FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS as answered from the DOG
1. How is the pool different from a backyard pool or going to Lake Mead?
Sometimes the lake or river is cold and I get quite stiff after swimming. Once I got a pebble stuck between my toes and Aroooo it was not fun. When I was a puppy I shook my head a lot after a fun day swimming at the lake, and mommy had to take me to the clinic which smells and they put goop in my ears. At the ‘Spa’ with Kathy, the water is always warm and clean. She doesn’t use harsh chemicals like chlorine that are in the neighbor’s pool, but sanitizes & disinfects with UV light and Pure natural enzymes. Kathy is with me at all times in the water and knows how to properly assist me in/out of the water. When she holds me close she is my island! I get so very relaxed and feel comforted in her arms.
2. What is the temperature of the water?
Just right ARF! My human says it’s @ 85 to 92 degrees. For us pups that have been around for quite some time, I usually do not swim for a long period of time, so the water is warmer as I will spend more time floating in the water and receiving bodywork – Kathy says she wants the heat to penetrate my joints.
3. Is the water safe to drink?
Slurp Slurp gulp…. Oh yup, yup it is. But we don’t encourage it. My people prefer that I drink out of the bowl of fresh water that is always provided. If you just can’t control yourself and you Do swallow some pool water or take a drink, it’s ok.
4. Is the pool chlorinated?
Nope. I don’t smell those nasty chemicals and the ‘Spa’ uses a state of the art UV light system for disinfection along with Pure natural enzymes.
5. How big is the pool?
The pool is 8 feet by 20 feet and is 4.5 feet deep.
6. Do I need a referral from my Veterinarian?
No, as the center is for canine wellness and well-being, we do not require a formal referral directly from your vet. Mom DID take me to see the lady in the white coat where sometimes they poke and prod me, but they just looked at me and my records and then the nice lady told my mom that she thought swimming and bodywork would be a great idea for me and highly appropriate for my physical condition and overall well being. Blah blah blah, I just wanna go swimming!
7. Does my dog need to have all the vaccinations prior to his swim?
No. I rarely see another dog at the pool as we usually enter and exit through different doors. Some of my doggy friends can’t be vaccinated for health reasons. My human says to remind you however, that living in the various cities of southern Nevada do require a rabies vaccination or titer level showing immunity per Nevada Statutes 441A.410, 441A.435 and 441A.430.
8. What do we bring when we come to swim?
For your first session, please download and bring two completed forms: Intake Form and Waiver/Agreement. Don’t worry Fido – your mom or dad will take care of this.
9. What do I need to do before a swim session?
This is the hard part – my person doesn’t feed me within two hours of swimming. Paw my gosh! I feel like I’m ‘starving’ and give the biggest begging eyes but Mom doesn’t budge. She says I’m a drama dog . . . Once I get to the ‘Spa’ I forget all about food and just enjoy the love and cuddles and floats and swimming with Kathy! I get brushed within a day of coming to swim and a trim of my nails too if possible. Very important and trust me little Sparky & Fifi - Please be sure to go to the bathroom immediately before you enter the spa. There is space along the side of the facility for us to use – lots of good smells. And Please do not apply commercial flea products to us within 5 days of a session as they may leach into the pool and onto your Practitioner. Bleh! We don’t want Kathy feeling unwell, as she’s trying to help me and so many of my furry friends feel better. Woof!
10. What does a typical swim session look like?
As we hounds, toys, terriers and retrievers are all unique, so too are our swim sessions. Many of my doggy friends have never swam in a pool before – I had only waded in the lake a few times but was too nervous to doggy paddle. At the ‘Spa’ Kathy didn’t rush me at all; we got used to the area together; she gave lots of yummy treats! My back end was achy that day so she helped me into the water and held me in her lap. It was kind of weird at first but her soothing voice calmed me, and oh those touches - she became my island . . . I was soon comfortable, so Kathy eased off the steps and moved into deeper water. Thinking back, my doggy paddle wasn’t the best but Kathy guided me through the water, alternated bodywork and glorious floats, and then I was actually swimming on my own! Kathy threw a Wubba for me and I just had to get it! It felt so effortless to glide through the water – I forgot all about my aches. I felt like a puppy again, but even better than that, was Mom’s face as she watched me from poolside. Mom won’t want me to tell you this but she actually had tears in her eyes, as she was so happy that I was so happy and feeling good in the water. Kathy told my human that 1 minute of swimming is = to a 4 minute run on land so she didn’t want to over-do our session.
11. Who goes in the pool?
Just Kathy and me – I’m never alone. If you have a doggy brother or sister, they may be able to take turns with Kathy in the pool, but there is only ever 1 dog and practitioner in the water at one time.
12. Can I swim with my dog?
No, the human clients are not allowed in the water. I think this gets into legal mumbo jumbo land, but I like it when my human is poolside encouraging me to do that one last fetch or lap.
13. Can I stay while my dog swims?
YES please! Woof! My world is You and everything is better when we are together. I feel more comfortable when you are there with me, watching. I feel happier when I look over and see a smile on your face.
14. What if my dog doesn’t like water or is afraid to swim?
I was pretty nervous and hadn’t been near water inside a building before, so Kathy was very patient and listened to me and helped me overcome my fear. My friend Harley is a fish! Aroo! Well, he’s not actually a fish, but a golden retriever and he wanted to swim immediately. He was so smooth and has really perfected his doggy paddle – someday I hope to swim like Harley. Kathy takes her time to help us dogs adjust to the environment of the pool and our emotional well-being is as important as our physical well-being. She really took the time to help me feel safe and calm in the water before asking me to swim.
15. Do all dogs know how to swim?
No. A boxer buddy of mine from the park is not a natural swimmer at all with that big, deep chest and didn’t float or swim easily. Hahaha woof, Kathy can help him and other ‘swimming physique challenged’ breeds to swim with a gentle assist in the pool and/or a life jacket, if needed.
16. Do you use life jackets?
We do, but only when absolutely necessary. Most of my doggy friends, when properly assisted, can swim on their own, but if your dog truly needs one, we have life jackets in all sizes. I personally don’t like the lifejacket, as it’s very difficult for Kathy to do the wonderful bodywork in the water with one on.
17. My dog is incontinent – can he swim in your pool?
Yes – but it is imperative that you tell us about the incontinence before you come so that we can take precautions, as accidents in the pool may require a complete water change. We can express bladder and bowels prior to entering the pool to prevent accidents. Failure to inform us about incontinence may result in a $200 charge, if your dog poops in the pool.
18. What should I expect after a swim session?
Ohhhh right away my human takes me out the back door and I get to check my pee-mail. I usually have to ‘go’ and the stroll around the side of the building gives me that chance before we get to the car. When I get home I feel pretty good and invigorated. Most of the time I’m energetic and playful but then will settle into a long nap zzzzzzzzz.
19. How will my dog benefit?
To read about how swimming may benefit your dog, see the Benefits of Warm Water on the website of the Association of Canine Water Therapy. www.iaamb.org