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Underwater treadmill

The underwater treadmill for dogs is an increasingly common form of rehabilitation. Its applications are truly wide-ranging. It is therefore worth checking how it works, its advantages and its contraindications.

Did you know that….

hydrotherapy on an underwater treadmill is a growing trend. It was first used in Poland at the beginning of the 21st century and is now available in virtually all major cities. It’s great for dogs who use it to get back into shape after illness or injury. Our underwater treadmill for dogs is used as an increasingly common therapy tool for dogs taking part in canine sports.

Underwater treadmill for dogs – what is it?

The biggest secret to the performance of our dog treadmill is the water buoyancy force acting on the animal. What does this mean? When submerged in water, the dog moves without putting any strain on the joints. At the same time, it should be noted that walking on an underwater treadmill requires much more effort than a normal walk. This is why animal rehabilitation using this method at our veterinary clinic achieves very good results in strengthening muscles, gaining muscle mass and reducing swelling. An underwater treadmill for dogs has many advantages, including:

– helping maintain uprightness after major injuries and surgery
– minimising pain during training
– increase range of motion of joints
– strengthening the skeletal and circulatory systems
– increasing blood flow to all tissues

Underwater treadmill for dogs Warsaw – when is it worth using?

Many dog owners wonder whether any pet can benefit from a water treadmill walk. However, it should be noted that such treatment requires a referral. You can obtain this referral from your veterinarian or a veterinary specialist, such as an orthopedist, neurologist, or animal physiotherapist.

Importantly, the underwater treadmill is not just for sick pets or those that have had an accident. It is also a common method for working with sporting dogs, which are subjected to high physical loads during training.  For such an animal to achieve better results, it’s worth visiting an animal physiotherapist from time to time, who can not only assess the condition of the skeletal system but also recommend massages or other forms of physiotherapy PSYCHODNIA is a great choice!

Why are underwater treadmill treatments better than regular walking?

Thanks to the specific properties of the water environment, dogs that have difficulty rising and maintaining a standing position, e.g. due to paresis, paralysis, pain in the course of orthopaedic diseases, do so much more easily and can strengthen their muscles further.

Dogs also gladly put weight on their sore and painful limbs in a water environment because the water provides relief for painful structures. In an underwater treadmill, they can practice moving in the right way.  In addition, treatments in our underwater treadmill are also an excellent form of weight loss, fitness training for sporting dogs or body shaping for show dogs.

Underwater treadmill for your dog – what does the training look like?

The water therapy takes place in a transparent water tank, which resembles an aquarium and is equipped with an underwater treadmill. Walking in warm water relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow to the tissues, reducing the sensation of pain. At our veterinary clinic, each session in the water is adapted to the patients’ abilities. The treadmill operator selects both the water level and the angle of the treadmill belt and the temperature. All these activities are carried out with sensitivity so that the dog can easily adapt to the new environment.

Next, the dog starts walking on the treadmill – throughout this process, the owner accompanies the pet, encouraging activity by offering treats or verbal praise. The underwater treadmill improves muscle mass and endurance and increases the range of movement, while providing agility and a better sense of well-being for the pet.

The first hydrotherapy session usually lasts just a few minutes depending on the patient’s condition. Subsequent sessions are then extended and tailored individually for each dog. Remember, if you want to enrol your pet in treatment, you must be prepared for the first session to be short. Treatments should occur 2-3 times per week at regular intervals. The underwater treadmill for your dog will quickly become an enjoyable activity and fun playtime for your dog after just a few sessions.

Underwater treadmills for dogs and cats – duration and frequency

As mentioned above, the first treatments last a very short time, just a few minutes. However, they are extended over time. It all depends on the state of health of your pet. The frequency of treatments should be 2-3 per week, but a minimum of 10 treatments are needed to see an improvement in the dog’s health.

Underwater treadmill for dogs Warsaw – indications and contraindications


  • hip dysplasia
  • elbow joint dysplasia
  • post-operatively, for joint or tendon surgery
  • painful joint conditions
  • arthritis
  • myositis and tendonitis
  • diseases with a neurological basis, i.e. discopathy, spondylosis, cauda equina syndrome
  • obesity
  • old age
  • gait abnormalities
  • low joint mobility
  • low resistance and resistance of muscles to fatigue
  • not putting weight on the limb(s)
  • muscular pains
  • tense muscles
  • contractures of tendons and muscles
  • cachexia

Contraindications to the use of an underwater treadmill for dogs:

Like most treatments including rehabilitation, hydrotherapy also has its contraindications. Animals – dogs and cats – are always qualified for aquatic treadmill therapy by a veterinarian or zoophysiotherapist. While not extensive, key contraindications include:

  • serious cardiovascular disease
  • open wounds and sores
  • illnesses with fever and severe weakness
  • dermatitis

Why choose our canine rehabilitation center?

  • competent and experienced staff – our team consists of qualified animal physiotherapists who continuously participate in courses and training to better assist patients in regaining mobility. Combining knowledge and experience allows us to take an interdisciplinary approach with each patient. Psychodnia was founded in 2011 as Warsaw’s first and Poland’s third animal rehabilitation center.
  • State-of-the-art equipment – at Psychodnia, we use modern rehabilitation equipment and innovative technologies to provide the most effective therapies possible. We have two different underwater treadmills to optimally match the therapy to the size of the patient.
  • Welcoming atmosphere – We always strive to care for not only the four-legged patients but also their owners, understanding and supporting them during their pet’s illness.
  • A treadmill for every pet – regardless of whether your pet is a dignified senior, an animal athlete, struggles with weight issues, or is post-operative or post-procedure, they will receive the utmost care and dedication at our clinic, all based on the latest rehab knowledge and techniques. And all based on the most up-to-date knowledge and techniques of rehabilitation care

Underwater treadmill – just for dogs? Underwater treadmill for cats

At Psychodnia, we have two underwater treadmills – Physio-tech and FizjoPet – with different designs to best accommodate smaller and larger patients. Our tiniest patients using the underwater treadmills are small cats and dogs weighing just 3 kg, while the largest dogs have weighed up to 70 kg!

The underwater treadmill is a device that has revolutionised zoophysiotherapy. Even in difficult cases involving illness or injury, we can expect a return to mobility. It significantly improves hip dysplasia. Its primary purpose is to help animals regain function after procedures. If your pet is struggling with excess weight, finds it hard to move and therefore develops joint and general fitness problems, then an underwater treadmill for dogs Warsaw is the perfect solution! Please contact us for more details.