What happens during a hydrotherapy session

Our aim is that both you and your dog enjoy the hydrotherapy experience in a relaxed and friendly environment. We aim to provide an individual treatment plan to suit your dog's requirements, easing them into a comfortable regime that gains confidence and reduces anxiety. We encourage you as owners to take part in the sessions, sometimes you may get a little wet but that's all part of the experience.


We recommend that animals are walked to allow defecation/urination and are not fed 3 hours prior to the session. It is so very important that the dogs do not defaecate in the pool. If this erichappens we have to drain the pool and refill and this takes several days to complete.

Please wait out in our reception area until we call you in for your session. We will usually always have a dog in the centre and some of them may be reactive.

The first session with us lasts 1 hour. During this we take a full history, perform a gait assessment and complete a thorough examination taking measurements from your dog. This gives a start point from which we measure progress. We construct a plan of the treatments we will carry out and discuss them with you.

Your dog is fitted with a bouyancy aid for safety and control. Next we introduce your dog to their first hydrotherapy experience.

Some dogs take to it like ducks or dogs to water, others can be a little unsure or nervous. All our hydrotherapists are very used to this and will soon gain your dog's trust and confidence and before you know it they will be swimming like experts. It is not uncommon for dogs to want to leap into the pool or water walker before we have even showered them, they are so excited and keen to get started. 

We will usually start your dog off in the treadmill as it may feel less overwhelming. We will start them off walking for short durations of time, usually 30 seconds. Although this doesn’t sound like a lot, with the added resistance of the water it can be quite intense, particularly for those who have lost muscle. We will increase the duration over time depending on how your dog is responding. We always give your dog a good rest in-between each set to let muscles and joints recover – they will still be benefiting from the buoyancy and weight of the water.

Exercise programs vary from dog to dog but all of them involve intervals of exercise and rest for different lengths of time and intensity. The hydrotherapist makes observations and adjustments to how your dog is moving in order to improve their condition.

After completion of their session we shower your dog once again to remove pool water from their coats. They are then towel dried which combines as a massage which they adore. Sometimes we also use our air blower to dry them. Some dogs will have a fleece coat on them to go home with to keep them nice and warm.

We will give your dog a tasty treat or two after all their hard work. We just can't resist it.

After your session, keep your dog as warm as possible for the rest of the day. This will reduce the likelihood of stiffness and prolong the beneficial effects of hydrotherapy for as long as possible. Try not to do any intense exercise for the rest of the day and keep your dog up and gently moving around every hour or so.

Subsequent sessions will follow the same pattern but will be half an hour long as we do not make measurements again until the 10th session.

If for any reason your dog is unable to swim for their booked appointment, please give us 24 hours notice where possible. A fee may be charged if no notification is given. We cannot swim your dog if they are suffering from any infection, have vomiting/diarrhoea or if a vet has advised that the animal should not attend a session.

Please arrive at least 5-10 minutes before your appointment time.  Unfortunately, due to busy schedules, late arrivals may not be seen and the session rescheduled. 


We are accredited by the Canine Hydrotherapy Associated, an organisation recognising that we meet the highest standards of treatment and care

Chase View Veterinary Clinic
Chaseview Veterinary Clinic is next door to Wye Valley Hydrotherapy. Please visit our clinic website
We welcome all enquiries.
Call Now 01989 564191