Doing the doggy paddle 1,000 times

Katy Smith pictured with Husky Cloud in the pool.
Katy Smith pictured with Husky Cloud in the pool.

HARTLEPOOL pooches are getting into shape thanks to a new business that lets them have a doggy paddle in their own pool.

K9 Hydrotherapy and Grooming Centre has just celebrated its 1,000th dog swim in its state-of-the art pool just nine months after opening its doors.

The family-run firm says despite the recession business is booming.

Business owner Chris Smith said: “It has just taken off really well.

“The success is phenomenal, we are fully booked on Fridays and Saturdays for the next four weeks at the moment.

“Business is booming despite these times of recession.”

On Saturday, the centre celebrated their 1,000th dog swim when regular customer Carole Ford and her husky Cloud went for a dip.

Carole was presented with a trophy and flowers to mark the occasion and Cloud was given some doggie treats.

Chris, a dad-of-three, who also runs a haulage company and lives at the Fens in Hartlepool, added: “We wanted to mark the occasion in some way so we had a bottle of champagne, gave some flowers to Carole and some goodies for the dog. It was a great day.”

Hartlepool’s first dog hydrotherapy centre opened its doors in Whitby Street South, in May last year.

As well as being fun exercise for the dog, swimming in the pool is said to improve mobility and weight management, strengthen muscle tone and help recovery from injury.

The dogs are always joined in the pool by hydrotherapist Katy Smith, 23, Chris’s daughter.

The family line up is completed by Chris’s wife Karyn Smith, 47, who works as the centre manager.

A 10 minute swim in the pool with is said to the equivalent of a 10 mile walk.

Pooches can also enjoy a makeover with a visit to the centre’s grooming and beauty salon.