The benefits of swim therapy for your pet are innumerable. First, animal swim therapy is a great form of exercise.

swimSince the water provides increased resistance, a 15 minute swim is the rough equivalent of a fast 15 minute run, but without the pounding so there’s little or no stress placed on the joints. Which makes it ideal for pets recovering from injury or surgery, older pets with arthritis or mobility issues, paralyzed pets, pets with any form of dysplasia — basically, any pet in pain whether physical or emotional.

swim2Second, the joy that pets feel bouncing in the weightlessness of water combined with the physical activity of swimming acts like a massage, relaxing their tight muscles and releasing their endorphins. This not only serves as an analgesic since endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers, but it also increases your pet’s serotonin level. Which makes them happier. Which makes you happier. A pet that comes in to Two Hands Four Paws for swim therapy just once every two weeks can maintain the serotonin level of a small pet. This is especially beneficial for older pets who may have become depressed due to pain, and lack of activity, pets that suffer from anxiety, or behavioral issues, pets that lack confidence and pets who are recovering from surgery. 

swim3At Two Hands Four Paws, our therapists have conducted over 10,000 swim therapy sessions making them the most experienced in the country. They believe in swim therapy because it improves fitness, and stamina. It increases strength in both the front, and back limbs. It’s great for weight loss and weight maintenance. It’s a crucial component of pet rehab post surgery or injury. It helps alleviate the pain associated with many geriatric conditions such as arthritis and can also benefit pets with hip and elbow dysplasia, ligament strains or sprains, and those suffering from anxiety or depression.

Call us today at 310-475-8555 to find out more about swim therapy at Two Hands Four Paws. And if you’re looking for an alternative form of exercise for your healthy pet who needs to expend some playful high energy, check out our Fun Swims.

Underwater Treadmill

swim3The underwater treadmill has proven to be so effective in treating a wide range of problems from post surgery pain to muscle weakness in older pets that Two Hands Four Paws now owns two of these amazing machines. The benefits are similar to those derived from swim therapy, but with a few major differences.

The underwater treadmill focuses on the walking gait making it ideal for pets with a neurological or spinal injury who literally needs to relearn how to walk. In addition, there are more variables that can be adjusted in the underwater treadmill such as the water height, speed of the treadmill, and the walking direction which makes the treatment more predictable and allows the therapist more control. This is especially ideal for pets with paralysis, or those recovering from surgery such as ACL surgery.

swim4Less stressful on the joints than the land treadmill, the underwater treadmill is great for older pets who need to build up their rear end strength, and/or recover confidence walking. It’s an amazing cardiovascular exercise for any pet and, due to the therapist’s ability to adjust so many variables, the underwater treadmill will continue to challenge your pet as he or she regains strength. It’s also non-weight bearing so it’s great for pets with any kind of dysplasia or joint pain.

Our therapists often use the underwater treadmill in conjunction with the pool in order to increase strength in both sets of limbs, push the range of motion in the joints to their maximum limit, and heighten your pet’s sense of confidence and well being. In addition, the underwater treadmill improves circulation, increases lymphatic drainage and calms the nervous system. In short, we think it’s kind of a miracle.

Call us today at 310-475-8555 to find out more about the underwater treadmill at Two Hands Four Paws.