Doggy Paddle: Therapeutic Water Rehabilitation For Dogs

dog pool therapy

An innovative concept in recreation and rehab for your recuperating canine can be found at Water 4 Dogs, which is the first state-of-the-art animal rehabilitation center in New York City, located at 77 Worth Street, between Church and Broadway.


Whether a post-surgical pet or a dog that has suffered a stroke, the center offers intense rehabilitation sessions. The sessions are highly recommended for dogs recovering from knee, hip, and back surgeries, and dogs with severe arthritis.

Multiple treatments are included in each supervised session, such as swimming, water treadmill, dry treadmill, massage, ultrasound, electric simulation, and laser. “The water makes exercise easier, safer and more effective,” says Jean Marie Cooper, manager and licensed massage therapist at the center.

According to Cooper, swim therapy is therapeutic because water provides buoyancy, making it easier on your pet during the workout. It is also beneficial because of the climate controlled environment. “The water is 92 degrees, which warms up the soft tissues while preventing overstretching and tearing. You can get better stretches with a large range of motion to build muscle mass,” she added.

pool dog therapy

Also, if your pooches’ paunch is getting a bit pudgy – swimming is one of the optional ways to lose the extra poundage. “Swimming is a great activity for weight loss because it burns a lot of calories. Don’t forget that a single pound for a dog is a huge amount of to lose.” Cooper says.

Other services include agility training, for the more athletic canine. Conceptualized by a group from Manhattan that realized there wasn’t an indoor outlet for agility practice, Water 4 Dogs provided space for them within their facilities. “Agility training can be a great physical activity. It can also give your dog self-confidence. Therefore, it can modify their behavior to act better, thinking through a situation instead of acting instinctually. It’s also a great way for a nervous dog release inner tension,” says Cooper.


Water 4 Dogs also provides day care and boarding for dogs receiving rehabilitation services, senior dogs, and dogs that need a quieter and subdued environment.

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