Now, a swimming pool just for dogs
New Delhi , Mar 7 : No longer will your dog have to swim in shabby inflatable backyard pools as an unusual aquatic centre inside a suburban Maryland strip mall is all about catering to this exclusive pack.
According to the facility's owner, Dominique Darcis, this canine-only swimming facility was opened in 2016 to fill "a need that people were not aware of," the Washington Post reported.
K9 Aquatic Centre, reportedly wedged near a wine bar and a nail salon in posh Potomac, now has some 900 dog clients regularly booked for 30- or 45-minute sessions of fun, exercise or help with injury recovery.
Before K9, a dog aquatic centre hit Los Angeles in 1985, but later got closed.
The concept has taken off in the recent years as pet owners treat dogs more as family and veterinarians increasingly undergo training for canine rehabilitation, the dog equivalent of physical therapy.
"It's a relatively new field in veterinary medicine, but it's one of the fastest-growing areas," said Jonathan Block, the veterinary medical director at Water4Dogs in New York City.
However, the K9 Aquatic Center cannot legally call itself a hydrotherapy center as it has no veterinarian on staff.
Half of the clients come for health reasons, and about half for recreation - including several energetic puppies whose owners, like the parents of toddlers, hope to tire out their pets, said Darcis.
Darcis, who is a former antique dealer, came across the thought of having this centre after she got tired of ferrying her own Labrador Retrievers to a swimming facility in Virginia that is also used for horses.