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Canine hydrotherapy involves the use of a controlled warm-water pool environment to enhance general/pre-operative fitness and post-operative recovery, and for the management of chronic conditions. Hydrotherapy — in conjunction with veterinary treatment — can significantly improve the quality and rate of healing following surgery or traumatic injury.  In these cases, the appropriate use of hydrotherapy can help with rehabilitation and increase the chance of a successful return to full fitness. As it is inherently a low-impact activity, hydrotherapy is also beneficial for growing puppies diagnosed with developmental conditions.


Jingle & Tango swimming in the pool

Benefits of Water

Water has certain characteristics that are helpful for the rehabilitation of land animals, including humans! Firstly, buoyancy helps to reduce the pressure load on joints. This property of water reduces the amount of weight-bearing necessary and can thus help with the rehabilitation of weak muscles and alleviate joint pain while allowing the correct use of muscles. We have found this modality to be particularly helpful for patients with hyperextension injuries or fractures.

The second property of water is its ability to exert hydrostatic pressure, or the force exerted by a fluid because of gravity. Since this force exerted is so evenly distributed, hydrostatic pressure can be beneficial for swollen joints and tissue. The pressure acting on these areas can 1) act as a ‘compression stocking’ for the submerged areas, reducing swelling, and 2) provide pain relief. The constant resistance of water against the body causes phasic stimuli to be continually sent to the skin’s sensory receptors. In response, the body reduces nociceptor (a pain receptor) hypersensitivity. In short, the body’s sensation of touch and hence of pain is reduced as a natural response to hydrostatic pressure.

Additionally, this pressure also acts on body extremities e.g. limbs to oppose the tendency of blood and fluid to pool and stagnate in these areas, hence stimulating circulation in the patient’s body.

Overall Benefits

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Most dogs across all life stages and conditions can be good candidates for hydrotherapy. We see many cases from owners wanting their pets to improve fitness, achieve weight loss, or just to improve the quality of life for their geriatric dogs in a controlled and safe environment.


Hydrotherapy has specific therapeutic effects on body tissues, including the following:

  • Improves circulation

  • Increases tissue healing

  • Boosts cardiovascular fitness (heart & lungs)

  • Enhances proprioception (sensory perception) 

  • Relieves pain, swelling & stiffness

  • Muscle strengthening and maintenance

  • Alleviates muscle spasm

  • Increases range of motion in joints

  • Prevents secondary complications resulting from limb disuse

  • Increases speed of recovery

  • Promotes earlier return to normal life after surgery (applies to both pre- and post-operative hydrotherapy)

  • Slows progression of the effects of degenerative diseases – i.e. osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia

Tango, 2019

The Gaia Difference

  • Initial assessment to evaluate a dog’s medical history before hydrotherapy

  • All of our therapists have professional credentials in hydrotherapy

  • Our spacious 6m x 4m pool allows for natural relaxed behavior and motivation for dogs of all sizes

  • The pool is heated, temperature-monitored and saltwater treated – which promotes blood circulation and is relaxing and beneficial for animals with existing skin conditions

  • Glass window allows observation and filming to evaluate the range of motion of each joint

  • We use only the top quality Ruffwear Float Coats for optimum safety and support


Jingle with her favourite lobster toy, 2019


Gaia Wholistic Animal Wellness 
248 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208921

+65 6962 2884

+65 81885272

opening hours

Monday - Friday: 11am - 8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 6pm
Closed on Wednesdays & Public Holidays

By appointment basis

COntact us

Gaia Wholistic Animal Wellness 
200 Bukit Timah Road, #03-01
Singapore 229862

+65 6012 9948

+65 81885272

opening hours

Monday - Friday: 11am - 8pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Closed on Wednesdays, Sundays & Public Holidays

By appointment basis

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