How to choose a Canine Hydrotherapist

Our dogs are our best friends and an integral member of our family. When they are injured or in pain, like our children, it breaks our heart and we do everything we can to seek out the best solution for them. 

Unfortunately, the canine therapy industry which encompasses Canine Hydrotherapy, is largely unregulated worldwide. (With the exception of some countries and states). Due to the large increase in dog ownership over the past few years consequently we’ve also seen a rise in the number of unqualified Canine Hydrotherapy centres hoping to capitalise on this growth. 

Now, more than ever before, it’s important that dog owners know what to look for when vetting the therapist they are considering hiring to provide treatment for their beloved best friend. Below are several qualities that make not just a good Dog Therapist but an excellent Canine Hydrotherapist.

1. Knowledge and training

Any practicing Dog Hydrotherapist should have a thorough understanding of canine anatomy and physiology. As well as the principles of water-based therapy and its potential benefits and risks.

They should also be familiar with the different conditions, injuries and most common surgeries that can be safely and effectively treated with hydrotherapy. Plus be able to tailor the therapy session and treatment plan to the specific needs of each individual dog based on its age, breed and lifestyle. 

They should be fully insured.

This is the bare minimum required. Ideally, they would have been taught by a qualified animal physiotherapist with more than five years practical experience of their own.

2. Patient and compassionate

Canine Hydrotherapy or any canine therapies for that matter, can be a challenging and sometimes stressful experience for the dogs and their owners. Especially if they are in pain or not used to being in water. 

A good Hydrotherapist will be patient with the dog, taking time to build trust and rapport and establish a positive relationship with each dog. An excellent canine hydrotherapist will also do what they can to put the owner at ease. Explaining what happens in the therapy session to the owner, clearly outline potential outcomes and being compassionate and understanding of the situation.

3. Perceptive and observant to the dog’s needs

It’s imperative the Canine Hydrotherapist closely monitors the dog’s physical and emotional state throughout the session. An excellent Hydrotherapist will have been trained in recognising the signs of when a dog is experiencing discomfort, distress, or fatigue and have the skills to adjust the therapy session accordingly.

4. Good communication skills

A good Canine Hydrotherapist will be able to explain the therapy session to the owner, its benefits, and what to expect, in a clear and concise manner. An excellent Canine Hydrotherapist will also be able to communicate effectively and competently with other members of the healthcare team such as veterinarians and physiotherapists.

5. Professional and reliable

A good Canine Hydrotherapist will be reliable and punctual with their appointments. They will adhere to high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct. An excellent Canine Hydrotherapist will be always continuing their education, keeping up to date with the latest advancements in canine anatomy, pathologies, and treatments. 

Here at the Canine Health and Wellbeing Academy it is our mission, driven by our founder Michelle Monk (Canine Physiotherapist of 21 years clinical experience) to do everything we can to ensure all dogs receive the safest and most effective treatments equivalent to what we receive as humans.

Our Certificate courses in Canine Hydrotherapy utilise innovative methods to teach an evidence-based syllabus of the latest scientifically proven Canine Hydrotherapy techniques. If you’d like to find out more about how you can become a Certified Canine Hydrotherapist click this link for information on our latest course.

About Michelle Monk

I have been an Animal Physiotherapist for over 20 years. I am super passionate about having as many dogs and their owners as possible, access quality rehabilitation and preventative health services.