When you initially contact Little Barn Hydrotherapy I will discuss with you why you would like hydrotherapy for your dog and some general questions about the dogs health, age,temperament, medical conditions, injuries, surgery and medication. Before any new session a vet consent form signed by your vet to say they are happy that the dog is suitable for hydrotherapy must be submitted. A medical history will also be required from your vet so that an individual hydrotherapy programme can be devised. The therapist will share initial findings and give regular updates on how your dog is progressing to you and your vet.
Before booking an appointment you are more than welcome to visit the centre to meet me and see our facilities. This can also help your dog to familiarise themselves with new sounds and smells. Please remember to book though incase I am swimming with another client.
Once the paperwork is sorted you will be ready for the initial appointment. This is the same price but please allow 45 minutes to an hour. During this time we can discuss your pets health and requirements in more detail. I will perform a health check and get to know your dog before going into the water.
It is important at Little Barn Hydrotherapy that we focus on your pet during the session. This means that I will be in the water with them and we only ever swim one dog at any one time.
Before entering the water your pet will be showered. This is for three reasons. It cleans off any mud or dirt to help keep the pool clean. It gets the dog used to the feeling of water. The warmth from the shower will start to warm up their muscles prior to entering the pool.
They will then be fitted with either a buoyancy aid or a harness. This is an important part of safety.
Your dog will enter the pool with the therapist via a ramp both outside and inside the pool. For the initial sessions the dog may only swim for a few minutes with rest breaks in between. This will depend on their individual conditions. It also allows the therapist to assess the dog and allow them to acclimatise to the pool environment. It is important not to rush any dog on a rehabilitation programme so as not to over exert them. Swim time will increase as the dogs get stronger. Owners are encouraged to stay on the pool side to give their dogs encouragement and reassurance.
Sessions after the initial appointment last approximately 30 minutes.
After the session your dog will be showered and dried. It is a good idea to bring a dog coat to keep them warm on the way home on chillier days.