Dorset Aqua Dogs Testimonials

I have been taking my dog (a Petterdale) to Dorset Aqua Dogs for Hydrotherapy for over a year now - he started via recommendation of his agility teacher - as it aids muscle tone and joint support which has proven to be, as he is now very well tuned and has great stamina.

I then took on a rescue Jack Russell and was warned that he may need an operation on a front leg -he ended up needing a hip operation (Femural head & neck excision) - and he now does not have a ball and socket joint. He started Hydrotherapy at Dorset Aqua Dogs earlier this year to help with soft tissue growth and he has gone from strength to strength. He wouldn't use his poorly leg until he started at Dorset Aqua Dogs and one week he suddenly got the confidence and is now running on all 4 legs happily.

I believe and know if he hadn't had Hydrotherapy at Dorset Aqua Dogs he would not be the dog he is today so we are truely grateful to them all at Dorset Aqua Dogs.


DIGGER (again)
January 2012 saw Digger ( Black Labrador x) have his second hip replaced. Having been a regular swimmer at Dorset Aqua Dogs we knew the need for him to protect his muslce tome as much as possible before the operation and then to build the muscle tone following the operation. The team at Dorset Aqua Dogs knew exactly what to do after the operation, re-introducing him to swimming and building up the session times. This very quickly helped to re-establish and improve on his muscle tone and continues to do so.

The team are friendly, helpful and always have the best interests of the dog at heart - oh and they know how to use a kettle!

Many Thanks
Carol and Ian


I first used Dorset Aqua Dogs for one of my old GSD’s (Buddy) in 2007 to help strengthen his back & legs, on the recommendation of Buddy’s McTimoney therapist; this worked well for Buddy though he has now gone (at 12.5 years) to rainbow bridge to swim.

I now use Dorset Aqua Dogs for Jimmy and Noonie (both GSD’s) on a weekly basis to keep my dogs well muscled and toned for the show ring, where they are both doing extremely well.  The staff at Dorset Aqua Dogs are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, ensuring that both my dogs look forward to and enjoy their swims.

I regularly get comments from other exhibitors telling me how fit and well my dogs always look… much of this is down to their weekly swim; I thoroughly recommend it! 

Barbara MacKenzie


Thai, our Long Haired Akita who is now a 14 months old (born March 2010), was diagnosed in August 2010 with Elbow Dysplasia in both of his front legs. Both legs were operated on and just as he was recovering well we discovered late in October 2010 that he also had extreme Luxating Patellas in both of his back legs!

Because his left leg was worse this was operated on first, it was an extensive surgery with no guarantee of success. His right rear leg would have to wait until the left healed before they could operate again; because of the increased weight bearing this caused the right leg to continually dislocate (up to 20+ times every day) which was very painful and distressing.

On advice from out vets we took Thai to see Dorset Aqua Dogs in January of this year (2011) and I am glad to say we have never looked back! Thai goes every week for a session in the pool, he is not always so glad to get in the water, but he is reaping the rewards of this treatment; Thai is now able to go for a walk every day, which before we started the hydrotherapy was impossible for him to walk anywhere because of the dislocation of his rear right leg joints.

Because of the ‘building up’ and strengthening of the muscle around the deformed joint, Thai’s right leg is now able to support his weight and has not dislocated for several months since his hydrotherapy began. In fact our vets are so amazed at Thai’s recovery that they have postponed the second operation indefinitely which is the best news ever.

None of this would have been possible without the continual support and understanding we have received from Dorset Aqua Dogs and we would not hesitate in recommending them.

Many Thanks
Jacqui & Thai


Chester my Golden Retriever was diagnosed with severe Hip Dysplasia in December 2008 at just 8 months old. My vet explained to me that he would need a hip replacement but would not be able to have one until he was at least a year old and had stopped growing.

He advised that during the months leading up to the operation he was only to have gentle exercise, consisting of short walks on the lead. Therefore he suggested that Chester would benefit from hydrotherapy, as it is a form of weightless exercise and would help build his muscles up.

I was recommended to Dorset Aqua Dogs in January 2009, where we received a very warm welcome from the staff. To start with Chester was fitted with a life jacket and then led up the ramp and into the pool. The thing that impressed me the most was that there was a member of staff actually in the pool with the dog. Dorset Aqua Dogs explained that the amount of time Chester spent in the pool would be built up gradually each time he swam and he would also progress into a harness from the life jacket, after the first month he was swimming twice a week. I went to see my vet at the end of March 2009, after Chester began swimming, for a health check up and he could not believe it was the same dog and the difference 3 months of hydrotherapy had made. In the December Chester was struggling to drag his back end up and walked with a limp, today he’s bouncing around in the waiting room like a puppy. I was so pleased when the vet said he’d done so well at swimming and although he could not rule it out completely, but for the foreseeable future, Chester will not need a hip replacement. When he was first diagnosed with HD I was so worried about what the future held for Chester, but he is now living and enjoying a normal life including walks.

I can’t thank Dorset Aqua Dogs enough for the difference they have made to Chester’s life and would recommend Dorset Aqua Dog, not just for dogs with problems but also for fun and fitness (the coffee is not bad either!). Well that’s it they are stuck with us for a very long time as Chester now swims every week on a maintenance programme. Thank you girls.

Debbie and Chester


Poppy is a golden retriever cross who partially ruptured her cruciate ligament in 2007 and it was recommended to us that hydrotherapy could help her recovery.

We started attending Dorset Aqua Dogs soon afterwards and Poppy began to benefit straight away from the non weight bearing exercise she was receiving in the pool. As the ligament damage mended, she continued to swim on a weekly basis through 2008 and 2009 for the usual 15 minute session which she enjoyed – who wouldn’t enjoy a swim in a lovely warm pool?

Poppy turned 16 in April this year and arthritis is taking hold of her joints, she can now no longer manage any sort of daily walk so we changed her swims to twice a week for 5 minutes or so each session and we firmly believe that it is the swimming that is keeping her joints from seizing up altogether and maintaining some muscle in her legs.

Dorset Aqua Dogs are absolutely brilliant with her (and us, there’s always an offer of a cuppa) and we would thoroughly recommend Dorset Aqua Dogs to anyone who is looking to enhance their dog’s recovery.


Last year our vet suggested that our 12 year old staffy x Heidi would benefit from Hydrotherapy swimming as she has arthritis in her legs.

We were recommended to try Aqua Dogs and have never looked back.

Having no knowledge of how or what we would find, we made an appointment for just one swim, thinking if she, or even us, didn’t like what we saw we would not be obliged to book anymore swims.

What a lovely surprise Heidi and her owners had. We were made most welcome (even coffee or tea provided) and what a joy it was to watch our little girl having so much fun in a lovely clean warm pool. She even had someone to play with in the pool as somebody always goes in with the dogs which helps give them the confidence to enjoy something new to them.

Heidi has recently had 2 serious operations on both her back legs so could not swim for quite a few weeks, but is now on the road to recovery and guess what, yes she is back in the pool and absolutely loves it. She swims twice a week and we know that the warmth and exercise in the water with their encouragement will be a major part of her recovery after which we will swim her regularly to maintain her fitness and for her enjoyment.

We would recommend Aqua Dogs to anyone for recovery, for fitness or just for your pets enjoyment. Thank-you.

Yvonne and Brian , but mostly a great big thank-you and lots of licks from Heidi xx


testimonial card


Digger is our black Labrador cross and was one of Dorset Aqua Dogs first customers. You can see him as he currently appears on the front page of their website. He has Hip Dysplasia in both back hips and has his weekly swims to help ensure that he keeps his hips exercised in ways other than just walking. The swimming also helps to keep him generally fit.

Although he really does not like water (a Labrador not liking water!!), once he is in the pool nothing stops him and there is no looking back - especially if a treat is on offer at the end.

The staff at Dorset Aqua Dogs are very understanding and love having him there for his swims which makes it all the more enjoyable for him. We would personally recommend it to anyone who either wants additional exercise for the general fitness of their dog, but especially for those dogs with muscular or other medical issues where this may help.