Most dogs at the PAW Center utilize our treadmill instead of our swimming pool. Why?? First, even if your dog is an experienced swimmer, we have an indoor pool so our HVAC system and the pool chemicals may be different from the pool experience your dog has experienced in the past.
Second, the pool and the treadmill can use different muscle groups. When a dog swims, they mainly use their front paws, depending on their body weight and abilities.
Water therapy, whether it be swimming or submerged walking, can be very beneficial in the rehabilitation process for many patients. The fun part is figuring out which path to take.
Advantages of Underwater Treadmill Use
- Extension of the joints is more complete than with swimming
- Control patient speed
- Control how much weight the patient bears with the height of water
- Balanced treatment for patients with multiple issues
- Support for weak patients
- Less intimidating than swimming
- Gentle and low impact enough for post-surgical patients
Advantages of Swimming
- Flexion of the joints is greater when swimming than walking in the water
- Swimming renders the patient completely non-weight bearing
- Great for core strength and heart health
- Patients with front limb nerve injuries often times use the limb during swimming before they will place the limb to walk
- Neurological patients who are unable to stand and support themselves can swim before walking