Frequently Asked Questions About Canine Hydrotherapy

What is hydrotherapy and its benefits?

What is hydrotherapy and its benefits?

Please view our dedicated web page on this by clicking here.

How much does a session cost?

How much does a session cost?

We charge a standard price across the board of £35 per session per dog. If two dogs from the same household are swum one after the other a reduction of £5 is applied to the second dog after the first session.

Does my dog have to have an injury to swim at Pet Waves?

Does my dog have to have an injury to swim at Pet Waves?

No, we offer exercise swims and introduction to water sessions as well as the rehabilitation side of swimming.

Do I need a vet referral?

Do I need a vet referral?

We require a vet referral form filled out even if the swim is purely for exercise and a form can be downloaded by clicking here and taken to the vets to be filled out and signed. Alternatively, we can request one from your vets on your behalf if you contact us. We will require this form returned to us before the first swim and this makes sure that the dog is physically fit enough to swim and there are no underlying conditions that we need to be aware of.

Does my dog need to be Vaccinated?

Does my dog need to be Vaccinated?

We would prefer your dog to be vaccinated but it is not essential, however if your dog is showing signs of illness then please call us in advance to discuss.

How long does a session last?

How long does a session last?

Each of our sessions last approximately 45 minutes with on average 30 minutes in the pool for the dog. The dog is swum based on their ability and reason for the swim and actual swim time can vary from 2 minutes to 25 minutes depending on their condition. We do like to allow the 30 minutes in the water for other rehabilitation activities such as massage and stretches to be performed in the water.

Do I need to bring anything special?

Do I need to bring anything special?

Just your dog (on a lead), an extra towel if you wish (we do towel dry them with our own towels but sometimes people like to give them an extra rub) and if your dog feels the cold then a dog coat is advised for after the swim. Also, non slip footwear is important and clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit wet (just in case of splashes).

Can my dog have their breakfast/dinner before swimming?

Can my dog have their breakfast/dinner before swimming?

Please make sure your dog has not eaten for at least 3 hours before swimming and allow at least 1 hour after swimming before giving them a full meal.

What do I do when I first arrive?

What do I do when I first arrive?

Park in the car park opposite the building and allow your dog a few minutes to use the grass as we don’t want any accidents in the pool! Please pick up after your dog and use the bin provided at the building. You can either wait outside until the person before you has left (ideal if you dog is not sociable) or come and sit in our reception. Please keep your dog on a lead until told by a member of staff to remove it. You will be greeted at reception and we will go through paperwork and an introduction with you. If you have the time before the swim, a good brush of your dog’s coat would also be appreciated to remove loose fur.

What if I need to cancel?

What if I need to cancel?

We understand that things sometimes have to change in life, however, due to the popular nature of some time slots we require at least 24 hours’ notice to cancel an appointment. We will charge a full session fee for appointments within the 24 hour period if the appointment cannot be rescheduled within the same week as the time slot could have been offered to a dog that may have needed to swim.

What happens if I arrive late or don’t show up at all?

What happens if I arrive late or don’t show up at all?

If you know you are going to be late (ie stuck in traffic) please try to let us know as we can often let you know if there is another free appointment that may be more beneficial. Our appointments run every 45 minutes so if you do turn up late we may have to reduce the time the dog gets in the water or even cancel the swim completely. You will still be charged the same full session price if this was to happen, so please allow plenty of time to get to your appointment. If you miss an appointment without prior arrangement you will be charged for it on your next session.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of hydrotherapy?

Will my insurance company cover the cost of hydrotherapy?

If the swim is relating to a medical condition then very often it will be covered under complimentary therapy within your policy, however please check with your insurance company before swimming. We don’t do direct insurance claims either, so the cost is something that you have to claim back from your insurance company at a later date.

Will the chlorine in the water harm my dog?

Will the chlorine in the water harm my dog?

We have had hundreds of dogs though our doors over the last few years and we have not seen any issues resulting from the chlorinated water. The levels of chlorine used are the same as in human pools and every dog is showered off after their swim to remove the chlorinated water and to prevent any drying of their skin. We are fully trained in water management and the pool is tested regularly throughout the day to ensure a safe swimming environment.

Are there any instances that you won’t let my dog swim?

Are there any instances that you won’t let my dog swim?

Yes, we can’t let dogs in the pool if they have open wounds, ear, eye or skin infections or are showing signs of kennel cough. Bitches in season are also not allowed to swim and we need to express caution swimming dogs with epilepsy or heart conditions and must be told about the condition in advance of the swimming.

Can I swim with my dog?

Can I swim with my dog?

Unfortunately, our pool is not large enough to accommodate extra people so usually you will find just one hydrotherapist in the water with your dog (or two if required). We do not offer owner swims.

Can I bring other dogs to a session?

Can I bring other dogs to a session?

Yes, by all means bring the other well behaved family dogs with you. We have many ‘watchers’ who sometimes then become swimmers themselves (after the mandatory paperwork and vet forms are complete).

Will there be other dogs in the pool at the same time?

Will there be other dogs in the pool at the same time?

No. All of our sessions are by appointment only and we only allow one dog in the pool at any one time.

How many sessions will my dog need?

How many sessions will my dog need?

Every dog is different in their reaction to the swimming and rehabilitation can take longer for some dogs than others. We do recommend at least weekly swims to start with and we can assess how your dog is progressing. 8-10 sessions would also be a minimum in our eyes to start to get real benefits from the swims but with some dogs, such as for arthritis, expect to be seeing us for the long term.

Why can I not just use a river?

Why can I not just use a river?

Rivers are cold water and filled with bacteria which can cause all sorts of nasty infections. The cold water in rivers also constitutes to constricting blood vessels which restricts blood flow and can cause sudden cramp in muscles. Hydrotherapy does the opposite, allowing the blood vessels to open up increasing blood flow around the body to the parts that need it most and to allow the muscles to work a heal more efficiently. The pool is a much safer and beneficially controlled environment than a river.