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aiken pet fitness and rehabilitation

Ask Dr. Davis

I’m not sure at what point my pet would benefit from rehab.

If your dog or cat has undergone surgery or experienced an injury, our treatment methods will help your pet recover faster. Maybe your pet doesn’t move as well as it once did, has difficulty climbing stairs or struggles to walk, jump or run. We can strengthen its muscles and show you techniques that make your pet’s life easier. We also treat pain, lameness, arthritis and obesity. If you aren’t sure whether physical therapy is right for your pet or want to know what options are available for a specific condition, call (803) 226-0012.

[VIDEO] Physical Rehab Helps Keep Dogs Moving »

A fitness center for pets? Really?

Yes, our facility has an indoor gym, underwater treadmills, and an outdoor fitness trail for dogs. We combine the concepts of rehabilitation and fitness to practice proactive and preventative medicine because you shouldn’t wait until your pet develops serious weight or lameness issues before seeking treatment. At our facility, all pets have the opportunity to stay lean, fit and healthy regardless of age or medical issues.

[VIDEO] Health and Fitness From a Dog's Point of View »

Which pets benefit from physical therapy?

Almost all pets can benefit from physical rehabilitation at some point in their lives. Physical therapy is used to help dogs recover from surgery, are injured, aging and in pain and those suffering from arthritis, ligament tears, hip dysplasia or any soft tissue injury. Pets with neurologic problems also can benefit from rehabilitation.

But it’s important to visit a licensed veterinarian educated and experienced in animal rehabilitation. Certified rehabilitation professionals complete many hours of coursework and hands-on learning. It is critical that therapies and exercises are prescribed and directed by qualified professionals. They are highly skilled in evaluating an animal’s condition and applying the therapeutic options it needs to get better.

What are the most beneficial treatment methods?

Sometimes specific equipment is used but our team is also skilled with their hands. Massage, for instance, increases blood flow and helps resolve muscle tension. Performing passive range of motion helps pets regain normal joint function. Therapeutic exercises allow animals to build muscles, gain core strength, increase flexibility, and enhance the perception of body position. Hydrotherapy is beneficial for gait retraining, reduces inflammation and allows comfortable movement with less weight bearing on sore joints.

What if I don’t have the money for rehabilitation?

Look at the big picture. Physical therapy often reduces the need for pain medications, which saves money in the long run, and improves your pet’s quality of life. Even if you cannot afford numerous treatment sessions your pet will benefit from an initial evaluation, which takes about an hour. If you are on a slim budget the therapist may reduce the number of visits by increasing your pets “homework.” We also present an optimal treatment plan, costs included, to help you make an informed decision about whether to pursue treatment. See our price list »

Homework? What’s that?

Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation provides a homecare program for every patient. The physical therapy process is definitely not a walk in the park, but you can help the recovery process by following through at home. Such homework is crucial for long-term success. It may include cold or heat treatments, learning massage and exercise techniques you and your pet can do at home. This is one way to spend quality time with your pet and share the gratitude as it gets to feel better. Though the homework differs from patient to patient the need for it to be done consistently and correctly does not. 

Because we believe owner participation is important to a pet’s recovery, owners are encouraged to attend treatments and perform homecare exercises between sessions. A unique feature of our practice is that pet owners can use the gym equipment and hydrotherapy treadmills on their own with our encouragement and supervision during open fitness hours. Click here for conditioning equipment you can use at home. Available online and sold at Aiken Pet Fitness.

What about cats?

We love them. Luckily they are smaller and more agile than dogs but benefit from fitness and rehabilitation just the same. We tailor to your cat’s personality and find exercises they will enjoy and willingly participate in.

How do I schedule appointments?

We see patients by appointment only, which gives us uninterrupted time with your pet, and we encourage owners to be there during treatment. For convenience we provide all-day care for animals whose owners work and for those that benefit from therapy throughout the day. Clients are educated on at-home care and given exercises to perform between therapy sessions.

Recovery times vary depending on your pet’s medical condition but expect several weeks of therapy to get them back on track to a full recovery. Once pets are discharged from rehabilitation, many of them visit our fitness program. Schedule an appointment »

I take my dog to the dog park and doggie day care. How is Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation different?

While those places provide exercise for well-adjusted dogs with no medical issues, we provide fitness and rehabilitation to patients after a veterinary evaluation and follow a veterinary-developed exercise and treatment protocol. Each pet is given one-on-one time for specific therapy.

Does my pet need a referral before visiting Aiken Pet Fitness?

Although not necessary, most patients do come to us after a diagnosis and referral from their veterinarian. Every patient’s history is thoroughly reviewed, including current problems and medications. Therefore, having access to your pet’s records beforehand saves time and helps us provide the best care.

Recommended Veterinarians:
Aiken Animal Hospital
Aiken Veterinary Clinic
Hollow Creek Animal Hospital
Silver Bluff Animal Hospital
St. Francis Animal Hospital
Veterinary Services


New patients and their owners are always welcome. We are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon by appointment. Click here or call
(803) 226-0012 to make an appointment.


What our clients say ...

Quinn and I visited Dr. Sybil Davis at Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation this morning. I am so impressed. What a positive experience. The facility, the staff and Dr. Davis are great at what they do. I highly recommend them for any fitness or rehab needs. Thanks for fitting us in.

  — Nancy Webster, Quinn's owner

Snoopy and I love Sybil and Maggie (and Annette too, although we don't see her as often). Snoopy has recovered almost completely from her torn ACL with no surgery.

  — Mary Lou Seymour, Snoopy's owner
  Read more testimonials »