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Canine Hydrotheraphy sounds so humourless and grim. We prefer to call it Swimming Dogs.

Why take your dog swimming? According to Veterinary Times, "Common mobility conditions assisted by hydrotherapy include: hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament ruptures, patella luxation, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), fractures, and a wide range of spinal conditions."

Hydotheraphy prior to surgery can help to reduce the extent of muscle atrophy following surgery, and improve the dog's cardiovascular fitness. After surgery, hydrotheraphy can improve the dog's muscle strength, range of movement, proprioceptive ability, and weight-bearing status. In short, hydrotheraphy can be used to relieve a dog's pain and retrain and strengthen his or her muscles.

And, hopefully, the swimming will be fun.

At the Ritz Canine we have an indoor, in-ground heated pool. The pool measures __ by __ and is 4 feet deep throughout. It is located in a heated (and dehumidifed) room—with large windows on one side, and skylights to let in the Worcestershire sunshine.

The pool has an in-built, fully adjustable water jet which, when used, will provide a gentle current to help your dog swim—the so-called "Endless Pool"

We have the latest water filtration system, and water quality is tested at least three times each day. Our staff are fully trained in water treatment skills, and we use only the most effective, and dog-friendly, chemicals.

The pool is surrounded by special non-skid material for your dog's safety, and entry to the pool is via a gentle, non-skid ramp. We do not use hoists and winches.

One of our skilled technicians will be in the water at all times with your dog. Your dog will also wear a special canine life jacket.

At the end of your dog's swim, we'll provide warm, fluffy towels and (with your permission, of course) some home-baked doggie cookies.

The warm water (88° F = 31° C) helps relax your dog's muscles, and encourages local blood flow and oxygenation of the tissues. This assists with the healing process, either following surgery or injury, and reduces localised swelling and its associated pain.

The buoyancy of the water allows your dog to exercise in a near weightless environment, so a full range of motion is possible. The viscosity of the water allows dogs with poor proprioception and limb placement to have a better awareness of the position of their limbs.

But all dogs are welcome to come swimming. Some dogs just come for the exercise and the fun of it all. It's said that one minute in the pool is the equivalent of a one mile walk. And to make it enjoyable, we have a huge selection of floating dog toys.

For the safety of all, we need a veterinarian's certificate before your dog can go swimming, and your dog's vaccinations must be up-to-date (but your veterinarian can confirm this on the certificate). There are certain conditions where swimming isn't advisable, such as heart problems and dogs with infectious diseases.

If your veterinarian refers your dog for hydrotheraphy, the related costs will usually be covered by pet insurance. Please check with your insurance company first.

Appointments can be made online. Come on in, the water's fine.

How much does it cost?

For guests at the Lucies Farm Luxury Pet Resort a 30-minute pool session is £23.45. Or you can purchase a "Six Pack" of six 30-minute pool sessions for £127.00, a 10% savings.

Day guests are always welcome. A 30-minute pool session is £32.20. Or you can purchase a "Six Pack" of six 30-minute pool sessions for £173.00, a 10% savings.

All prices are plus VAT.

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