Walking through water

Dierfysiotherapie en Hydrotherapie Centrum Amsterdam

Hydrotherapy, or aqua-training, is an excellent way of complementing the treatment provided by a physiotherapist. But what exactly is it?

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What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy uses an aqua-trainer, a bath that’s been specially designed for dogs and is equipped with a treadmill located under the water, at the base of the bath. The level and temperature of the water can be regulated, as can the speed with which the treadmill moves. This makes it possible to customise treatment or training schedules to the needs of any animal. Hydrotherapy is, in effect, a form of physiotherapy in warm water. The resistance offered by the water boosts stability and coordination of the animal and trains its muscles. Furthermore, the buoyancy of the water relieves pressure on the joints. In addition to being very pleasant for the dog, the warmth of the water also stimulates blood circulation, increases joint movement and relieves joint aches. An aqua-training session lasts a maximum of 20 minutes.

When does hydrotherapy help?

While hydrotherapy is mainly used for the treatment of musculoskeletal complaints, it is also conducive to weight loss and it is a useful aid in promoting fitness.


The aqua-trainer can be used to treat orthopaedic problems, such as hip- or elbow-dysplasia, a hernia, musculoskeletal complaints, or during rehabilitation following an operation or a fracture.


If your dog’s physical condition has gone downhill, or if he’s suffering from muscle atrophy, aqua-training could be the perfect solution. Sport dogs and puppies can also be trained with the aqua-trainer.

Losing weight

When used in combination with dietary advice and an exercise regime, the aqua-trainer can also be used to help your pet lose weight.

Exercise for older animals

As their strength and physical condition wane, older dogs cannot walk or jump as well as they could, mainly because they’ll be suffering from aches and pains or other complaints. Aqua-training makes it possible to focus sharply on an older dog’s mobility.


How does it all work?

First of all, the aqua-trainer cannot be used by: dogs with serious heart or lung complaints; those with wounds or sutures or a contagious skin condition; and bitches who are on heat. In all other cases, dogs must be washed and clean, they should not have eaten anything during the past two hours and they must have been properly walked outside beforehand. At the beginning of the treatment session, the dog is placed in the empty bath. Then, as soon as he’s gotten used to it, the treadmill slowly starts moving. In effect, this is like a “dry run” before the warm water is added. As soon as the dog realises that he is meant to walk (to dissuade him from swimming later on) the warm water is gradually added to a maximum of shoulder height for the dog. Naturally, the dog is continuously and enthusiastically praised and rewarded every time he reaches the other side safely!

What are the advantages of aqua-training?

  1. The complete process takes place under the supervision of a professional physiotherapist.
  2. It is very relaxing for your dog and puts very little strain on him.
  3. The movement of the treadmill stimulates your dog to move.
  4. Rather than swimming, it’s mainly walking motion that is stimulated in the dog.
  5. It’s easy to closely monitor the dog’s movement.
  6. It’s easy to regulate, which, in turn, facilitates the rapid progress of your dog.

Make an appointment

Armed with a referral from your vet or veterinary specialist, you can bring your pet to one of our physiotherapists. However, you can also get in touch with one of them even if you don’t have such a referral; they will always consult with your vet before treating the animal. Our physiotherapists can be reached by calling 020 7402225 or emailing dierfysiotherapieamsterdam@gmail.com.



You can insure you pet for animal physiotherapy through an animal health insurance policy (on a supplemental package). Animal physiotherapists at DHCA comply with all requirements imposed by health insurers.

Intake + reporting € 70,50
Hydrotherapy (30 min) € 29,50
Hydrotherapy (45 min) € 42,50
Hydrotherapy (10 rittenkaart) €285,00