LEGAL patient’s veterinary surgeon if necessary Ø Ensure

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The Canine Hydrotherapy Association sets out its Code of
Practice to which all registered members must adhere and abide by. This ensures
that all CHA members provide the highest-quality service to clients and their
dogs, as well as complying to relevant legislations regarding the practice of
veterinary hydrotherapy.


The Key Principles of
the CHA’s Code of Practice

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These principles state that all centres which are members of
the CHA and perform canine hydrotherapy must:

Have at least one staff member who holds a
Certificate in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

Retain a detailed record of every patient’s
treatment and their progress

Ensure that any assistants who are working at
the centre are trained to the same standard as those qualified

Liaise with a patient’s veterinary surgeon if necessary

Ensure that any treatment given is in the best
interests of each patient’s welfare

Hold a certificate in minimum Level 3 canine
first aid

Ensure that the quality of water in which
therapy is performed is of the highest standard

Hold liability to animals, professional
indemnity insurance and public liability

Adhere to all regulations regarding health and

It is the responsibility of all qualified canine hydrotherapists
to ensure that any unqualified assistants whom they work with act in a responsible
manner towards clients and conform to Codes set out by the CHA.

Members can accept clients via direct advertising or from a
referral source, such as from a veterinary surgeon.



CHA members must adhere to obligations. Some of these

All members must obtain and hold information and
records of their clients, which is to include their consent to any treatment offered
before it is used on the dog, and a record of sessions where treatment is given

All members have completed a course in animal First
Aid which is to be approved, and the resulting certificate must be on display at
the centre

Certificates must be displayed in all full
member centres which hold both public liability and liability to animals

All therapists must carry (and maintain) full
professional indemnity insurance, and that they supply such information to any
veterinary surgeons referring a patient if they request it


Code of Practice

The Code of Practice is applied to the Association of
Hydrotherapy Pools, with the aim of establishing and maintaining high standards
in the field of veterinary hydrotherapy practice. Its aims also include advising
and informing veterinary surgeons and the public who are opting for hydrotherapy
as a treatment for an animal about the practice, as well as ensuring that all members
understand the importance of good practice and demonstrate it.

Some of the principles to which this applies include:

All members must practice therapy with sincerity
and recognise the responsibility they have to their patients, their patients’
owners and to the general society. Any actions performed by a hydrotherapist
(or any staff member at such centres) should never purposefully cause any physical
or psychological distress or damage to those who they have a responsibility of

The welfare of both the patients and their
owners must be preeminent and must not be second to any commercial factors/influences

All members are responsible for their continued
profession and personal development via the attendance and completion of further
study and training each year


Safety obligations
for practice

All swimming techniques which members employ and advise for
their patients must be derived from scientific-based research and gained
experience. The clients and veterinary surgeon who gave them a referral for
therapy must be notified of any swimming technique(s) used on the patient which
is/are experimental. Members must explain to the clients why such techniques
are used and any possible risks that they pose.

It is a requirement for all members to regularly check their
water quality so that it is of the highest standard possible, and that records
are kept of such checks.

All members must comply with health and safety regulations,
which are to be displayed in every centre.


Fees for hydrotherapy

Members are to not charge unreasonable or unjust fees for
their hydrotherapy. The decision of fees will be guided using scales that are proposed
by the CHA.


Termination of

A member of the CHA will be required to give up their membership
certificate and have their membership cancelled if they:

Refuse or fail to pay their annual membership fee

Conduct themselves in a such a way that is (or is
likely to be) damaging to the Association, and the complaint against them is
still maintained after they give verbal reasonings for their misconduct

Are found guilty of animal cruelty in the court
of law

In all cases, terminated members
must cease using and remove any documentation, advertising or logos associated
with having an affiliation to the CHA. 

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