Bitu's Pet Services Pet Grooming, K9 Aquafitness
GTA's first indoor warm water pool for Dogs!
"K9 Aquafitness, hydrotherapy or water wellness" can mean a lot of things to different people for their beloved pets. It can be as simple as playing in the water swimming to fetch toys or enjoying a leisurely soak in the warm waters of the pool or swimming against currents for a complete cardio workout or swimming for rehab purposes. Mankind has tremendously benefited from swimming and moving in water for as long as it has existed and hydro benefits to our canine community are no different. The complete workout or full body movement with minimal or no impact that a dog achieves by swimming, is incomparable to any other form of exercise. Newton's law of motion states that 'a body in motion, stays in motion unless acted on by an outside force'. An active dog remains a healthy dog and we see increasing evidence of the health benefits of K9 Aquafitness or warm water therapy.
Warm water therapy helps increase the overall physical, mental and emotional condition of a dog. Whether your dog suffers from any bodily aches or pains, is recuperating from surgery, is overweight or has mobility issues, is an agility dog, a service dog, a herder, tracker, DockDog, a hyper puppy, special assistance dog, a bored family pet, or is a senior member of your family; swimming in warm waters will improve their health and vigor, adding quality years to their lives.
Our indoor warm water, chlorine and salt free pool offers your pooches a customized fitness medium in a very comfortable temperature throughout the year. Depending on the specific need of your dog, we offer them multiple options of gentle laps to rigorous swimming against the currents, to achieve your desired goals. Be it to maintain optimal physical health, increasing body awareness, balance and coordination or strengthen their core; swimming is an excellent low impact, non-weight bearing high resistance exercise that allows your dog to attempt a full range of motion.
Why a warm water pool?
Water stimulates and relaxes a mind, body and soul on every level. Water is calming, water is soothing. Warm water increases relaxation and when moving in water, the resistance is 15-20 times that of moving in air. Warm water can increase metabolic functions and it can decrease inflammation. A dog’s muscles benefit from the warming effects of the heated water. Heated water is better than cold water since cold water causes constriction of the blood vessels near the skin and to the superficial muscles (those just under the skin), which restricts the flow of blood making the muscles less efficient.
Warm waters help the dog’s body to relax. Because of the increased resistance to movement, a 15 minute swim could be equivalent to about a 5-15 miles run or more for your dog. The buoyancy of the water supports and lessens stress on the joints, encouraging freer movement and provides a safe environment for exercise. Aquafitness has specific therapeutic effects on body tissues. It is a safe exercise in a controlled environment. It increases circulation of blood to the muscles, promoting tissue healing, offering relief from pain, swelling & stiffness. Perfect choice for enhancing general health and fitness of your four legged baby.
What to expect:
The sessions depend on many components like the reason you bring your dog for a swim including the nature of the dog's injury if any, condition and age of your dog, where your dog stands on an emotional level in water and the ultimate goal.
One of the most important component is when the dog and their human feel safe. Swimming and other options should only progress once everyone is relaxed. A relaxed mind will relax the body and a relaxed body will be able to get into a full range of motion stride in water. Fear, panic and stress will only undermine the benefits of wellness you seek for your pup. Regardless of your goals, when you choose water therapy or wellness programs of any kind, make sure that it feels emotionally and physically safe for you and your canine companion. Patience is the key and we encourage you to be present with your dog, at every stage and every milestone. Your faith, calmness and encouragement will go a long way in helping them achieve the desired results sooner.
Swimming is a natural instinct but not every dog is a born swimmer. Some take to water immediately and some take a little longer. First swims can never be an accurate assessment of your dog's relationship with water. We are always in the water with your dog guiding and training them. Once the realization sets in that it is a safe environment, they have a landing spot and a human to keep them safe; they relax and most of the time, enjoy their swims. Unlike us, animals are quite open and accepting in nature especially, when they know they are being helped.
Please remember, every dog is different and results vary from dog to dog depending on their physical, mental and emotional condition. We are not veterinarians and do not offer any diagnosis or medical consultation but will gladly work with your pet's medical professionals as needed, in the best interest of your dog. It is up to you and your dog's vet to determine if swimming is the best exercise option for your canine child. At any given point if we feel your dog is experiencing discomfort or that it might not be the right exercise or therapy medium for your dog, the session will be stopped immediately.
The swim session booking process and the session:
Swim sessions are by appointment only. You can make an appointment for your pup preferably over the phone and that way we are able to gather important information that will help us work with your baby. We are also reachable by email or Facebook messenger to answer any questions you may have. For pricing information, click here.
Once the appointment is scheduled, we will send an email with registrations forms (and the vet form in case of therapy swims) and instructions on how to prepare your pooch for the swim sessions with us. Kindly read, fill out, print, sign and bring the forms with you at the first appointment. Please do read and follow all the instructions especially, about feeding your dog very carefully. Not following instructions can cause your dog great discomfort and can be detrimental to their health. It may also result in your dog having accidents in the water that can cost you penalties.
Dogs who enjoy swimming usually only need a little praise and encouragement to get into the pool. For those who aren't used to swimming or seek therapy/rehab, we will help the dog get into the water. Your dog's safety and comfort is our primary concern so kindly follow the lead and instructions of the hydrotherapist.
Even for dogs used to swimming, being in a big body of water and a new environment can take a little time getting used to. Please be calm, encouraging and patient. Your energy is the key to help your dog relax and get comfortable faster.
After the swim session, please support your dog (incase they are water logged) and leash them to prevent any slips and falls. We provide you with towels to dry your dog after their swim. We will help soak up any water that may have penetrated your dog's ears and also add a drying creme to prevent any ear related issues. However, we ask that you keep your dog's ears clean at all times and let us know if your pup suffers from a history of ear infections. It is also important to keep your dog well brushed if you choose swimming to be part of your pooch's regular routine to prevent any skin related issues.
Your dog should be on a leash at all times unless instructed otherwise. We recommend you bring a wrap/coat for your pup if you prefer to just towel dry your dog after the swim especially in the cold weather. However, please let us know ahead of time if you do wish to use our forced dryer to blow-dry your dog yourself or would like us to book our time for the same. Additional charges apply.
Let your dog relieve itself outside after the swim. It's a very normal physical requirement.
Be it fitness, therapy, conditioning, rehab, fun or weight loss; swimming is beneficial for every dog, any breed, size and age. The full range of motion achieved in water is an exercise equivalent to no other on land. 30 minutes is the minimum pool time we recommend for your dog. It takes them that long to get used to the entire experience even though they may not swim for the entire half hour. We assess each dog on their first visit and recommend you start with 30 minute session and not more unless your dog is a strong swimmer and is used to swimming on a regular basis. If we believe your dog can go the entire hour and may enjoy the benefits of spending longer time in the water, we will give you the clearance for a 60 minute session.
K9 Aquafitness, Water Wellness and Hydrotherapy may benefit the following conditions:
- Joint injury
- Hip & elbow dysplasia
- Spinal injuries
- Mobility issues
- Bone and muscle pain management
- Circulatory problems
- Geriatrics (senior management)
- Pre & post surgeries conditioning
- Chronic pains
K9 Aquafitness, Water Wellness or Hydrotherapy may be perfect for:
- Loosening up tight muscles
- Increasing circulation
- Decreasing swelling
- Increasing endurance & flexibility
- Increasing range of motion
- Increasing balance and coordination
- Increasing body awareness
- Increasing muscle strength
- Keeping your pet active
- Muscle toning and conditioning
- Agility dogs
- Show dogs
- Services dogs
- Loosing and maintaining weight
- Relaxing mind, body and soul
- Building confidence and having fun!
We reserve the right to refuse a session or stop the swim session if we believe it's not safe for your dog or for the hydrotherapist working with your dog.
More information on our pricing and packages can be found here.