Many of us know the numerous benefits of physiotherapy for people, but did you know dogs can also receive physiotherapy? Physiotherapy is not only used to rehabilitate injury, but also helps to improve fitness, and physical function.

We are very lucky to have a centre in Calgary dedicated to fitness and physical rehabilitation for our canine friends: The Canine Fitness Centre, (403) 204-0823, located in SE Calgary.

Services at The Canine Fitness Centre include:
Physical Rehabilitation
Hydrotherapy: underwater treadmill, supervised by a retired animal health researcher with training in canine rehabilitation and hydrotherapy.
Physical Therapeutics: ultrasound, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, magnetic field therapy, exercise therapy, manual therapy, acupuncture, splinting & assistive devices.
Fitness & Conditioning: Fitness evaluations & Well-Puppy check ups.

All of the rehabilitation therapists at the Calgary Canine Fitness Centre have a degree in physical therapy.

Dogs that benefit from physical rehabilitation and fitness include:

Senior Dogs: As your pet ages, you may feel scared, helpless and hopeless about some of the changes you see occurring. Physical therapy can help you to improve the physical functioning and quality of life of your dog and empower you to be a part of that process!

Post-operative: After surgery you may stress about getting your dog back to normal, pain-free activities. You may feel scared, worried and hesitant about how to care for your dog. Physical therapy can help you to learn about the operation, proper after-care, set goals for recovery, and teach you how to help rehab your dog back to optimal function!

Sporting Dogs: Sporting dogs often struggle with a specific injury or just a minor, but annoying performance problem. Physical therapy can help return your dog to maximum function as quickly as possible, with adjustments to the spine & joints, therapy for the muscles & tendons, and instruction in appropriate exercises to regain function!

Lame Dogs: Physical therapy can help to figure out the cause of the lameness problem, come up with a treatment plan, and involve you in the treatment process.

One of our clients and her dog, had such a great experience with the Canine Fitness Centre she wanted to share his story:
“Cody the Cowboy is almost 12.5 years old. He is a yellow Labrador Retriever who was diagnosed with a neurological disorder in his back end which made walking without dragging his back feet very difficult. During his walks he would drag and scrape one of his back paws along the pavement causing it to bleed.

It was suggested by Cody’s neurologist at the C.A.R.E. Centre that Cody go for underwater treadmill therapy. At first, I didn’t really think this would make any difference and kept putting it off until finally I was willing to give it a try. Cody has been going for underwater treadmill therapy every week for the past three months. A month or so later, when we were out for his daily four-block walk and I noticed with complete disbelief that he was actually lifting his hind feet when he walked and was not scraping the sides of his feet anymore!

The underwater treadmill has improved Cody’s muscle tone and strengthened his legs to the point that his back legs no longer give out under him. He has gained back his confidence, feels great joy, and now thinks he can leap over buildings! Cody’s condition cannot be cured, but because of the benefits of the underwater treadmill it will quite possibly add more years to, and greatly enhance his quality of life. I can’t begin to thank and praise enough, the work of the people who have cared for Cody at Canine Fitness Centre.”

If you are experiencing any problems with your dog and would like further investigation, please contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or We can also send referrals for dogs we have examined to the Canine Fitness Centre for further evaluation.

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