Marlin Shepherd is a Co-Owner of HydroPaws Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre, who gained his hydrotherapist certification from Greyfriars Veterinary Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy, located in the UK. Marlin’s passion for dogs can be seen in his care and attention to every dogs physical and mental well-being.
In April 2015, Janet received her Hydrotherapy Certification from Greyfriars Hydrotherapy and Referral Centre, based in the UK – the industry leaders both in practice and in training. Currently, she is in the process of obtaining her Canine Fitness Training certification. She is excited about this endeavour as it allows her to, not only provide further rehabilitation and but to work on conditioning with our working dogs.
Canine Wellness Practioners
Reana Selody Joubert, Reiki Master
Reana, a Reiki Master Practioner, is equally passionate about the physical, mental and emotional well-being of both animals and people. After healing animals intuitively since a young girl, she feels offering Reiki, among other well-being services, immensely gratifying. “I’m very excited to join Janet and Marlin in providing the best recovery and maintenance therapy possible for the mind, heart, body and spirit of their clients.”
Reana is also certified in Animal Reiki and is registered with the Canadian Reiki Association and International Association of Reiki Professionals.
Danica Smith, Massage Therapist
Danica Smith graduated from the North West School of Animal Massage with a Certificate in Small Animal Massage Therapy. She practices at HydroPaws as a Canine Massage Therapist and Hydrotherapist. She works with dogs of all ages and all breeds. Danica has a special interest in working with senior dogs and dogs who suffer from anxiety and stress. She can utilize Massage Therapy and exercise through Hydrotherapy to minimize and prevent physical and emotional stress caused by abuse, re-homing/adoption, injury etc. Danica believes that as the owner, you play a vital role in your pet’s successful recovery. You will be kept involved every step of the way!
Hydrotherapy can significantly aid in the rehabilitation of dogs with a variety of diseases, disorders or injuries. The 29 degree water brings white blood cells and oxygen directly to injured areas, promoting faster healing and recovery times. Hydrotherapy allows a dog to exercise without putting pressure on injuries or joints and when dogs do not have to deal with pain that comes with exercise on land, they are able to build muscle and regain maneuverability. Even dogs with chronic conditions such as arthritis can move with greatly reduced pain in the water.
For more information on our process and the benefits of hydrotherapy for your dog, please visit our Hydrotherapy page.
Everyone knows that swimming is one of the best exercises for building muscle, increasing stamina and improving agility. At HydroPaws, our certified canine hydro-therapists will design individual programs to challenge your dog both mentally and physically.
The non-concussive resistance of water will build strength and stamina in a safe controlled environment. Using custom designed software your dog’s progress is tracked and monitored. Your dog’s vitals are continually monitored through our heart rate monitor. The heart rate monitor makes sure that your dog is always exercising within specific limits. The ability to reflect on your dog’s progress over a period of time helps our staff make adjustments to your pet’s fitness regime to obtain maximum benefits.
Our number one concern is for your dog’s health and well being. At least one of our therapists will be in the pool at all times with your dog monitoring their vitals and ensuring that your dog is exercising safely.
Not all dogs know how to swim. We begin our programs by making sure that your dog swims with the correct form. Often we will start with a life jacket and in many cases advance to just using a harness. The life jacket helps alleviate some of the fears that your pet may have with swimming and help perfect their form.
Once your pet is comfortable with being in the water we introduce a variety of games that will challenge them both mentally and physically. Once a bond of trust is strong enough that your pet will take verbal and/or hand signals from our therapists, weaving poles will be introduced. Our therapists will use the same commands that you use for agility so as not to confuse your dog. Doing this will strengthen their focus and compliance in and out of the water.
Hydrotherapy can reduce the time it takes for injuries to heal which means faster return to competition. The pool is kept at 28 to 31 degrees which brings white blood cells to injured areas promoting rapid healing. Hydrostatic pressure from the pool has been known to reduce pain and inflammation. If your pet cannot use a part of its body due to an injury, atrophy will often cause muscle wastage. Because the exercise is non concussive and the hydrostatic pressure eases pain and inflammation, exercise of the affected area is still possible. Exercise will limit atrophy and help build back the muscle that has been lost.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a non-invasive, gentle but powerful healing energy system developed by Mikao Usui in the late nineteenth-early twentieth century. Reiki has since then evolved to what it is today which includes Animal Reiki. The nature of Reiki brings physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels into balance and harmony. Reiki flows throughout the animal’s body energy field, through the affected areas while securing them in positive vibrational energy. This causes any negative stuck energy to break away and dissolve. This in turn supports overall well-being and initiates self-healing.
What are some of the benefits of Reiki for my dog and/or other animals?
As with humans, Reiki reduces stress, induces deep relaxation and can over time reduce a nervous tendency. When a dog is stressed or in pain, anxiousness, a change in behavior, discomfort, and/or depression may result. However, when Reiki is offered, and the dog is agreeable to accept as much or as little of the energy as he or she wants, an initiation of self-healing can begin. Reiki is beneficial for:
Stress, anxiety, depression
Illness, injury, pain, arthritis, stiffness
A change in home environment or a move to a new home
Grief of the passing of a fur friend, guardian
Post-surgery and treatments
Trauma, neglect, fear and trust issues
Would a Reiki treatment interfere with veterinary medicine, hydrotherapy or other alternative healing modalities?
Quite simply, the answer is no. It does however, complement traditional medicine and alternative therapies because it is painless, non-invasive and stress-free.
What happens during a Reiki session?
First and foremost, Reiki is offered and applied only with the animal’s consent; it is never forced. Their initial movements during the session will determine if healing is done from a distance or with light touch. For example, an animal may present their back end to the practitioner to indicate that he or she feels trust. From there, the practitioner may use various hand positions on or slightly above the body to facilitate self-healing. Always with the dog’s comfort in mind, the practitioner is very aware of the how he or she receives the energy throughout the treatment. If the dog chooses to move around the room, that’s okay. Or, they may have a nice deep relaxing nap. Reiki can be offered very effectively from a distance, too.
How many Reiki sessions will my dog need?
The number of sessions needed will be determined after an assessment and discussion during the initial appointment. Frequency depends on your dog’s physical, mental and emotional needs and condition at the onset.
The Reiki Difference
Reiki focuses on an animal’s energy field by removing blocked energy caused by injury, trauma, fear, anxiety or conflict. Once treated by Reiki, the animal feels lighter and more at ease, thus less stressed allowing the body to heal. With Reiki, there is no tissuemanipulation. Reiki achieves mind, heart, body, and spirit well-being.
Is Massage Therapy right for your dog?
Yes! Massage Therapy is beneficial for dogs of all breeds, throughout every stage of life. From pup to senior. It can play a critical role in your pet’s recovery and/or maintaining overall health and well being. Massage Therapy is not a substitute for veterinary care, but rather a safe, holistic, non-invasive treatment option with numerous benefits.
What should I expect?
Each Massage Therapy session is unique, no two sessions are alike. Though you may have a specific idea in mind for how the session will go, your dog may have a very different plan. At Canine Comfort, we take all of this into consideration. During the initial visit your Certified Small Animal Massage Practitioner will take a detailed assessment and health intake. Based on the findings, a treatment plan will be discussed with you. Sessions are between 30-60 minutes. Package pricing is available.
What are the benefits of massage therapy?
- Relieves muscular tension, improving muscle tone and decreasing pain
- Decreases joint pain caused by varying disease or injury
- Improves flexibility and relieves stiffness
- Prevents and treats injury
- Improves performance and vitality
- Improves circulation and decreases blood pressure
- Improves respiration (Especially beneficial to breeds prone to breathing problems)
- Aids in improving vital organ functions including digestion, cardiac development and nervous system function
- Flushes toxins from the body (Beneficial to those on any medication that is hard on the Kidneys and Liver ) You may notice your dog urinating more frequently after treatment, this is normal
- Improves skin and coat quality
- Activates the Nervous System (Can be directed towards PNS or SNS) to relax or stimulate
- Anxiety/stress relief (Chronic or situational)
- Easing the transition into a new home or addition of a new pet