If you already enjoy the rewarding and challenging sport of canine agility, you are probably always looking for safe and fun new ways to boost your dog's performance. Besides consistent training and vet appointments, there are also alternative pet therapies available to help your dog stay fit, healthy and interested in work. Hydrotherapy is one of the most popular options for agility dogs, using pools and specialized equipment to keep your pet moving without stressing joints or risking injury in the process. These are three of the primary benefits of scheduling regular hydrotherapy sessions for your agility dog.
Providing a Form of Low-Impact Exercise
Agility dogs typically belong to high-energy, athletic breeds that prefer to stay active and engaged throughout the day. When combined with the rigorous training regimen necessary for agility competitions, your dog may spend a worrisome amount of time putting stress on his or her joints. Although this may not lead to anything more serious than soreness in the short-term, it can eventually lead to accumulating injuries, discomfort and compromised performance. Hydrotherapy can provide the strenuous exercise your dog needs without the high physical impact of running and jumping.
Recovering From Injuries Without Sacrificing Condition
If your dog does become injured during training or a competition, having a hydrotherapy regimen already in place can make the recovery process more seamless and less disruptive to your training schedule. Hydrotherapy removes the pressures of gravity that can make injuries worse with use and restricts your dog's motion to basic swimming patterns. This means that it may be a safe and effective way to keep your dog in shape while promoting a faster recovery. During these sessions, a trained therapist will be able to work with your dog to strengthen the affected area and stay in top condition until your pet is cleared to return to normal training.
Taking a Break From the Routine
Agility dogs tend to be active and tractable, but they are also often intelligent. This helps dogs navigate courses and read cues from their owners, but it can also cause them to become bored with the same old routine. If you find that your dog is losing interest after running through the same obstacles over and over again, hydrotherapy may be the break your pet needs to learn new skills, meet new people and experience something different. Mixing up your training and therapy may be all it takes to restore your dog's enthusiasm for agility and maintain the focus needed for athletic excellence.
For more information, contact Downing Center For Animal Pain Management or a similar location.