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The Fountain of Youth

by Carie Broecker

dog swimming in pool

Every Wednesday and some Saturdays you can find Becky Lewis, certified canine rehabilitation practitioner, in the pool with dozens of dogs throughout the day. Becky starts her day at 9 am and stays in the water until 4 or 5 pm with a non-stop stream of happy dogs arriving for swim therapy.

Some dogs take to the water immediately while others are a bit hesitant when experiencing their first swim. Soon, almost all the dogs look forward to swim day. Many guardians report that as soon as they begin heading towards the pool in Carmel Valley, their dog whines and whimpers with excitement until they arrive at the pool.

Dogs that arrive stiff and arthritic soon have smiles on their faces and an extra bounce in their step after their first swim of the day. Although it may look like a big pool party for dogs, extraordinary healing is taking place while the dogs enjoy their time at the pool.

silver lab at poolSome of the dogs that swim at the pool are young dogs with genetic conditions like hip or elbow dysplasia, others have suffered from some sort of injury or are recovering from surgery, and others, like my Sunshine who is going on 15 years, are just feeling the effects of time on their joints and bodies. The nine-, ten-, even fourteen-year-old dogs are soon acting like puppies again after their swim!

See Dr. Annette Richmond’s article on the Benefits of Hydrotherapy for more information on the specific benefits of water therapy for dogs.

Resources for Hydrotherapy

Animal Spa of Soquel
Brynne Hoberg, RVT, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Canine Conditioning Center
Becky Lewis, RVT, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner
Salinas, Carmel Valley

From The Heart Dog Training
Canine Hydro- Conditioning

Natural Veterinary Therapy
Dr. Annette Richmond
Pacific Grove


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