Our pets are loved members of our family, our best friends, and often times our source for comfort in tough times. If you have a dog, you probably realize that you are the center of their universe as well, and that they depend on you for their every need. Therefore, we dread the day that our beloved Bowzer starts to show signs of aging.
Older dogs, especially medium and large breeds, can experience painful muscle atrophy (stiffness) and arthritic joint pain. When this occurs, they are often times unable to enjoy their favorite activities, like fetch, tug-of-war and jumping on the couch. Believe it or not, dogs can actually become depressed when consumed by pain and unable to play. This often results in your old pup sleeping or laying around most of the day.
Did you know that swimming can increase a dog’s lifespan? It’s true; by easing joint pain, stiff muscles, and providing vital heart-healthy exercise, swimming can help turn back the clock on your pet’s aging. The best news of all: it’s never too late to get old Bowzer started.
How Aquatic Therapy Helps
Millions of people around the world utilize hot tubs & pools for joint and muscle therapy. In fact, thousands of health clubs and rehabilitation centers offer water exercise classes due to their proven effectiveness and popularity. Water exercise benefits dogs in the same way. Pedigree™ even says “Swimming is excellent all-around exercise, helping your dog increase his heart rate, blood flow, lung capacity, muscle strength, and burn calories.” For this reason, many pet parents, as well as veterinarians are working to develop doggy exercise programs that take place in pools and spas. Other benefits of water exercise for dogs include:
- Impact free cardiovascular exercise
- Strengthening all major muscle groups
- Great energy release
- Weight management
- Improved range of motion
- Fun & enjoyment
Keep it Safe
Whether your dog is a frequent swimmer, or is just starting out, it is important to always keep close watch and be ready to help them out of the water when they become tired. Keep in mind, 15 minutes of swimming is equal to a 2 mile walk. Never let your dog swim in fast currents or deep water, and always make sure there is an easy way for your pup to exit the pool or swimming area. You can never be too careful, so we highly recommend purchasing a properly fitted canine life vest for your furry friend.
Swimming is even more enjoyable for your dog when you join them. Why not add this to your exercise routine as well? That way you can both enjoy a fun and healthy new activity!