You can become a Certified Canine Hydrotherapist

Canine hydrotherapy courses at Michelle Monks Canine Health & Wellbeing Academy

New and Improved Course

Thanks to Covid we have completely restructured this Certificate Course including new lectures, assessment criteria, and an updated in-person workshop.

The Certificate Course in Canine Hydrotherapy now includes:

  • 12 Online Modules with lectures & tutorials
  • Monthly Customised Live Q&A Webinars
  • Virtual Case Studies
  • Newly structured Live In-Person (not online) Workshop
  • Your own private Facebook Group


Imagine spending your days surrounded by canines doing something you love

If you would like to spend your days doing something you love, making a difference in the lives of dogs and their owners, as part of the canine therapy industry, then this course is for you!

There are no pre-requisites except a love for dogs and a passion to help them live a long, happy & healthy life.

Become a Canine Hydrotherapist


Career Opportunities working with dogs all day

The Pet industry is already a massive and rapidly growing industry, with people now spending more of their disposable income on their pets health and care than ever before. The medical and surgical treatments pet owners are investing in for their pets has increased substantially. Consequently, so too has the need for rehabilitation treatments that can accelerate the dogs recovery and maximise their return to function.

More vet clinics are adding rehabilitation and hydrotherapy to the services they offer and are looking for qualified Canine Hydrotherapists to join their teams. Existing Canine Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Centres are also looking for qualified Canine Hydrotherapists to help treat their patients. So, there are plenty of job opportunities on the rise once you are certified.

Aims of the Canine Hydrotherapy Course

With the growth in this industry, it is imperative there are suitably qualified therapists available to deliver quality services and care to the patients. This Canine Hydrotherapy Course has been designed to:

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    Ensure the standard of care and treatment provided to canine patients and clients in Australia is of exceptional quality and sets the standard within the industry.

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    Impart over 2 decades of Canine Hydrotherapy experience, Human Physiotherapy principles, and the latest advancements in canine rehabilitation research.

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    Teach students to perform in depth individual assessments of each dog and devise a suitable hydrotherapy program, tailored to the specific needs of each patient.

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    Provide experienced and certified Canine Hydrotherapists available to work in conjunction with a patient’s vet as part of a healthcare team.


This Canine Hydrotherapy Course is accredited by the Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association (ACRA). ACRA is the governing body for the practise of Canine Rehabilitation and Canine Hydrotherapy in Australia.

The (ACRA) board is made up of Physiotherapists with a Masters Degree in Animal Physiotherapy, and Veterinary professionals with an interest in Canine Rehabilitation. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in canine rehabilitation with different membership levels available.

Participants who successfully complete the Certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy Course are eligible to apply for ACRA Membership, display the ACRA logo as a mark of quality, and apply for professional indemnity insurance with Insurance House.

This course is accredited by the ACRA - Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association


The Course Instructor and founder is Michelle Monk - a Human Physiotherapist, with a Masters Degree in Animal Physiotherapy. Michelle has won several awards for her delivery of service to canine patients and for her research in the area of rehabilitation following surgery for cruciate disease.

Michelle started the first rehabilitation centre for dogs in 2002 complete with indoor heated pool and underwater treadmill. Since then she has delivered hydrotherapy to thousands of dogs and is the most experienced canine hydrotherapist in the country.

She has also authored the Animal Hydrotherapy chapter in the Textbook “Animal Physiotherapy: Assessment, Treatment and rehabilitation of Animals’, 2013.

Michelle worked as a human physiotherapist prior to working with canines including 6 years in Human Hydrotherapy and continues to attend continuing professional development in this field.

Michelle is passionate about increasing both the quality and availability of rehabilitation therapies so that all canines have access to quality health care to improve their general health, wellbeing, and recovery from injury and illness.

Michelle Monk founder of Canine Health & Wellbeing Academy with Zoe

Connect with Michelle

An indication of Course Modules:

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    Introduction to Hydrotherapy for the Canine Patient

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    The properties of water

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    Principles of Canine Hydrotherapy - swimming and underwater treadmill

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    Canine Skeleton

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    Canine Arthrology

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    Canine Muscular System

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    Canine Nervous System

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    Canine Hydrotherapy for Health and Fitness

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    Canine Hydrotherapy for Rehabilitation

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    Common pathologies requiring Hydrotherapy in the Canine Patient

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    Working safely in Canine Hydrotherapy

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    Assessment of the Canine patient for Hydrotherapy

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    Use of equipment in Canine Hydrotherapy

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    Development of and progression of treatment plans in Canine Hydrotherapy

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    Practical delivery of Canine Hydrotherapy

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    Working as part of a Multi-disciplinary team

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    Hydrotherapy Facility Centre

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    Water Chemistry in Canine Hydrotherapy

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    Record Keeping

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    Business development, technology and marketing for the Canine Business owner

Course Delivery

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The next Certificate Course in Canine Hydrotherapy will commence SOON.

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Course Content Delivery

Course Content Delivery: A blended delivery of course content includes online learning modules for delivery of lectures, slides, and reference materials. Plus live monthly Q & A webinars customised to student questions. In addition, there are case studies (provided by the Academy) and a live face-to-face in-person (not online) workshop. We also utilise the use of an app instead of a traditional text book as this gives a better student learning experience. 

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Live in-person (not online) Workshop

There is one compulsory 3-day workshop delivered in Melbourne approximately 8 months after course start date. This workshop is an intense practical hands-on practice of canine hydrotherapy on real animal patients including live case studies and an individual assessment. Devised to support your theoretical learning & ensure you achieve the necessary skills to competently deliver effective treatment. Note: You would need to attend this workshop in-person in Melbourne. 

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Assessments & Examinations

Each module requires the completion of an assignment and successfully achieving a pass mark. Certification is based on assignments, case study log books, and participation and completion of the practical workshop activities including an individual assessment.

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Textbook/App Purchase Required

App purchase: We utilise the use of an online App instead of a traditional text book as this gives a better student learning experience and is incorporated into the learning modules. We have secured a special discount for our students for the purchase of the App to reduce it to US$81. NOTE: The App does not run on every device, notably, it won't work on Android devices. Please email us for a full list of compatible devices.

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Log Book Completion

Each student is required to complete a series of patient case studies and submit logbook reports including assessment and treatment plans. These case studies will be provided for you by the Academy.

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Student Support

Throughout the course support is available through a private Facebook Group filled with your peers and instructors plus a dedicated student support team via email.

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Hours of Study Per Week

Hours of study required are approximately 5-7 per week for most students but this can vary depending on students previous knowledge.

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Course Duration

Most students complete the course in 9-10 months. There are modules that must be completed prior to attending the Live Workshop and after the Live Workshop there additional Case Study Log Books required to be completed (these are provided for you by the Academy). Some students complete these quickly while others can take a little longer.



Need more information or want to ask us a question before you register a place for the next course?

This course is accredited by the ACRA - Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association

Making a difference and saving canine lives

Canine Health & Wellbeing Academy Roonie


"Without rehabilitation, so many of the dogs I' have seen over the years would not have regained the function they did and gone on to live happy lives. My own dog 'Roonie' who had spinal surgery for IVDD would not have been able to walk again. This goes for thousands upon thousands of dogs who have been through our doors over the past 18 years. Canine rehabilitation increases strength, helps restore and maximise mobility, and saves lives"

- Michelle Monk

Canine Health Academy Hydrotherapy Courses With Labrador Image

Frequently Asked Questions

What our students have to say:

"Thank you very much Michelle and the team, for your commitment in sharing your knowledge and passion in this special field, for being ever so encouraging to all of us and giving us the support we need, to take this first step into this area of work. This course has really broadened my knowledge and I am truly appreciative of it! Cheers to Canine Health & Wellbeing Academy!"

- Hwee Khim Seng - Canine Remedial Massage Therapist


Please pass on my thanks to Michelle for a great course and helpful, considered feedback every step of the way. Much appreciated!

Catherine Rains - Canine Remedial Massage Therapist


“I had no prior skills in this industry and this course gave me the skills as well as the confidence to take hydrotherapy sessions in a clinic. Best career move I ever made”

– Emilie - Canine Hydrotherapist


“I am delighted to have just completed my certificate in Canine Remedial Massage course and to be starting to practice as a massage therapist, helping dogs to feel their most comfortable. .”

– Minnesha – Canine Remedial Massage Therapist


“Coming from a professional corporate background, I understood the need to surround myself with like-minded people, increase my knowledge/training and develop a support network, particularly as I work as a sole trader. The Hydrotherapy course delivered on all fronts.”

– Marie – Canine Hydrotherapist


“Since completing the course and gaining my certificate I am now employed and working in the career of my dreams and loving it. I highly recommend the Academy courses if you wish to start a career in Animal Health Care.”

– Alison – Canine Hydrotherapist


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