Walking on water

There are many unexpected uses of Habasit belts in the animal kingdom. In the past, we have highlighted examples such as a belt used for a comfortable cow mattress or another that served as playground for a wild fox, but in this issue, we will look at Habasit`s innovative collaboration with Aqua Lupo, a company committed to the well-being of every canine companion, large or small.

First and foremost, Dirk Thiele, the founder and owner of the company, was interested in the condition of his own dog`s health. They say that dogs are a man`s best friend, so it should come as no surprise how far man will go to give their friend a happy and healthy life. For Dirk Thiele, this meant making repeated visits to the veterinarian`s office so that his dog could use an underwater treadmill as treatment for his injured hip.

It wasn’t long before Mr. Thiele started to wonder how he could bring this creature comfort home. At the time, there were no underwater treadmills for dog owners on the market. Dirk Thiele saw the need and worked with Habasit to come up with a canine-friendly solution.


Underwater treadmills for pets, dogs and cats can be used for a variety of treatments, such as hip, shoulder or elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis or post-operative orthopedic rehabilitation, to name a few. The resistance of the water stimulates muscle activity while supporting the weight of the pet and protecting sensitive joints. Although it is no replacement for taking your dog for a walk, Dirk Thiele believed that having this kind of in-home treatment could make a significant difference for the well-being of a dog.

Belt conditions for good health

The requirements for such a unique treadmill were highly specific. The belt had to be permanently water-resistant and due to the fact that regular tensioning with pulleys was not possible because of lack of space, Dirk Thiele came up with a flap mechanism which required a highly elastic belt. Habasit was the only company able to offer Dirk Thiele a belt with sufficient elasticity. After several tests with different elastic belt types, the ideal match was found in MAB‑02TXB.

Golden dots also had to be lasered onto the black surface so that dogs could see the belt was moving and not be alarmed by the sudden motion. (Originally, the idea was to use images of bones rather than golden dots, but then the dogs might get distracted by the prospect of an ever-elusive treat.)

Five different sizes are now available through Aqua Lupo and Dirk Thiele is continuing to work on the extension of the range. He customizes each treadmill and adjusts the parameters according to the needs of every dog. The smallest size is even suitable for an athletic cat who might be looking for a little extra exercise.

Even if before now, Habasit never imagined creating belts for dogs in underwater sports, it is just one more example of the versatility that bends to the needs of every customer – canine or otherwise. (ST)

Sonja StrimitzerMarketing

loading page

please wait...

HIGHLIGHTS / archive

HABASIT HIGHLIGHTS / select location