Pawsitive Flow is one of a handful of area businesses trading on the therapeutic value of water in healing dogs and other animals.
Small-animal hydrotherapy, an aspect of canine rehabilitation, is used to help dogs and other small pets overcome a range of physical and mental problems.
“I work with all kinds of dogs,” said Pawsitive Flow Owner Amanda Jones. “Seniors, overweight, dogs with mobility issues, anxiety issues.”
Last week, Jones was coaxing Inga, a dog from the Humane Society of Warren County, around a small pool, using her training - and treats. Recently, Jones began teaching the dog to swim.
“I do what the dog wants to do,” Jones said. “There’s a difference between reluctance and fear.”
Jones traveled to England for her certification in small-animal hydrotherapy.
“It is aimed at those who wish to build on their existing knowledge and skills to understand the benefits that hydrotherapy can have for canines and other small animals, with a number of conditions, and learn how to administer hydrotherapy to them,” according to the web site for the ABC Awards program based in Nottingham, England.
Other programs are offered at the University of Tennessee and elsewhere in the U.S., some focused on various aspects of canine rehabilitation.
Jones opened Pawsitive Flow in September. Also a certified public accountant, Jones cut back on her hours at the bank where she works to open her business on Columbus Avenue in Lebanon.
The dogs climb in, around and out of the modified swim spa on a series of adjustable platforms.
Inga, who has lived at the shelter in Lebanon for more than four years, walked from Amy Neal, a volunteer from the Humane Society, into the pool along a submerged walkway, focused on treats in Jones’ hand.
“She was having to move against the water,” Jones explained. “It helps dogs with balance, It builds core strength.”
Jones also completed a 150-hour certification in canine massage with Integrated Touch Therapy and K9hydroservices in Circleville, Ohio.
She begins each session with the dog standing on “strategically placed texture mats.” Aquatic sessions include showers before and after pool-time improving the dogs’ hygiene, while stimulating their muscles through massage, Jones said.
Initial consultations and one-hour aquatic sessions are $60.
“It’s a great stress relief and confidence booster,” said Joanne Hurley, director of the humane society in Lebanon.
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