Underwater Treadmill Benefits

The Benefits of Underwater Treadmills

Dogs (and, yes, even cats) can benefit from working on a treadmill.

Pet water therapy has become the standard of supportive care in a wide variety of circumstances.  Has your dog just had hip or knee surgery?  Are they getting older and having some trouble with their gait?  Is your cat terribly overweight?

The underwater treadmill is a versatile, complimentary modality for the rehabilitation of many conditions and as a stand-alone treatment for fitness and weight loss.  It uses the therapeutic properties of water to improve range of motion, strengthen muscles, and boost endurance”while reducing the risk of injury.

It is ideal for:

  • Recovery from injury/surgery
  • Re-education of paralyzed limbs
  • Multi-level and sport specific conditioning (such as agility training)
  • Senior dog conditioning
  • Weight loss

The unique properties of exercise in water include:

  • Buoyance:
    Decreases load on joints for low impact exercise
  • Hydrostatic Pressure:
    Reduces swelling
  • Heat/Temperature of Water:
    Relaxes and increases blood flow to tissues
  • Resistance:
    Walking in the water strengthens muscles

More Information:

For an excellent, in-depth discussion, read The Benefits of Underwater Treadmills in Pet Rehabilitation.

Our thanks to Jean Pavlakos of Our Hearts Canine Rehab, and Stacey Moenter of Bigger Road Veterinary Center for Pet Health Enrichment, for their contributions to this article.


In it’s own box maybe—or somehow set apart”

Check out Ellie getting her treadmill on, as part of her health journey at: