Muscle Balance- why is it important?

Client Izzy. Photo Credit: CTV Archives

Muscle Balance
Why is it Important?
Having a fit and healthy dog is important, in the long run will not only save you money but most importantly, give your dog the best quality of life.

    Your dog’s exercise, whether it be fun and playful or more structured,   should be diversified and hits their muscles in a balanced manner. While,   having a fit dog is important, unbalanced muscle tone in any dog can lead to   injury. Engaging your dog in specific exercises working both sides of the   body  and including both core and surface muscles are key to a proper   workout.  Releasing high-tone tense muscle and working low tone muscles   can significantly help balance you dog.

 For example, many dogs tend to inadvertently load their body weight onto their front legs more than their hind legs during
activity or if they have an injury, thus the front of the torso and limbs can become stronger than their hind end. This can lead to relative weakness in the hind end of the dog, leading to a higher risk of injury.

Client Izzy is a great example of what swimming can do for well defined, balanced muscles.
Photo Credit: CTV Archives

 Swimming in a warm water therapy pool is a great way to balance muscle tone as well as build any low tone muscles. A trained hydrotherapist uses techniques to build specific muscles and increase the range of motion in your dog’s joints. With the use of therapeutic techniques and activities in the warm water, specific muscle groups, mainly those protecting key joints such as the hips and stifle (knees), can be targeted to strengthen the dog and increase their mobility and range of motion.

 Warm water therapy allows for dogs to have fun and build confidence in the water. This activity also gives relief from aches and pains, while achieving a relaxed, balanced body. Weekly therapy in the pool is a great way to maintain muscles, and stay in shape -just like the gym or cross training, long term commitment is the goal.

 Being fit, healthy and balanced is the key to your dog having a great quality of life.


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Open House for Phoenix Rising Integrative Veterinary Care

Open House Sunday, January 28 12pm-2pm

Our friends at Phoenix Rising Integrative Veterinary Care are happy to announce that they are ready to host their Open House here at K9 Rehab Wellness Centre this Sunday January 28 from 12pm – 2pm

You will have the opportunity to meet with Dr Radica Raj and Marieke who is now on the staff at Phoenix Rising. Marieke is a veterinary technician from Holland and is a firm believer in integrative medicine.

Phoenix Rising Integrative Vet Care
3831 Still Creek Avenue
Burnaby, BC V5C 4E2

There will be hot beverages and doughnuts, both vegan and non-vegan

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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K9 Rehab Loves to Give Back!

We love to Give Back To Dogs in Need.

Giving back is important to us. We offer regular pro-bono swims to adoptable dogs rescued from the BC SPCA Burnaby Branch.

Check out our video to see what a typical pro-bono swim looks like at our facility.

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Indoor Pool vs Outdoor Pool. Is there a Difference?

The simple answer is yes, there is a huge difference between an indoor pool and an outdoor pool when it comes to canine hydrotherapy. The biggest differential point- providing a controlled environment.

An Indoor Pool Provides Consistent Warmth,

In and Out of the Water

A benefit of warm water therapy is the ability to quickly warm up the muscles. Warm muscles mean an increase in range of motion in the joints to effectively build muscle and improve the condition of your dog. Having your dog exit the water into cold temperatures causes the muscles to tighten back up causing the therapy to stop, essentially wasting the progress made in the warmth of the water.

Our heated pool deck gives warmth to our clients as they are being dried off after their swim to keep their muscles warm, allowing the therapy to continue. This also provides a comfortable environment to the parents who are watching their pooch swim. Dogs requiring further warmth are suited in our retailed chilly dog bath robes or are blow dried in our commercial drying station located near the pool entrance.

A Safe, Quiet Environment

Our indoor pool is free of interruption from noises. This is very important if your dog is anxious or has reactivity and can easily be alarmed. It is important for your dog to experience the therapy aspect in canine hydrotherapy. Having an environment free from interruptions whether it be from noise, humans, or other dogs, gives the ultimate therapeutic experience. In order for a dog to completely relax they need to know that they are in a safe environment.
What better way to relax than to feel like the pool belongs to you? 

At K9 Rehab, we take everything into consideration to give you and your pet the ultimate spa experience, right down to the lighting. It is important to have good lighting during a hydrotherapy session as the therapist needs to accurately observe your dog in the pool without obstruction. Great lighting means our hydro-therapists can note the slightest abnormality, therefore adjusting accordingly to achieve proper swim style to build muscle back into correct formation.

Indoor hydrotherapy pools provide consistent warmth both in and out of the pool. The environment is controlled to be free of distractions, noise, and other dogs. An indoor pool provides the space for dogs and owners to feel relaxation, solitude, and safety.
At K9 Rehab we strive to provide a comfortable, professional hydrotherapy experience.

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What is your dog’s collar doing to their neck?


Don’t let your dog’s collar be a pain in their neck.  

  We’ve all seen it. Most of us have probably done it too. The dog is pulling forward and we’re pulling backwards trying to get them to stop. Sometimes we give a quick yank on their leash to try and correct their behavior, then we hear that sound- a sharp cough from the pressure of the collar pulling back on their throat. 

Now imagine this. You’re in a good ol’fashion game of tug-o-war. Your opponent has their rope secured to a harness strapped to their upper body, while your rope is attached to a collar around your neck. How long do you think you would be able to tolerate the pressure around your neck, or worse, endure pain? Our neck is fragile and vulnerable to damage, just like our dog’s.


The Neck is a VITAL part of a dog’s anatomy. The neck houses:

  • vertebrae of spine
  • veins & arteries 
  • thyroid gland
  • nerves that carry signals throughout the body

 Collar Pulling Risks:

  • coughing 
  • headaches
  • issues with sight
  • damage to trachea & thyroid
  • neck injury
  • spine injury
  • induce respiratory issues

Prevention Methods for Neck Injury:

  • use a well fitted harness, like the freedom-no-pull harness. 
  • help train your dog to walk loosely on leash. This comes down to basic training. Talk to your dog trainer about how to loose-leash walk with your dog.
  • gently massage your dog’s neck to alleviate any discomfort they may have. 
  • Seek a professional: book an appointment with a canine chiropractor or animal massage therapist.
  • provide your furry friend a pillow or cushion to help support their neck while they are sleeping.

Opting to use a well-fitted harness instead of a collar to walk your dog is a simple preventative method to save your dog from injury. We are fortunate to have a variety of harnesses out there now, it will be easy to find one to fit any dog’s needs.

Visit us for your freedom-no-pull harness!

-K9 Rehab.


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Five Reasons Why Dogs Love to Swim

Five Reasons Why Dogs

Love to Swim


             Dogs love to run, chase, and fetch. But what about swimming?
 We have all seen those big dogs swimming in the lakes, ponds, and oceans.
 We have also all seen the owners of these dogs fighting to get them out of the water only   for the dogs to run back in. Though it is not only big dogs who love the water! The love   for swimming is not only for the big dogs, but dogs of all sizes. Here are five reasons why
 your dog loves the water. 



     That’s right, just likes us our pets love the weightlessness of being in the water. The buoyancy of the water diminishes the effects of gravity allowing the body to be supported in the water. Swimming is a great exercise as it places less stress on joints, bones and muscles, and increases independence of movement. Dogs are able to move more freely in the water, enabling weightless exercise they cannot achieve with being on land. 



It is common for one to think that dog breeds such as Retrievers, Spaniels, and
Newfoundlands are innate water lovers. While there are dog breeds that are
genetically built to be better swimmers than others, a dog’s love for water comes from positive association. Similar to children, dogs need to know they are safe and can trust their ability to swim in the water before they can enjoy the fun of swimming. This couldn’t be any more apparent than when you see a bichon frise swimming out to fetch a toy while a Labrador stays wading in the water. 



     The most obvious reasons why dogs love to swim is exercise! Once a dog knows how to swim they become naturals and adapt very quickly. This low-impact exercise does wonders for your dog. The resistance of the water activates muscles to work harder while giving the feeling of being weightless. It is the perfect exercise for your dog to get a good work-out while protecting their joints. Guaranteed your dog will sleep like a log after a good swim session.



Dogs become bored very easily, any dog owner can attest to this. Swimming is not only a great form of physical stimulation but also is great for a dog’s mental well-being. While swimming a dog modifies their walking movement from a trot, to a paddle. Many of us started our first swimming lesson learning what is called the ‘doggy paddle.’ Although a dog swimming looks as natural as a fish in water, there is more focus on what their body is doing than we realize. Much like us, their brain is assessing the activity and the surroundings while they are swimming. With the brain and the body working at the same time, the increase in focus and drive keeps the dog engaged in this fun activity.


5. FUN! 

The fifth, final, and most simple reason why dogs love to swim is because it is fun! Dogs who love swimming are like kids in a swimming pool, it’s hard to get them out. One minute of swimming is equivalent to four minutes of land exercise. The feeling of being weightless while getting a full body workout is hard to beat.

Not only is swimming fun for dogs, it also provides pain relief from arthritis, inflammation, and mobility issues. At our warm water, salt-based pool your dog can enjoy the fun benefits of swimming all year round in a safe controlled environment.

-K9 Rehab Wellness Centre




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This Christmas give your beloved dog a gift of wellness, exercise, and fun. For a limited time, K9 Rehab is offering 5 package hydrotherapy swims, originally priced at $310.45,  for only $275.00! Offer ends on December 31, 2017.


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  Canine Hydrotherapy Benefits

Canine Hydrotherapy is versatile in treating numerous conditions in dogs.


These conditions can include but are not limited to:


– Cruciate Ligament Rupture (conservative management and post operative)

– Arthritis

– Hip Dysplasia

– Elbow Dysplasia

– Spinal Injuries and Recovery (ie. slipped disc)

– Spondylosis (Spinal Arthritis)

– Patella Luxation (conservative management and post operative)

– Neurological Disorders, such as Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

– Weight Control

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