Petphysio is Edinburgh’s leading centre for pet hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is common in the USA where pet owners have come to expect a balanced approach to recovery, involving medicines and physical therapy. From my studies in America, I wanted local pets to benefit from this established and successful rehabilitation method and decided to create Edinburgh’s first purpose-built hydrotherapy centre, providing this ultimate form of physiotherapy.

Committed to being at the forefront of veterinary practice, is a natural fit for Oak Tree Vet Centre.

If you would like to see our current petphysio client leaflet click here

If you are coming from another veterinary practice, please print this physio-registration-form and bring it with you:

We look forward to seeing you. Please phone 0131 539 7539 to book your pet’s session.



What is it for?

Hydrotherapy is the use of a volume of water to allow the controlled movement or exercise of a patient for their physical and mental well-being.

Has your pet had orthopaedic surgery, got arthritis, a spinal problem or a limp caused by a tendon and ligament injury? Or, does your pet need to lose some weight and improve their fitness? For any of the above, please read on.

The benefits of swimming and performing aquatic exercise have long been appreciated for humans in terms of both health and fitness, as almost every muscle of the anatomy is exercised whilst avoiding impact to joints and bones. Extending this to our canine patients with a suitable course of hydrotherapy treatment encourages joint movement in reduced weight conditions, improving muscle tone, promoting tendon repair without imposing undue stress on damaged tissues and improving cardiovascular stamina. Just as in people, exercising dogs produce their own endorphins producing that feel good factor post work out.

Hydrotherapy can be used for the treatment and rehabilitation of arthritis, post surgery and with many types of muscle, tendon & ligament injury. It can also help with general convalescence from debilitating medical disorders, obesity and overall fitness training. Many show dogs are swam to improve their body muscle mass and tone.

Muscle wastage occurs with any lameness, beginning within days of any factor reducing the use of the limb. Therefore to prevent further weakness or injury it is important to rebuild, through safe exercise, any muscles that have deteriorated. Swimming and water walking is ideal for rebuilding the muscle both prior to an operation and after the stitches have been removed and the skin healed.

Walking is often painful and too strenuous for the dog, on land, each footfall creates a shock wave, which travels up the limb and is absorbed by bones, tendons and joints. While these stresses are normally necessary to maintain healthy, strong bone, premature land exercise can actually damage or weaken the limb, particularly an arthritic joint or one recovering from an injury or surgery. Swimming and water walking allows exercise and strengthening of the muscles while avoiding this potentially damaging concussion. The increased resistance to movement caused by the water means the muscles have to work harder than they would do on land.

Even standing a dog in warm water has a beneficial effect – the pressure of the water on the chest makes breathing more difficult, the ribcage muscles and lungs have to work harder, and therefore there is improvement to the respiratory system. The heart has to work harder in order to meet the increased demand for oxygen and fuel for all the muscles, which are being worked. Exercise and movement together with the hydrostatic pressure caused by immersion in the water can assist in reducing swelling by moving tissue fluids away from the affected area.

If all this sounds like hard work – it is – that’s the idea! For a dog, a 5 minute swim is a serious burst of energy expenditure, but the natural buoyancy of the water and the fact that sudden twists and falls are impossible makes hydrotherapy a safe and effective form of exercise for a dog. It’s also very enjoyable for most animals!

With state of the art facilities, we can provide your pet with the highest standards of physiotherapy.

Your therapists are the veterinary nursing team, whom you already know.

Within a purpose built, modern, air-conditioned and hygienic room with a non-slip floor, we have a heated 12-foot therapy swimming pool.

Inside the pool there are loads of air and water jets and an internal ramp to help your pet safely exit the pool.

Before your pet enters the pool via an external ramp they will be showered to ensure they are sparkling clean.

If we think your pet will struggle entering the pool, an overhead hoist is available to lift them in and out.


In addition to the pool, we have an underwater treadmill to provide your pet with a focussed workout.

Primarily designed for rehabilitation after surgery, the water treadmill provides your pet with a precise and controlled exercise, as both the depth of the water and speed the treadmill goes can be adjusted, according to your pet’s requirements and stage of recovery.

Another advantage is for the few pets that are truly scared of being in water, the water treadmill provides the best of both worlds – the therapy water can provide and your dog still has contact with terra firma!

We offer a low cost taster session in the pool or treadmill for £10. Simply phone us on (0131) 539 7539 or send us an email and we’ll be pleased to welcome you.