An underwater treadmill is a treadmill that is set inside a tank. When you pet is inside, water will gradually enter the tank until it reaches a specific height on your pet. The water level is set based on the height of your pet. The water in the treadmill is warmed to decrease pain while increasing blood flow and joint flexibility. Since your pet is buoyant in the water, it minimizes the compressive forces on painful and arthritic joints. This can reduce pain and encourage range of motion during movement. The underwater treadmill can also assist with encouraging your pet to bear weight on the affected limbs and to retrain posture and gait.
The underwater treadmill can help more than the injured or arthritic pet, it can be useful for patients that need to shed a few pounds and athletes as well. The water will help support an overweight pet while allowing them to have low-impact exercise. Paired with an appropriate diet, an exercise routine can improve a pet’s quality of life. As for those pets who participate in agility and other sports, the underwater treadmill can be great for conditioning, increasing their cardiovascular fitness and increasing their endurance. Believe it or not, feline companions can benefit from the underwater treadmill as well! When properly acclimated, many cats are willing to walk in the treadmill and don’t mind the water at all.