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Certificate Program in Canine Hydrotherapy

Certificate Program in Canine Hydrotherapy

Aims of the Canine Hydrotherapy Course

Hydrotherapy for the canine patient has been available for many years but has recently gained more popularity in Australia as a form of exercising in a low load environment as well as rehabilitation of specific conditions, injuries and surgeries.

Until this now there has been a distinct lack of education available in Australia around Canine Hydrotherapy.

This canine hydrotherapy course has been designed to teach individuals how to deliver hydrotherapy to the canine patient safely and effectively, working in conjunction with the patient’s vet as part of a healthcare team.

Who is this course for?

There are no pre-requisites for this course. However, a background in the veterinary and/or animal industry is an advantage. Anatomy, physiology and pathology subjects are quite in-depth. This course is designed to enable participants on completion, to deliver hydrotherapy safely and effectively to canine patients.

Course Delivery

Blended delivery includes online learner modules, live fortnightly webinars, recommended texts and online resources. There are 2 practical workshops, the first is 3 days and the second is 2 days including a final exam. These are all delivered currently in Melbourne

Assessments include online examinations, written assignments as well as practical demonstrations and work placement. Each student will be required to submit log book case study reports for 15 patients.

Duration of the Canine Hydrotherapy Course

The course runs for 6 months. 

Study Hours

This is a part-time course that will require approximately 5-6 hours of study per week depending on your previous level of canine anatomy experience


  • 1

    Introduction to Hydrotherapy in the Canine Patient

  • 2

    The properties of water

  • 3

    Principles of Canine Hydrotherapy - swimming and underwater treadmill

  • 4

    Canine First Aid

  • 5

    Anatomy and Physiology of the Canine Patient

  • 6

    Canine Hydrotherapy for Health and Fitness

  • 7

    Canine Hydrotherapy for Rehabilitation

  • 8

    Common pathologies requiring Hydrotherapy in the Canine Patient

  • 9

    Working safely in Canine Hydrotherapy

  • 10

    Assessment of the Canine patient for Hydrotherapy

  • 11

    Use of equipment in Canine Hydrotherapy

  • 12

    Development of and progression of treatment plans in Canine Hydrotherapy

  • 13

    Practical delivery of Canine Hydrotherapy

  • 14

    Working as part of a Multi-disciplinary team

  • 15

    Hydrotherapy Facility Centre

  • 16

    Water Chemistry in Canine Hydrotherapy

  • 17

    Record Keeping

  • 18

    Business development


Assessments include online examinations, written assignments and case studies, as well as practical demonstrations and work placement in the student clinic.

Commencement Date

The course will commence on Monday 5th November, 2018  with an Introductory Webinar.

The 3 day practical workshops will be held in February and May 2019 - dates to be confirmed. These will be held in Melbourne.

Career Opportunities

Completion of this course will enable you to apply for membership of the Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association and professional indemnity insurance with Insurance House. Canine Hydrotherapists are typically employed in large veterinary facilities or rehabilitation facilities, or operate their own private businesses.


Enrollments NOW OPEN for Nov 2018 Intake

We will be opening the enrolments for the next intake of the course in July 2018. The course will commence November 5th 2018.
Places limited to 20 per course

Early Bird Closes October 8, 2018



Michelle Monk has been an Animal Physiotherapist, utilizing both pool and underwater treadmill therapy since 2002. She started the first rehabilitation centre for dogs in 2002 complete with indoor heated pool and underwater treadmill. Since then she has delivered hydrotherapy to thousands of dogs and is the most experienced canine hydrotherapist in the country.

She has also authored the Animal Hydrotherapy chapter in the Textbook “Animal Physiotherapy: Assessment, Treatment and rehabilitation of Animals’, 2013.

She is also a human physiotherapist and prior to working with canines she worked for 6 years in Human Hydrotherapy and continues to attend continuing professional development in this field.

Need more information?

This course is accredited by the ACRA - Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association


But don't take my word for it....

Here's what some of Michelle's clients have to say:


"Dear Michelle, I wanted to let know how grateful I am for your rehabilitation of Chloe after her ACL operation.  It is now 12 weeks since her operation and her leg is well on the way to recovery with the muscle almost back to normal size.  It is so good to see her pain free and regaining her confidence.  She is loving being able to do a bit of running and playing again. Your programme of hydrotherapy, controlled exercises and reviews with you have worked miracles.  I've attached a few photos of her and Freddie using the pods.  Freddie's right leg is also a great tribute to your rehabilitation programme (fully recovered and back competing in Agility).

Thanks again." - Judy