The Highest Possible Standards of Pet Care

Hydrotherapy Treadmill

The hydrotherapy treadmill enables us to achieve a low impact but highly aerobic workout while strengthening and re-educating the patient’s limbs and muscles with very little pressure on their joints. The heated water helps to relax tight, spasming and recovering muscles, increases and improves circulation and blood flow through the body which in turn facilitates healing and increases flexibility and mobility of the body as a whole. The water’s buoyancy decreases the amount of weight bearing on the patient’s joints, making it possible for patients with painful conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia and arthritis to work more comfortably and effectively than on land. The increased buoyancy also assists those who are unsteady or unable to stand due to pain or weakness, weight bear on all limbs consistently once again, which, over time will decrease recovery times ultimately getting your pet back to optimal health sooner. The hydrotherapy treadmill enables us to control all variables, such as speed, resistance and depth of exercise, which allows us to develop an individualised and consistently progressive treatment plan for each patient.

Hydrotherapy Pool

Swimming can be used as part of many rehabilitation programs and helps improve awareness of limbs and assists in return of neuromuscular function. It is a unique form of therapy as it combines natural joint range of motion, gentle muscle endurance and strengthening and improved circulation and cardiovascular conditioning, without weight bearing. Dogs recovering from orthopaedic or soft tissue injuries or surgery, or those with chronic conditions, will often start with underwater treadmill therapy and progress to hydrotherapy swims. The action of swimming itself is more vigorous, and we have less control over the intensity of limb movement, therefore it is not always suitable in the initial stages of a patient’s recovery program. Swimming is functionally more of an endurance based exercise resulting in less rapid gains in strength and muscle mass when compared with water walking.

We also use our hydrotherapy pool to teach dogs of all ages how to swim and become comfortable in the water. Many dogs have negative associations with water due to previous histories, and are fearful and will panic, which can actually lead to drowning. Our learn to swim patients and our therapy patients all wear flotation devices when in the water and are accompanied by one of our team members at all times. It is crucial our patients develop quality swimming technique and important for us to monitor this in order for their rehabilitation program to be successful. We also use our pool for fitness and fun and often host ‘Pool Parties’ for our neighbours, Happy Pawz Doggy Daycare as well as have appointment times available for Fun Fitness Swims!

Canine Massage

Canine massage can help your four-legged friend in many ways. Not only can it help to improve movement in the patient’s joints by warming and stretching the muscles, allowing the dog to do day to day activities more easily and with reduced pain, canine massage can go beyond that. Massage allows dogs to feel calm and relaxed, assisting with behavioural problems in certain contexts. Massage can also:

  • Increase flexibility and range of motion of joints
  • Restore natural gait and balance
  • Relive muscle tension, adhesions and ‘knots’
  • Soothe sore muscles and joints
  • Hasten recovery from injury
  • Contribute to post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Prevent injury
  • Increase overall wellness

Massage is particularly useful as a remedial technique in older patients as it helps to reduce pain and stiffness, a common issue facing the geriatric canine. Consistent massage can improve the geriatric’s ability to rise to their feet, stabilise themselves and generally move about more comfortably. Massage also promotes circulation, bringing blood flow and warmth to extremities, helpful for those dogs whose mobility is limited. Massage can shorten recovery time post orthopaedic surgery or soft tissue injury, prevent problems caused by muscle atrophy, decrease pain and discomfort, aid in preventing post-surgical re-injury, reduce scar tissue development and adhesions, and ease the transition back to normal pre-injury activity levels.

Regular and consistent massage and stretching techniques can increase limb range of motion, lengthen stride and improve overall muscle tone, all contributing to more effective use of the canine body which can certainly lead to better performance in sporting dogs in particular but does wonders for your average everyday pet dog’s health and wellbeing.

Veterinary Acupuncture

Muzzle to Muscle are proud to offer Canine Acupuncture with Dr. Kate Fisk from North Queensland Veterinary Acupuncture. All of the details of this service are available through the Facebook page available at:

Please make bookings directly with Dr. Fisk through contact details on the page above. North QLD Veterinary Acupuncture have availabilities in clinic at Muzzle to Muscle, or alternatively offer home visits in some cases.

Crate Training

With over 30 years combined experience with many different dog breeds at various ages and stages of life and previous experience, Jo and Teegin offer an endless amounts of advice with regard to crate training and teaching your canine friend to feel relaxed and comfortable with crate confinement. Successfully crate training your dog can be one of the most useful and rewarding behaviours to incorporate into your dog’s life and there are infinite benefits to a dog who is comfortable and at home in their crate including:

  • Ease of travelling with your pet and transport safety benefits
  • Helps with toilet training
  • Safety for your dog (and your furniture!) while you are unable to supervise them directly
  • Enjoy time alone and develop independence from you and other dogs in the household
  • Practice relaxed behaviour which in turn helps with impulse control and over arousal
  • Surgical recovery is more successful with a crate trained dog
  • Hospital or boarding facility stays become easily accepted with a well crate trained dog
  • Natural disasters or family emergencies where you need to vacate your home are much easier to negotiate with crate or pen trained dogs
  • Crate trained puppies or older dogs can be easily separated when they need a break from each other
  • Family BBQ’s or gatherings with children and/or other dogs are much less stressful if your dog is comfortable being confined or separate from all the action

Train It before you Need It

As veterinary nurses, Jo and Teegin have had countless years of hands on experience with veterinary behaviour and handling techniques and realise that for many of our canine friends, vet visits and handling for simple procedures, such as nail clipping, can be an extremely daunting experience for all parties involved. Veterinary clinics are notoriously busy places and as hard as the staff may try, there is simply never enough time in the day to take as much time as the dog needs to be comfortable with each and every aspect of a clinic visit. Many of our local veterinary clinics employ low stress handling techniques, but for many of our canine pals, their previous experience sets them up for often a total panic attack when being handled. From their point of view they are being asked to be comfortable with sometimes total strangers holding onto them for examinations, assessing them for often painful conditions and restraining them for procedures like drawing blood or getting up close and personal with strange equipment examining their eyes and ears all in the best interest of their health and wellbeing, but you try convincing them it will all be much better if they stay still!

At Muzzle to Muscle we aim to help our patients deal with veterinary visits through counter conditioning and reward-based training. We can develop an individualised program for your dog, depending on which parts of veterinary visits they find most stressful. We can guide you through safe handling techniques and include goal behaviours such as:

  • Presenting paws for nail trims
  • Chin rests for examining eyes, ears and teeth
  • Muzzle training
  • Lying on their side or back for ultrasound
  • Counter conditioning blood collections
  • Becoming more comfortable with common veterinary handling techniques for full body examinations

Let us know if your pooch is a stress mess when they visit the vet and we can tailor a plan to suit your needs, you never know when your best mate will face an emergency situation and need a vet visit, it will be a whole lot nicer for them if they have had some positive experiences and much easier for your vet to provide the care and attention they need to help them through their recovery.

Our “Train It Before You Need It” philosophy extends much further than veterinary behaviour training. We are also very experienced in a wide range of general dog behaviours such as manners training, dog reactivity training, sporting dog training and general pet dog training, just ask us if we can help you with any particular problem, and if we can’t we will be honest and refer to one of our local dog training businesses who will be able to help!

Location & Hours
251 Ingham Road, Garbutt 4814
Mon - Fri: 9am - 5:00pm | Sat: 8:30am - 1pm
Contact Us
0427 014 501