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Making a difference in your dog's life

Answers for Your Questions

Your Questions Will Be Answered Here 

K9 Aquatic Care Centre is a hydrotherapy clinic in Walkerton, Ontario which offers massage and therapy for dogs. If you want to learn more about our dog therapy, read through this page to find out the answers. Do not hesitate to give us a call if you can’t find the information you need. We’re happy to talk to you about our services.


Canine Hydrotherapy

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is controlled exercise that takes place in warm water. This offers a weightless environment avoiding stress to limbs, tendons and joints.

What if I have to cancel?

We understand that sometimes appointments may need to be rescheduled. We would appreciate at least 24 hours notice, as a late cancellation may leave a gap which could have been utilised by a dog needing to swim. Failure to arrive without cancelling may result in you having to pay for a swim that is not used.

What do I need to bring?

      • Your dog, on a lead!
      • Your dog’s veterinary consent form (for the initial swim)
      • Towels (we do have a few spares in case you forget)
      • Suitable clothing for yourself – your dog will want to share some of the experience with you! 

What you do not need to bring is a toy – we provide a good selection of pool toys

My dog is not confident in the water and doesn't like swimming, how can you help?

Many dogs that visit us are not “water dogs”. Some can take a few sessions before they find their confidence and start to enjoy their swims. We have found that many of these same ‘non water dogs’ soon turning into real water babies! Your dog will be gently guided into the water wearing a life jacket and will be closely supported by one or more of our hydrotherapists. We take our time to gain your dogs trust and confidence and try and make swimming a positive experience.

How many sessions will my dog need?

This depends on the condition of your dog and the rehabilitation that is required. For post-operative swims your dog may visit 2 or 3 times weekly for a few weeks then come once a week when their fitness improves. Some dogs visit us once a week for mobility and senior swimming or just for fun!

Do I need to be referred by a vet?

We require a vet consent for every dog who swims with us. These forms can be printed out from the website or can be emailed to you, and then taken in to your vet to fill out. We will not allow use of the pool in any way without written veterinary consent.

Massage Therapy

Canine Massage...What is it?

Massage is touch with intent. Various techniques, pressure and movements are used to manipulate every tissue in the body. Massage can include scanning and palpating tissue, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, some visceral work and of course muscles. Often times it will include stretching and passive range of motion for joint mobilization. Trust is one of the most powerful outcomes of touch.

What can I expect from my dog’s first massage treatment?

Every dog relates to massage in their own way. When I meet with a canine client for the first time, my primary goal is to get to know the dog and develop a relationship with him or her. For some dogs, the first session may cause excitement or even anxiety. Your dog might not relax on the floor with me and receive a full body massage. That is totally normal!

I usually work on the floor with my clients. Sometimes the whole family will sit on the floor, too, and encourage the dog to relax and enjoy the session. Some dogs chew on a bone or stuffed animal, others snore through the session.

The initial consultation usually lasts between an hour and 90 minutes and every minute is time well spent. In future sessions, once your dog knows what to expect and recognizes the comforting and relaxing effects of therapeutic massage, your dog will utilize every minute necessary for him or her. Most importantly, we will find a setting and time of day that works for your dog.

How long are follow-up sessions?

After the first consultation, unless your dog experiences significant changes in his or her condition, sessions will last
between 30-60 minutes.

What should I expect after the massage?

Massage can be an intense experience. Your dog will likely need to go potty and will want to drink a lot of water following the session. Some dogs may feel pain brought on by some of the more specific techniques used to address anomalies in the tissue. If your dog is already experiencing mobility problems, he or she may be less coordinated or tired in the short term. I often use essential oils with my canine clients. These oils can sometimes bring about subtle physical changes related to the release of toxins. Also, your dog will smell amazing!

These are all very normal responses to massage during the first 24 hours following a session. If these symptoms continue, there may be something else going on and a visit to the vet could be in order. If you have questions or concerns about your dog’s state after a massage, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Can you diagnose an injury or illness?

As a canine massage therapist, I am not able to diagnose any injury or illness. My scope of practice is specifically limited to providing therapeutic massage techniques. Only a licensed veterinarian is permitted to diagnose your pet’s injury or illness. However, if I suspect your dog is experiencing a serious health issue, I will recommend that you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian or, in some cases, seek emergency care.

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