages must be paid before or on the 1st session and single sessions paid on the day.
Debit card/Credit card and cash accepted.
Usually hydrotherapy is claimed under " complimentary " therapy so you may incur another excess from your insurance company for this.
Some companies cover as part of an ongoing veterinary condition.
Every insurance company has slightly different terms and conditions and it is the client’s responsibility to know what they can claim for before undertaking a treatment course.
Frequently asked questions
My dog has never swum before?
Many dogs have never swum before they come to hydrotherapy. We aim to make each dog as comfortable and relaxed as possible and guide them gently into the water via a ramp with a correct harness or life jack fitted. Whilst in the water they will have a hydro therapist with them supporting them and aiding the correct movement at all times.
Can I feed my dog prior to swimming?
Please do not feed your dog for at least 3 hours prior to swimming and at least 1 hour after swimming.
How does my dog get in to the pool?
Your dog walks in to the water via a non-slip ramp. We do not employ the use of a hoist system. Canine life jackets are worn to aid confidence and support your dog in the water.
What happens if I arrive late for my appointment?
If there is a scheduled booking a directly following your dog’s booking your dog’s session will be shortened to meet the completion time.
Will there be other dogs in the pool with my dog?
No, you and your dog have exclusive use of the unit during your session
Can I bring my dog if there is nothing physically wrong with them?
Yes, lots of dogs come just for fun and body conditioning
Will my dog lose weight?
Yes, in conjunction with a diet swimming sessions are a brilliant way to burn calories especially if they are restricted from exercising on land.
Will I need a vet’s referral?
Yes, whether it is for rehabilitation or fun and fitness, a referral form will need to be completed by your vet. This is to make sure your dog has no conditions that may be exasperated by hydrotherapy.
Can I claim the cost of hydrotherapy on my pet insurance?
Each insurance company has its own policy regarding canine hydrotherapy and you should contact your insurer to find out if your policy covers hydrotherapy treatments. Some insurance companies will only pay out if you are using a hydrotherapy centre that is registered with the CHA or a Narch approved centres which we will be.
How does Hydrotherapy differ to swimming in a river or the sea?
It is crucial to swim in the correct temperature especially if a dog is suffering from arthritis or has any joint problems, swimming in cold water can actually be counter-productive as it reduces blood circulation. Cold muscles are more likely to stiffen up and cramp and could do further damage. It is essential to monitor how much exercise your dog is doing and that they are doing the correct movement not to exasperate any existing problems. This is impossible to do without the correct training and not being in the water with them to look and feel movement.
There is also a risk of pollution and water born disease that could put your dog in danger, in the hydro pool the water is tested regularly and kept warm to ensure that your dog is safe at all times.
Terms & Conditions
By engaging in the services of Paws for a Splash you agree to the above terms and conditions
Where we are
Paws for a Splash
Unit 21, East Belfast Enterprise Park, 308 Albertbridge Road, Belfast BT5 4GX
Call Clare now on 07948 244648