Aquatics Sessions:

It is very important that your dog feel comfortable and safe when in and around the pool.

We prefer to work with one dog at a time for each session. Later, after each dog has been in the pool several times, is comfortable with us and understands their “job” in the pool, multiple dogs may eventually swim together.

Not all dogs like the water, or know how to swim. By taking the time to make your dog feel safe and building their confidence they will be safer in and around water throughout the rest of their life.

All dogs will be fitted with a life jacket or harness to ensure they feel safe and have a “handle” on them so we can better support and encourage them while in the water. Once they learn their job in the pool over the course of several sessions, we will re-assess their status and may upgrade them to wearing less gear. We use toys, treats, positive motivation, their guardians, whatever works to help them gain confidence, learn their job and have fun.

The first time in to see us at the facility, much less in the water, can be stressful. With this in mind, we are very careful to end our first pool session and subsequent sessions on a positive note. We will do our best to make sure they feel safe and relax.

Every dog is different and their level of comfort in a new situation depends on many factors. Once we meet you and your dog we will be able to determine the best approach to ensure success and safety. By success we mean anything from accepting wearing a “bathing suit” (life jacket and/or harness) to walking into the pool and swimming with confidence. It all depends on where your dog is at in his/her ability to process the new adventure and our ability to help him/her feel confident and safe. Subsequent sessions focus on building confidence and we spend increasingly more time swimming, doing specific exercises and playing in the water.

At any time we may use more than one aquatics specialist to assist with your dog during an aquatics session. This depends on a number of factors including: the size of your dog, his/her ability to swim, degree of mobility, where they are at in terms of knowing their “job” and their status with respect to post op or injury recovery.

We recommend that if at all possible, for the first week-10 days that your dog comes back into the pool for 3 sessions close together. Each session will build upon the success of the previous session. Dogs learn best by repetition and frequency. We have found over the years that if you wait too long in between aquatics sessions, when your dog is learning, that they will have difficulty remembering the positive aspects of the last session.

Remember that 1 minute of swimming is equal to 4 minutes of flat-out running according to Dr. Arleigh Reynolds DVM. With this in mind, we are careful to monitor your dogs’ heart and respiratory rates as well as recovery time and degree of muscle fatigue. The goal is to build up their conditioning at a safe pace.

We have a special place in our hearts for senior dogs. The relief they get from floating gently in the warm water is tremendous. Our Watsu experience takes over when we work with seniors in the water allowing the movement of the water and gentle massage to soothe their tight, sore muscles. If they are able, we will try short swims encouraging movement of their legs which will move the fluid in the joints helping to lubricate them, and move blood in the muscles to help alleviate stiffness. If moving in the water is not their forte, we will do passive range of motion to encourage joint and soft tissue health.

Dogs who have loved the water their entire lives, and who’s time may be coming close to crossing the rainbow bridge, really enjoy being in the safety of our pool or their last time. Guardians who have dogs who have been diagnosed as having a fatal disease have brought their dogs to us for their last swim during Palliative Care. The joy it brings to the dogs as well as their family is overwhelming.

For more athletic dogs who need to stay fit, prepare for competition or who have a very physical job, swimming will help build muscle and stamina, we will come up with a program to suit his/her needs. We look at working all muscle groups: adductors, abductors, extensors, flexors… each with specific movements in the pool involving the resistance of the water to fire them up.

Most dogs love to play in the pool once they learn how to swim and become familiar with us and our pool. Recreational Swimming is a great way for dogs to burn energy safely, have fun, play games and stay in shape. Many dogs need a “job”, especially in the winter months when they are not as active, coming to see us helps their mind as well as their body.

Swimming is a terrific way to help your dog firm, tone and change their body shape without the concussive force of gravity, thereby putting less stress on their joints. We will develop a program for your dog and gradually, over several sessions as your dog firms up and improves in conditioning, we will increase the duration and activity level of the swims.

There are some dogs out there who have neurological and or mobility issues and who require more assistance. We help you fit your dog to the proper harness and gently lift him/her into the warm water. Chances are that they may feel anxious about this process, so we have at least two therapists in the water with them and begin with nice long floats, gentle massage, passive range of motion exercises and work on proprioception. We will develop a program based on what techniques work with your dog, give you homework and progress from there.

It’s a very valuable thing to teach Puppies to Learn to Swim. Not only will they have fun and burn energy, they will be able to take this with them for the rest of their lives. As will all the dogs who come to us, we take time with them. We make sure they are comfortable and have fun as they learn.

Pre and Post Surgery Sessions: Veterinarians are recommending swimming both before and after an orthopedic surgery. We will work with you, based on your vet’s input, to help your dog regain strength and muscle mass while in the water. The buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure and resistance of the water will help your dog to break down restrictive scar tissue, increase his/her range of motion and rebuild muscle loss due to lack of use. Pre surgical conditioning makes a very big difference in reducing recovery time after surgery.

Confidence Building: Some dogs come to us with issues stemming from a lack of confidence. Anxiety, fear biting, aggression, hiding behind one or more family member, following a family member all around the house…are all signs of dog’s who lack confidence in themselves.

We take the time to help them feel good about themselves. Learning to swim and to follow direction in the water has shown to help them feel and act in a more confident, balanced way. You can see how proud they become of themselves.

Your appointment allotment time includes your check in, time for you to dress your dog in their harness or life jacket and their session. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

As we strive to keep everyone safe, we also try to keep our pool happy. If your dog is overly dirty or has conditioner on their coat, the water will become cloudy and the chemistry may be affected so we ask that you remind your groomer to refrain from putting anything on your dog that may cause the water to become unbalanced.

Please also ensure that your dogs nails are kept short and rounded. Our pool has a liner and even though our therapists wear protective wetsuits, long or sharp nails can cause damage.
All Services must be paid for at time of visit.

Discounted Packages can be shared among family dogs and are good for one year.

Cancellation Policy: We ask that you please give us at least 24 hours notice if you have to cancel your session. This will allow us to give another dog your space. If you are a no-show, or we have less than 24 hours notice, there is a $25 charge for the missed session.
3% Administrative Fee for refunds.

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