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28 October 2014

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You are in: Gloucestershire > People > Your Stories > Doggie Paddle!

Dog in swimming pool

Doggie Paddle!

If you're a dog owner you'll know all about taking your pet pooch for walkies, but did you know you can also take your dog for a swim? One of only a handful of Canine Hydrotherapy pools in the country is located in Prestbury near Cheltenham...

They say the UK is a nation of dog lovers, but just how much do you love your pet pooch? Enough to send him on a "swimming lesson" if you think it'll improve his health?

One form of treatment that's becoming more popular is Canine Hydrotherapy. Experts say it's brilliant treatment for pets who are recovering from surgery or suffering from arthritis or other chronic conditions.

"We find that the benefits are fantastic and the dogs recover much quicker from their surgery than if they were just at home doing nothing."

Eleanor Clarke

One of only a handful of specialised canine hydrotherapy pools is located in Prestbury near Cheltenham. "AquaPadz" is run by Ian and Lin Dickinson, who had the pool installed at the end of 2006.

Lin explained how they decided to start up the business: "We do agility with our dogs and we had some injuries and we thought it would be a good idea."

"Our vet was interested in hydrotherapy for dogs and we took it from there. We have up to 35 dogs a week now, it's going well."

Dog in swimming pool

"Do I get a swimming badge after this?"

Other conditions that can be improved include spinal injuries, obesity, and it can also be used as part of a general fitness routine. It's claimed that just five minutes in the pool is the equivalent of a one mile walkies!

Vetinerary Physiotherapist Eleanor Clarke says: "We find that the benefits are fantastic and the dogs recover much quicker from their surgery than if they were just at home doing nothing."

 "The benefits of swimming are that it's non-weight bearing. If a dog has just had an operation or an amputation they're obviously not weight-bearing very well on dry land so they're walking with a limp... We can do different exercises in the pool to maximise the muscling of the dog."

Click on the links above to see photos, watch a video, and listen to a radio feature about Canine Hydrotherapy.

last updated: 08/04/2008 at 12:14
created: 20/09/2007

Have Your Say

Has your dog benefitted from hydrotherapy?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Paul Bennet
This summer I taught my dog Millie to swim in the sea. She learnt by copying me as I can only do it doggie style. She loves it now and we have to stop her plunging straight in whenever she glimpses water.

Wendy Dickson - Dickson Dog Training
My three dogs swim at Aquapadz. I compete in Agility and Flyball and find this form of exercise beneficial for their general health and fitness. Since swimming my dogs two of them have qualified for Crufts 2008 Flyball Finals and one of these has already become a Crufts 2007 Flyball Champion.

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