New underwater treadmill helps dogs heal, stay active

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 12:42 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Water aerobics are a fun, low impact way to add some exercise to your life.

Research shows exercising in water not only helps build strength, but it can also help people recover from injuries, increase endurance and can even help with pain.

Believe it or not, it can do the same for man’s best friend.

That’s the idea behind a Bismarck business’ underwater treadmill just for dogs.

Couper is ready for his work out. At eight years old, the rescue dog is starting to feel some aches and pains.

“He’s got hip problems and he really wasn’t jumping. He walked really poorly,” said Lila Teunissen, one of the owners of Healthy Dog Center.

Couper enjoys a frozen peanut butter treat while he walks. And after just a few minutes on this underwater treadmill, he’s feeling like a puppy again.

“He started extending his back leg fully. And his energy level at home has increased. He can jump on the couch now,” said Mike Thompson, Couper’s owner.

Those are results that the folks at Healthy Dog Center like to see. They installed this underwater treadmill for dogs to help their own aging dogs.

“Older dogs, it’s just harder for them to get around. It’s more difficult when they’ve got arthritis. They can really get a good workout and it’s amazing how much looser their joints are after being on the underwater treadmill,” explained Teunissen.

The underwater treadmill is also helping dogs like Newt, who are recovering from injuries.

“He’s got a neck injury back in in the spring,” said Casey Dinham, Newt’s owner.

This is Newt’s third treadmill session. Jets help massage his sore muscles.

“Even just after the first visit, it was amazing how much better he was,” said Dinham.

“Now that he’s been on the treadmill. You can see he’s fully extending that leg. He’s using it. He’s jumping again. It’s just incredible the difference it’s making,” added Teunissen.

Sessions last from 15 to 30 minutes. It is time these dog owners say is well worth it when they see their four-legged friends get that bounce back in their step.

You can learn more about this underwater treadmill for dogs online at