Wa­ter way to get your dog fit

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Telegraph - By TARA DUN­DON

A NEW hy­drother­apy pool is help­ing ail­ing dogs over­come some of the most cru­cial med­i­cal con­di­tions that are com­monly found in pooches.

Through sim­ple wa­ter ex­er­cises, hy­drother­a­pist Mark Athow can help pets with con­di­tions in­clud­ing arthri­tis, spondyli­tis, hip and el­bow dys­pla­sia as well as aid weight­loss.

Mr Athow has in­stalled the 13foot cir­cu­lar, four foot deep swim­ming pool in Drain Road, New­bor­ough, which can help keep dogs of any age and weight, fit or healthy, with­out the stresses and strains of ex­er­cise on hard ground.

Mr Athow (45) fully qual­i­fied as a hy­drother­a­pist last year fol­low­ing more than 25 years work­ing as a fi­nan­i­cal ad­viser.

He said: “My fam­ily run New­bor­ough Dogs in Drain Road, look­ing af­ter more than 40 work­ing, in­jured and re­tired grey­hounds.

“It was cost­ing a lot of money to take the dogs to a pool so we opened up our own pool and I vol­un­teered to run it.

“Ini­tially it was just for our dogs but word has spread and we have 30 reg­u­lars a week, as well as treat­ing at least 20 of our own dogs.

The av­er­age cost of tak­ing a dog to the pool is £10 for half-an-hour.

Mr Athow said: “Hy­drother­apy can be used to treat arthri­tis, orthopaedic con­di­tions, mus­cle, lig­a­ments and many other types of in­jury. The warmth and pres­sure of the wa­ter pro­vides par­tic­u­lar value for the dogs. The treat­ment also helps re­lieve pain, swelling and stiff­ness, pro­motes re­lax­ation and strength­ens mus­cles.”

Lucy Hol­land (25), of Peakirk, who takes her yorkie and westie cross Mer­lin (2) to the pool, said: “Mer­lin’s back left leg clicks when he walks. Be­ing in the wa­ter helps cure that while also build­ing up the strength in his legs. He loves it.”

Au­drey John­son of Deep­ing St James, has been train­ing dogs for more than 30 years.

At the pool with her two border col­lie dogs, Tremor (2) and Leafy (8), she said: “Leafy loves to swim so she en­joys a 15 minute ses­sion once a week. I hope that by bring­ing Tremor some­where fun I can cure her travel sick­ness. It is bril­liant for dogs.”

Pic­ture: ge­orgi mabee.

hy­dro: Mark Athow with Leafy the border col­lie in the hy­drother­apy pool at Twenty Foot Farm in New­bor­ough. (METP-08-06-10GM035)

Pic­ture: ge­orgi mabee.

ther­apy: Mark Athow with Mer­lin the dog. (METP-08-06-10GM013)

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