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Coastal Canine Hydrotherapy celebrates 10 years in Errington

Therapy helps dogs who are recovering from injury, disabled or geriatric
Coastal Canine Hydrotherapy & Fitness Centre in Errington celebrated its 10th anniversary in January with 25 swimming dogs. (Jackson Rooper photo)

Coastal Canine Hydrotherapy and Fitness Centre recently celebrated 10 years of helping dogs in Errington.

Spending time in the water is therapeutic for dogs who are recovering from injury, disabled or geriatric. It can also be beneficial as cross training for other sports such as agility, according to Carolyn Kutchyera, co-owner.

“They are able to do a lot more and gain range of motion or maintain range of motion in the water without the weight-bearing exercise,” Kutchyera said. “We get puppies and adult learn-to-swim as well. A lot of those and rehab and prehab dogs either recovering from surgery or about to go into surgery just to gain some strength in some targeted areas.”

Kutchyera is a Registered Canine Hydrotherapist through the UK based National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists. She and her partner, co-owner Dennis Smith, relocated to the Island in 2013 and have operated the centre ever since.

To celebrate a decade in the community, she and Smith hosted an event that saw 25 dogs of all ages and breeds enjoy some races and games in the indoor heated 16- x 32-foot pool. The pooches participated two at a time with their coaches.

The event benefited the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, with more than $800 raised to date, Kutchyera said.

“We lose an awful lot of clients, dogs, to cancer,” she said. “I believe and all [Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund] money goes to Guelph University for cancer research. And of course research that’s done on dogs, there’s going to crossover to humans and other animals. I wanted this to be a fundraiser for them.”

A barbecue for pet owners and prizes were made possible thanks to the donations from Thrifty Foods and Petmania pet store as well as many passionate volunteers.

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Coastal Canine Hydrotherapy and Fitness Centre is currently at capacity, so there is a wait list. It’s one of only two of its kind on the Island, with the other in Victoria. On average, 50 dogs swim each week, with 650 pooch clients currently.

Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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