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Hydrotherapy is offered in Greenbriar’s state-of-the-art underwater treadmill, specifically made for dogs and is calibrated to independently control buoyancy, resistance, speed, and temperature.

This allows us to create individual programs based on age, lifestyle, severity of disease, and many other factors. Hydrotherapy Programs are available for: Athletic conditioning, Post-operative rehabilitation, Injury prevention and therapy, Arthritis, Gait retraining related to neurologic deficits and nerve damage, plus more!

The underwater treadmill will allow us to begin rehabilitation sooner and more easily. Early intervention decreases muscle atrophy and recovery time and provides psychological benefits to your pet.

Some Facts About Aquatic Therapy


Buoyancy is determined by the amount of water in the treadmill. By increasing the water level, the dog is de-weighted. This decompresses the bones and joints and allows more exercise without increased pain. It is great for activity soon after surgery, as well as for maintaining and enhancing the flexibility and mobility of our arthritic patients.


Our treadmill belt moves in the water, which allows normal walking posture. The water level can be changed easily while the dog is on the treadmill. Water level correlates with buoyancy, as mentioned above and also with resistance. Water is sixty times denser than air. More water equals more resistance and thus more strengthening. It would be very difficult for you and I to walk in thigh-high water. This is what we can create in our treadmill for your dog.


The treadmill belt speed adjusts from 0.3 to 5.0 MPH. Initially, your dog can walk very slowly, then progress to jogging and running. While 5 mph does not seem very fast for a jogger, for a dog in thigh-high water, it’s very strenuous.


We will typically keep the water around 85 degrees. For an arthritic dog or a dog with a stiffness, we can raise the temperature for comfort and to increase flexibility. One of the major benefits for our recumbent patients who are unable to stand and support their weight unassisted, is the psychological benefit of hydrotherapy. We notice a tremendous change in their attitude, which translates into a happier dog and faster recovery.

Other Underwater Therapy Benefits

The underwater treadmill is particularly helpful for dogs that have had surgery and are hesitant to use their leg or walk with a limp. Dogs with stiffness and decreased range of motion will tolerate stretching much better during and after warm hydrotherapy.

For our patients with nerve deficits and paralysis, we will use life jackets and ‘hands-on’ support during hydrotherapy. The tank and underwater treadmill have revolutionized our ability to rehabilitate dogs with spinal injuries.

In addition to the use of the Underwater Treadmill for our Pet Rehabilitation & Therapy Program, we will also offer this service to our Luxury Pet Resort clients. The Underwater Treadmill will be made available for Exercise, Swimming, Massage Therapy and more!

Conditions that benefit from hydrotherapy:

  • Pre- and postoperative conditioning
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Spine & Spinal Cord injuries
  • Injury recovery (includes fracture, soft tissue and neurological damage)
  • Cranial cruciate ligament injuries
  • Conditioning
  • Weakened or strained muscles
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Obesity

If you have question about whether hydrotherapy is appropriate for your pet, contact us here at Greenbriar Veterinary Hospital & Luxury Pet Resort at (301) 368-6307.

Contact Us

Greenbriar Veterinary Hospital & Luxury Pet Resort


3051 Thurston Rd Frederick, MD 21704


Resort: Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM to 6 PM Saturday: 8 AM to 3 PM Sunday: 9 AM to 12 PM for Pick-up and Drop-off Hospital: Monday - Friday: 8 AM to 6 PM Saturday: 9 AM - 3 PM Sunday: CLOSED