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Dog having hydrotherapy



ChesterGates has a purpose built hydrotherapy suite which includes both pool and water treadmill. With both hydrotherapies available your dog will have the best opportunity to improve fitness and strength depending on their needs. Your dog may start in the water treadmill and move to the pool as his exercise requirements change or vice versa. These decisions will be made with your physiotherapist and veterinarian at ChesterGates to ensure your dog’s recovery is maximised.

The type of hydrotherapy and depth of water, time in pool and difficulty levels will all be decided in relation to your dog’s needs. Some are learning to walk again whilst some want to get stronger and fitter for agility classes. Interaction with the physiotherapist can be critical to achieve the best outcome but remember your involvement in the hydrotherapy experience is often essential as well. When you book your session you will be advised on what you and your dog will need – treats, toys, towels and lots of encouragement are your main requirements to ensure you both get the best out of it.

Hydrotherapy can help

Post orthopaedic surgery and post spinal surgery

Exercising on a water treadmill is excellent for these patients as it allows controlled activity to take place in a supported environment. The dog will use the treadmill with or without facilitation by the physiotherapist who will ensure correct limb placement is achieved and weight bearing is maximised without causing trauma.

Orthopaedic conditions

Non-surgical treatment can often be of value for cruciate tears, hip or elbow dysplasia and many other muscle or joint problems. Hydrotherapy can increase muscle tone and strengthens tissues so further deterioration of muscle and joints is reduced.

Muscle atrophy

After surgery or an injury the lack of activity can allow muscles to waste away. Hydrotherapy can start to rebuild muscle mass in as little as 3-4 sessions along with a dry land exercise programme. Ligaments, tendons and muscles stretch out of their contracted state while they are moving in a reduced or non-weight bearing environment. Pre-surgery exercise can also maximise muscle development which will help post-surgical recovery.


Utilising the water treadmill is a safe aerobic exercise that burns calories and maintains your dog’s proper weight. Exercise is an important part of every weight reductions programme and the water treadmill is particularly useful for the obese dog with chronic arthritis when normal exercise is difficult. Losing excess pounds and beginning an exercise programme may add years to your animal’s life.

Show dogs

Exercising in the water treadmill helps balance movement, improves muscle tone and removes excess weight. Dry treadmill activity can also be used for this which is also available at ChesterGates.

Performance Dogs

These athletes need to be in tip-top condition and the water treadmill or swimming can add that extra degree of stamina and muscle length needed to make the winning difference. Whether your dog does agility, obedience, flyball, freestyle or weight pulling hydrotherapy gives them a fun way of keeping in top physical condition.

Working Dogs

These dogs need to be fit but also need to relax mentally. A swim or water treadmill session can give them a fun workout and improve their fitness. Whether you are a handler for rescue, police, drug enforcement, assisted companions, guide dogs or hearing dogs water therapy can improve their spirit and mental well-being.

Behavioural issues

Is your dog bored, too energetic or simply naughty and you don’t know why? At ChesterGates we have an in-house qualified Animal Behaviourist who can assess your dog if needed. As well as this you can try to relieve boredom and release excess energy in the pool or water treadmill where we encourage play to give you and your dog a fun but productive workout.

the team

Laura Easton, Chartered Physiotherapist & Veterinary Physiotherapist

Laura Easton

Chartered Physiotherapist and Veterinary Physiotherapist

Natalie Steen Chester Gates referrals

Natalie Steen

Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy Nurse

COVID-19 Update

Our practices are open and providing routine, urgent and emergency referral care for your patients. We continue to work safely with social distancing and a combination of telephone consultations and on-site examinations. GP vets should contact our referral centres directly for clinical advice on cases.