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Swim therapy for dogs is a widely used technique, often used for the treatment of muscle and joint pn. But do dogs benefit from this therapy and how does it work?
The technique was introduced by Professor George Rieger of New York, in the late 1980’s. His motivation for swim therapy was to improve the mobility of an arthritis sufferer and help to ease the pnful and stiff movement that he experienced with his arthritis. After that the technique has been developed and refined by many practitioners around the world and has found some popularity in the therapy industry.
Although Swim Therapy is still not widely known in the USA, it has been well established in the UK for many years. It is now part of the UK and Irish Association of Dog and Veterinary Practitioners’ accredited trning curriculum. It was introduced to Australia a number of years ago and is taught as part of veterinary and animal care programs.
The m of Swim Therapy is to exercise dogs by swimming, instead of by treading on the ground.
This involves trning your dog to jump into the water and allow it to swim away. It is a highly motivating task as your dog gets to escape from you, as you chase after him, it also helps to increase your dog’s enthusiasm to play.
Your dog will have to learn to stay afloat and this will only happen when he is motivated. This is why you need to reward your dog with prse and treats as you have trned him. Your dog will learn the technique as soon as he jumps into the pool and you will see how excited he is as you are. If you are using a plastic or metal pool, make sure that it is big enough for your dog as he will not be able to swim very far with your dog in a small pool.
The trning will usually take about half an hour and is based on positive reinforcement.
To see your dog get out of the water and run into your arms is an amazing sight and an amazing reward!
Why Swim Therapy?
Swim therapy has the potential to be very helpful for dogs and horses. Most people don’t have the space for a swimming pool and will have to settle for a small pool and a long hose to reach it. The swimming hose is a necessity, but as your dog learns to swim away from you, it becomes a more important trning tool.
Swim therapy is more motivating than treading on the ground and will get your dog running around and jumping in the water. Even if it only takes him 10 feet to swim, this is enough to have a positive impact. Your dog will benefit from the therapy because his joints will be exercised and he will move better, it will improve his mobility.
The technique has proven to be effective for dogs with many different diseases and conditions. It can be used for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, spinal cord injury, and brn injury. Many people use the technique to treat chronic pn from arthritis and joint pn.
Benefits of Swim Therapy
If your dog gets out of the water and is allowed to run free, you will see that he is very enthusiastic. He will enjoy being in the pool and he will love being rewarded with prse and treats. If he struggles to stay afloat or is too small to jump into the pool, then you will still have fun trying out the technique with him. You and your dog will be trning together and this is an excellent way to bond with your dog.
If your dog is not swimming around the pool, it is not being stimulated and is not being exercised. As a result, he is not being mentally and physically stimulated. This is why you need to teach your dog to swim and if you are not teaching him to swim, you are missing out on some of the benefits of swim therapy.
How to trn your dog to swim
You will need to trn your dog to swim and this involves getting him into the pool and teaching him to stay afloat and to come back for more. The easiest way to do this is to have an access point that you can use to reach the pool. Most people will buy a pool that is about 30-40 feet long and if this is not possible, you will need to find another way.
The trning will not take long as the pool is so small and you will not need to swim with your dog.
When you first get your pool, you need to get your dog used to it. Start with him in a small pool. If he gets out of the pool, put him back in and then back into the pool. As soon as he gets used to swimming, you will be able to work with him in bigger pools.
It will not matter whether your dog has a disability or not. You can do this trning with all dogs.
Step 1: Getting your dog used to the pool
When you first start trning your dog to swim, it is important to work with him in small pools. This will help him to get used to the water and will prevent him from panicking when he is introduced to the pool.
First, you need to put some water in your pool and let your dog in. If your dog does not like the water, he will not want to swim around and this is good as he is not being trned yet. If he is afrd of the water and gets out of the pool, you will need to get him back in and then try agn. Once your dog is comfortable, you will need to get him used to the pool and then you can move him to a bigger pool.
Step 2: Getting your dog used to the pool
If your dog is comfortable in the water, you can start trning him. You will need to teach him to stay afloat and come back for more. Make sure that you do this under controlled conditions. Do not trn your dog with him jumping in the water as you could get an accident and this could be dangerous.
Your dog will need to be motivated to get out of the water, so you need to give him something that he wants. Your dog will be very motivated if he gets to escape from you as you chase after him. It is also