Differences Between Dog Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy

For dogs struggling with a disability, or recovering from injury or illness, finding their feet can be tricky and take time. These problems can take their toll on a dog’s fitness. In more delicate health, a dog is less likely to be up to the challenge of a race around the park. This is where hydrotherapy and physiotherapy can help! These two therapies can bring great improvements to your dog’s fitness, mobility and happiness.

But before going further, it’s good to understand the difference between these two kinds of canine TLC.

Hydrotherapy in Suffolk

The Differences for your Dog


Physiotherapy involves a wide range of treatments intended to improve your dog’s muscle strength and mobility. If your dog has been off their feet for a while, their muscles won’t quite be at their best. The aim of most physiotherapy is to get your dog feeling like normal again after surgery, injury and muscle loss, or simply due to ageing.

Physiotherapy treatments include techniques like massaging and stretching to soothe muscles, alongside heat therapy. Then, a dog may perform some weight-bearing exercises, and assisted standing and walking as they are eased back onto their feet. Finally, some centres can use treatments like laser therapy to soothe damaged tissue.

The aim of all these techniques is to relieve pain and inflammation, whilst aiding tissue and muscle repair. At the same time, giving support and to encourage dogs to use their weakened areas. Most often, the aim of physiotherapy is recovery.


Hydrotherapy programmes centre around a range of treatments that are provided in the water. These treatments take advantage of the weightlessness your dog will feel in the pool. Hydrotherapy quite literally takes the weight off your dog’s feet, giving them a chance to focus on their joint movement. This makes it a good choice for dogs suffering with lameness, poor joints, or poor walking.

Hydrotherapy techniques will vary according to the needs of a dog. But most sessions will likely include massages and stretches, with the dog encouraged to move their limbs through the water. Your dog might even be encouraged to swim a few laps if they can.

Hydro & Physio Treatments at Happi Days

Overall, canine hydrotherapy courses are designed to reduce muscle tension, encourage a range of movements in the joints, and boost muscle growth. You can also expect your dog to feel fitter and happier.


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