Canine Hydrotherapist Career Summary

Do you want to work as a canine hydrotherapist?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for the career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 31 August 2020

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What is a canine hydrotherapist?

Canine Hydrotherapists make use of water and special physical therapy techniques to help dogs recover from different kinds of ligament injuries.

Alternative Names

The career can also be known as:

  • Aqua Therapist

What does a Canine Hydrotherapist do?

Groups of animals a Canine Hydrotherapist works with

Dogs List Icon OZT

Career Categories

The Canine Hydrotherapist career can be found in the following career categories:

  • Health
  • Business

What does a Canine Hydrotherapist focus on?

The primary focus of canine hydrotherapists is to use a pool or a specially designed water treadmill to help dogs recover from injuries.

What are the daily tasks of a Canine Hydrotherapist?

  • Discuss brief with owners
  • Work out best routine and techniques to assist the dog
  • Prepare and maintain the water treadmill
  • Allow dog to go through the necessary exercises, while taking notes on progress
  • Discuss progress with owners
  • Design and maintain a business profile (marketing etc.)
  • Administration and filing

The working environment of a Canine Hydrotherapist

Where does a Canine Hydrotherapist work?

Environment –

The majority of their time would be spent working indoors, with the use of a hydrotherapy pool and water treadmill.

Places of Employment –

Most dog hydrotherapists are self employed, but some, especially those just starting out in the career, might work for established hydrotherapy businesses, animal hospitals or even government.

What is the average annual salary of a Canine Hydrotherapist?

As most canine hydrotherapists are self employed, their income is based on obtaining contracts. On average the income per year is around $35,000. This will differ from country to country.

Can Canine Hydrotherapists be promoted?

Promotion within existing businesses is possible, especially where the business has added training sessions as a part of their portfolio. Another form of promotion is of course starting one’s own business. These are some of the possible promotable positions:

Intern > Qualified Hydrotherapist > Manager > Industry Trainer

What difficulties can a Canine Hydrotherapist face?

The most difficult part is always working with scared and hurting dogs, that can react and bite. They may also work long hours and over weekends and holidays.

​Future growth and Possibilities

The industry has shown some positive growth, and will do so in the future. Possible avenues of business could be to specialize in treating service dogs (those working in law enforcement and the military).

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills are required by a Canine Hydrotherapist?

The skills required for a career as a canine hydrotherapist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • ​Good business knowledge
  • Good animal care and handling skills
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Canine Hydrotherapist?

Minimum Requirements

The minimum qualification to enter this career is currently a High School certificate. The reason for this is due to the fact that most canine hydrotherapists complete specifically tailored courses, instead of pursuing studies through college or university. This should not stop those who would like to study further, towards a good college diploma.

Study Focus

Major –

If you do want to study further, then it would be good to look at courses in biology, animal physiotherapy.

Short Courses –

They are a must, as most positions will require completing courses in animal first aid, pool water management, hydrotherapy theory and techniques,  canine anatomy and physiology.

Study Duration

The duration of College Diplomas can be up to 3 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career

Being a canine hydrotherapist can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as an intern after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a canine hydrotherapist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior hydrotherapist or expert.

Join the Canine Hydrotherapists Group in the Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Professional Associations

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards hydrotherapy.

Do you want to contribute to the career information? Please click on the red beetle to learn about being an OZT mentor or contributor.

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Join our OZT community and Canine Hydrotherapist Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a canine hydrotherapist.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Canine Hydrotherapist, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

  • Group logo of Canine Hydrotherapist

    Canine Hydrotherapist

    Public Group / 1 member

    active 2 months, 1 week ago

    The Group was created to bring together all those interested in learning more about the career while having access to free resources, short courses, expert advice as well as the option to interact with other students from around […]

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