--Peter J. Lotsikas, DVM, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Dogs come to Gunny’s Rainbow for a variety of reasons.
- Mobility problems caused by canine arthritis, hip dysplasia and neurological issues.
- Paralysis which prohibits easy movement on land (dogs can move in water and it gives them a great sense of freedom).
- Post-surgery/post-injury swimming such as after surgeries to repair injuries or surgeries to repair torn ligaments (TPLO, TTA, etc.) or hip replacement.
- To have fun
- Weight loss
- Physical conditioning for agility dogs and others.
- Water safety for puppies or dogs who don't know how to swim.
Regardless of age, breed or physical condition, your dog is welcome and will be physically supported while in the water to the extent necessary to ensure his or her safety. While we want every dog to have fun and relax, safety is our number one priority and permeates every aspect of what we do. Please consult your veterinarian about whether swimming is appropriate for your dog.
A Typical Swim Session for Your Dog
Given the unique nature of every dog, there is no truly “typical” session. However, there are some general themes for every session.
- Introduction to the water: Many dogs have never swum in a pool, and it can be very scary for them. Thus, we introduce them gently to the water and give them time to acclimate to this new environment.
- Swimming: Laurie will be with your dog in the pool at ALL times and he or she will NEVER be left unattended. We make the swim sessions fun and have a variety of pool toys, balls, etc. for those who like to retrieve. Dogs who aren’t interested in retrieving have fun swimming laps with Laurie at their side cheering them on!
- Resting and floating: Swimming periods are alternated with time to relax in Laurie’s arms in the pool in a variety of comfortable positions. Once your dog has caught his breath and is ready to swim, we resume swimming to the extent appropriate for your dog given his physical condition.
- Post swim: Some dogs exit the pool revved up and ready to play; others prefer to lie on the bed and relax while being dried. Your dog can choose his preferred “post swim” activity.
Read our Frequently Asked Questions about Swimming.