What is Fitness Swim?
Our canine fitness swim programme aims to promote an all-around healthy activity for your dog. It provides everything from exercise to stimulation as they enjoy a dip in a clean environment with a warm, chlorine-free saltwater pool which has many benefits for their skin. Our heated pool also promotes relaxation and assists blood flow. Swim sessions can reduce muscle spasms and improve range of motion as well. Similar to hydrotherapy, during the entire session, we will have a certified hydrotherapist in the pool with them to ensure they are swimming while engaging the correct muscle groups and using their full range of motion, while having tons of fun and stimulation. Water resistance also makes your pet work harder as compared to walking or running on land. According to Dr Arleigh Reynolds, a veterinary surgeon and canine physiologist, the exertion from 1 minutes’ swimming is equivalent to about 4 minutes of running.
Benefits of Fitness Swim
Our targets for pets in the fitness swim programme are to improve overall fitness, achieve weight loss, and simply to allow them to enjoy swimming in a controlled and safe environment.
Provides exercise and playtime to prevent them from being increasingly destructive out of boredom
Provides mental stimulation to sharpen their awareness and focus
Burns any excessive energy to promote deeper sleep for healthy brain development
Improves muscular strength, tone and endurance
Improves the spirits and mental well-being of working dogs
Improves overall cardiovascular and respiratory systems, provided the dog does not have pre-existing cardiovascular problems
Truffle enjoying himself!
Who is suitable for Fitness Swim?
Most dogs across all life stages in good physical condition without any pre-existing conditions, or at a very stable maintenance stage, can be good candidates for fitness swim. At Gaia, your dog must first be evaluated by our trained animal rehabilitation practitioners to ensure that he/she is healthy and well, before starting on our Fitness Swim programme. Pain or discomfort they may be experiencing from the musculoskeletal or nervous system may not be immediately apparent. The evaluation is hence performed to assess and rule out such issues. Should any problems be present, our practitioners will recommend other programmes more suitable for them at that point in time, until they are pain-free, comfortable and stronger and can convert to the Fitness Swim programme instead.
Our fitness swims are customized and conducted according to your pet’s strength, stamina, endurance and play style preference. We also focus and target their weaker muscle groups, being creative with their swim sessions to ensure they enjoy their play while still working out properly. In dogs that have recovered from previous issues and are now in a stable condition, strong and toned muscles with good endurance help to protect them against further injuries from playing, running, agility or minor active accidents. In healthy dogs, fitness swim should be used in conjunction with other land exercises to promote healthy bone density and ligament strength.