Dearest Proud Puppy Parent

My name is Jess and I am here to tell you about how you, can give your new puppy the best possible start in life.

I am a practicing Physical Rehabilitation Therapist authorised by the South African Veterinary Council, as well as a certified Canine Rehabilitation Practioner. I obtained my Canine Fitness Qualification through the University of Tennessee in the United States of America. Working in both fields has given me a lot of insight into injury prevention and what to do, and what not to do, when raising a puppy.

The outcome or prognosis of many of the conditions we see regularly at Animal Health and Hydro, the facility where I work, can be improved upon by managing the environment, proper nutrition, neurological stimulation and the performing the correct exercise. In some instances if started early enough, even as early as the puppy stage, some of  these conditions may even be prevented all together.

As much as I love my rehab patients, honestly I would prefer for them all to be healthy, pain-free, mobile and happy. Yes, I know this is a big dream, but I really do believe that in many instances with early intervention some of my patients would have needed less rehabilitation than they do now. So how early is early? Well from a few days old there is so much a responsible breeder is able to do to influence the new puppy’s development.

From time to time we start treating patients, they may even be fairly young patients, and the pet-parents are surprised that their dog needs therapy. They are surprised due to the fact that these dogs are fit, they perform sporting activities or are working dogs, often with very good genetics, and here they are expressing symptoms of pain and have compromised mobility. That’s in part due to the fact that these dogs while fit and really well trained, do not have adequate core strength, lack full body fitness and are unbalanced. They are likely performing repetitive tasks putting strain on specific joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles and as such are at high risk of injury. Please do not think that for one minute I am suggesting that you should not involve your dogs in sporting or working activities, in fact these are my absolute favourite dogs to work with. Instead, what I am saying is let me help you lay the best foundation for your sporty or working companion. Let us work together to improve core strength, full-body fitness and limb awareness to help prevent injury and help you keep your companion competing for longer, reducing the likelihood of painful symptoms occurring as they get older.

Together with Dr Tee we have put together this 8 week online Puppy fitness Program and we would like you to join us, so that together we can help you set good foundations for your puppy, so that we can prevent injury in the long term.

Love Jess


An 8 module online course which will help you set your puppy up for success by improving full-body fitness, balance, sore strength and more.

Who is this course for?

Responsible Breeders

We know that sometimes breeders get a bad rap, rather unfairly. As a breeder myself, I understand that most of us want the best for our puppies. We love our chosen breed, and we desire nothing more than to provide the most loving of homes with happy, healthy and well-adjusted puppies.

This course can help you to further improve the health and well-being of your puppies by teaching you more about what you can do to assist the neurological development of your puppies and lay solid foundations very early on, so that when your puppies head off to their new homes, they have a head start. Did you know so much can be done to slow down the progression of conditions like Hip Dysplasia, while the puppy is still in the whelping box?


Online Canine First Aid Course

Proud Parents of New Puppies

Have you recently just introduced a new bundle of fur to your home? If you have I am sure you have lots of questions. This course will address many of the questions you may have on the subjects of nutrition, supplementation, vaccinations, sterilisations and more. 

Things you likely have not considered are preventable orthopaedic and neurological conditions, and how some of the decisions you may make related to exercise, environment and nutrition may impact on those conditions.

Weekend Warriors

Is your furry buddy your running, walking or hiking partner? Have you ever wondered when you could start running with your puppy? When is the right time start exercising? How much is too much? How far is too far? This course will address many of these questions and more. We will also teach you about how your puppy’s skeletal system develops and how to train your puppy with that in mind, so that you do not inadvertently cause damage in the long-term. 

Let’s help you keep for furry buddy mobile for longer so that you can both enjoy your time in the sun, together, for longer.


Canine Athletes

Whether your chosen sport is Agility, IGP, Endurance Running, Flyball, Dock Diving, Hunting or anything else you and your canine companion choose to compete in, we can help you keep competing for longer. Afterall, as a team you will invest so many hours in training and practice, let’s get the foundations right so that all that practice and all that time spent, pays off for longer.

Many of the sports dogs we treat in our practice have injuries related to the repetitive nature of the sport in which they compete. We can show you how to strengthen your dogs core, improve balance and full-body awareness which will help a lot in preventing injuries of this nature. 

Working Dogs

This is another group of dogs we treat rather often at Animal Health and Hydro. We see a number of detection dogs, therapy dogs, support dogs. In fact, all manner of working dogs. Often the nature of the work that the dogs do, such as having to walk on slippery floors, having to climb on and off surfaces, counters, conveyers all day, makes them susceptible to repetitive strain injuries. 

Given the large investment, both in time and money, it’s sad to see how many of these dogs have to stop working early, due to problems associated with these injuries. Having said that, it is also heartening to see how far many of our working dog clients will go to keeping these dogs comfortable in their older years, and how selective they are about retiring the dogs to homes where the new parents will continue with treatment after re-homing. 

We believe that will the right foundations early on and continuing on a program focused on strength, balance and awareness along with their work related training means these dogs should be able to continue to important work they are doing for many more years to come.

Online Canine First Aid Course (1)

Breed Show Dogs

As a breeder and Canine Fitness Trainer I also show my dogs. In fact I have been going to dog shows since before I could walk, I guess you could say that I was crate trained as an infant, while spending many weekends on the show grounds. 

It always makes me very proud to see how the dogs I have worked with (be that my own or my clients dogs), perform in the showring. Dogs that have undergone a properly formulated training program have superior muscle development, are able to hold themselves more correctly due to their strengthened core and body balance, and generally have a much better gait than many of their competitors. 


Jessica's Clients Have This To Say

“For all of the care you’ve provided for my dogs, Gambit and Snow over the years. Her knowledgeable approach and advice is always very reassuring and it is clear she has an animals best interests at heart”.

  • Gambit and Snow’s Mum


Online Canine First Aid Course (2)

If you have recently introduced a new puppy to your home, or are considering getting a puppy in the near future – then this course is for you!

Let us help you positively  influence your puppy’s development at this crucial stage of life.

  • Have you ever had a number of burning questions you would like to ask a vet about nutrition, supplementation, vaccination or sterilisation? 
  • You are running your 6 month old puppy, 5km on a Saturday at your local Parkrun. Is that the right exercise for your puppy?
  • Your chosen breed is susceptible to Hip Dysplasia. Is it the luck of the draw or is there something you can do to positively influence the onset or progression of the disease?
  • Is a sit a sit, or is there a way to perform a sit that has muscle strengthening benefits?

We will answer these questions and more on this 8 module Puppy Fitness Program.

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