Doggy paddling’s making waves

Canine hydrotherapist Leanne Owen.
Canine hydrotherapist Leanne Owen.
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Imagine swapping your daily 9 to 5 routine for the chance to spend your day in a heated pool swimming with man’s best friend.

It might sound a bit barking... but for 21-year-old Leanne Owen, that’s exactly what happened after she decided to set up her dog hydrotherapy centre.

A life-long animal lover, she got the idea after her own dog, Rio, was diagnosed with a debilitating condition that left him struggling to walk.

After seeing how hydrotherapy changed his life, Leanne decided to retrain, leave her office job behind and set up her own facility on Tudor Place, South Shore, Blackpool.

She said: “When my cocker spaniel was about six or seven months old we noticed he had trouble walking.

“He had really bad hip dysplasia and the vet said the only thing you can do is take him swimming. He went from being hardly able to walk to being able to run around with the other dogs.”

But after having to travel to Leyland for his treatment, Leanne spotted a gap in the market in Blackpool – and decided to set up the first such facility in the area.

The former National Savings and Investments worker got her qualifications in Lincoln and then went into business with her mum, Lorna Owen.

She added: “My boyfriend and dad basically built the whole thing so it’s a real family-run business.

“I have always wanted to have my own business and I love animals so this seemed like the right thing to do.”

The Fylde Coast Canine Hydrotherapy centre opened for the first time on Saturday and was booked up all day, with eight dogs coming for treatment.

Leanne added: “We’ve had quite a lot of interest so far and we’re building gradually.”

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