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New treatment trend: Physical therapy for pets

This dog is walking is way to recovery on an underwater treadmill
This dog is walking is way to recovery on an underwater treadmill
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Physical therapy for pets is a new treatment option and pet parents are gladly jumping on board. If a dog has made little progress after a knee surgery, physical therapy might now be the next step. Physical therapy for pets is a fast growing field. When the treatment was first emerging, physical therapists who treat people began treating animals as well, but now people can be trained in animal physical therapy. Many of the same treatments used in traditional physical therapy are used for pet physical therapy. Swimming, walking on under water treadmill, sitting and standing exercises and many more.

Physical therapy can mean the difference between a life long disability and a healthy life. While the difference between a dog that has had physical therapy and one that hasn't is vast, pet physical therapy hasn't become popular until recently. The truth is, pet physical therapy has been around for about twenty years, but people didn't start taking an interest until about five years ago. This boost in popularity has occurred for two reasons: pet owners now consider themselves pet parents and there has been a boost in credibility for the treatment.

Physical therapists who were trained in traditional physical therapy are going back to school and are being certified in pet physical therapy. Pet physical therapy does differ from traditional physical therapy in some aspects. Getting animals to comply is a lot harder than getting a person to comply, especially during the first few sessions. Pet physical therapists have to be creative and willing to do things out of the box in order to get the animal to comply. However, in the end, seeing an old dog run around like a pup again makes it all worth it.