At the Canine Fitness Centre, aquatic rehabilitation is performed using the most advanced canine hydrotherapy equipment. In 2004, our FERNO Aqua Paws underwater treadmill was the first of its kind to be installed in Canada, and it continues to prove to be greatly beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of conditions in dogs.

Exercising in water provides the advantages of buoyancy, stability, and hydrostatic pressure. All of these components are good for the post-operative, arthritic, neurologic, debilitated, and/or geriatric dog.

Athletic dogs benefit from exercising in water at speeds that create resistance and maximal muscle recruitment; great for total body strengthening! The underwater treadmill is also a great tool to exercise young dogs that are injured or rehabilitation from surgery, as it provides a great means to drain out some of their excess energy in a safe environment.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

  • WARMTH of the water (28°C-32°C) helps relax muscles, decrease pain and muscle spasm, and increases range of motion. The warm water also prevents small dogs from getting cold.
  • HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE of the water reduces swelling by creating a perpendicular pressure to the body and limbs, thus reducing any existing edema in the limbs of the body during exercise.
  • RESISTANCE of the water promotes maximum muscle use, increased joint range of motion and minimum pain during exercise. The resistance can also provide for a more intense work out as heart rate and oxygen consumption can be greater when working in water as compared to land.
  • BOUYANCY of the water decreases the concussive forces on bones and joints during exercise. In dogs with weakness and poor balance and co-ordination, the buoyancy of the water provides assistance, as 60 – 80% of the dog’s body weight can be supported by the water.

Our Under Water Treadmill

The Canine Fitness Centre utilizes the Ferno AQUA Paws Under Water Treadmill. Its unique features are as follows:

  • Easy access to exercise chamber (particularly for animals with difficulty walking)
  • Clear doors and windows are for excellent viewing
  • Water is automatically heated, treated, and filtered (water quality is checked, treated, and recorded twice daily)
  • Water height is regulated to accommodate different breeds and adjust for weight bearing
  • Adjustable treadmill speed, incline, and added resistance (with the use of water jets)
  • Digital wall display for treadmill speed, time, and distance

Examples of Indications for Hydrotherapy

  • Muscle, Tendon & Ligament injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Following Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Neurologic Conditions (operative or non-operative)
  • General Muscle Weakness
  • Weight Loss and Weight Management
  • General Muscular and Aerobic Conditioning
  • For Fun and to Drain Excessive Energy!


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