I think we may have found doggie heaven on earth. Want to know the best part about it? Its only a short drive from our house!
Try to think from your dogs perspective for a moment…
Imagine a place where the swimming is year round. Where its OK to run, jump, splash and play. Here, even the walks involve water and of course there are lots of friendly people around to give you special attention! Now imagine all of this fun is INDOORS!!
Introducing CoolBlue Conditioning
We recently had the opportunity to visit CoolBlue, a dog fitness and aquatic center just outside of Rochester, NY. To say that we were blown away would be a huge understatement!
We first heard about CoolBlue Conditioning last year at Lollypop Farm’s Barktoberfest. We were intrigued right away and made sure to stop at their booth to get some information. For a Golden Retriever, there is no greater joy in life than swimming. Unfortunately, living in Rochester, NY this a seasonal activity – and a short season at that!
Cool Blue was kind enough to invite us in for a visit to check things out! Initially we were excited just to have a place to take the dogs swimming in the winter months, but after our visit we realized that CoolBlue is so much more than that.
Their entire philosophy is based upon keeping dogs healthy, fit and active – Or as they like to say “Keeping your Best Friend in Motion.”
Recently featured in the Democrat and Chronicle
CoolBlue was founded by Trish and Mike Wager in the fall of 2014. The idea and namesake came from their beloved dog Blue, who suffered from joint problems nearly all of his life. After trying everything, the Wager’s found that water therapy made a huge difference in his rehabilitation and overall fitness. They credited these therapies for helping to slow down his genetic predispositions and with keeping him active later in life. Blue passed last summer at the age of 13 and shortly thereafter the Wager’s decided to leave their corporate gigs and pursue their dream to work with dogs.
They wanted to create a special place where other dogs would have the opportunity to experience all of the things that made such a difference in Blue’s life. Thus CoolBlue Conditioning was born – a health and fitness center for dogs of all ages!
The CoolBlue facilities are top notch – something you will note as soon as you walk in the door. The space is open, clean and the staff is extremely welcoming.
Something for every dog
CoolBlue has a wide variety of services and activities available. First, we will take you through our experience then elaborate on some of the other options available.
Naturally, we had to start things off in the pool!
The pool at CoolBlue is quite spacious (17’ X 30′) and on one end has a deck covered in rubber matting for safety. The deck is also equipped with a crate that you can use. The crate allows you to alternate your pups in/out of the pool if they aren’t great at sharing the waterway or simply provide your pup with an activity break.
How it works
On your first visit a member of the CoolBlue staff will accompany you to the indoor pool for a swim certification. This is to make sure that you can learn the process and that your dog adjusts smoothly.
There is a ramp leading into the pool which some dogs are quicker to get the hang of than others. Despite our boys unending love for water, they are quite cautious and needed just a bit of coaxing to walk all the way in.
As you can see below, dogs also need to learn that the ramp is the way OUT of the pool! Like Charlie, they may get excited and try to swim directly to you or climb onto the portion of the ramp that is visible above water. That is why it is so important that a staff member is present to help redirect them.
After your dog is acclimated to the pool, the fun really begins! They have a wide variety of floating toys available to fetch in the water or you can bring your own. Our boys were very excited to see some of their favorite Chuckit! toys among the selection!
Harley and Charlie had an absolute blast swimming, fetching, and running in and out of the pool. Slightly braver pups can even practice their dock diving skills! Standard swimming sessions are 30-45 minutes long; trust us, the dogs can pack an awful lot of exercise into that amount of time!
Maybe your dog loves the water but isn’t a great swimmer? No problem, CoolBlue offers life jackets allowing dogs of all abilities (and sizes) to partake in the fun!
A couple of wet dogs!
Worried about itchy skin post swim? Worry not! CoolBlue offers a showering station to rinse your pups off after their swim session! Thankfully, CoolBlue even provides towels, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own. Unless of course you want to lay some in the car afterwards. They even have a blow dry station available.
A word of warning – wear something that you don’t mind getting wet, or perhaps a change of pants for the ride home! Your dog will almost certainly shake next to you and if they are anything like Charlie, use your jeans to help dry themselves!
Once your dog is certified, swim sessions can be scheduled alone with your dog. CoolBlue offers great deals on “Buddy Swims” where 2 or 3 certified dogs can share the space. You can even schedule a dog pool party for up to 6 certified dogs!
After our swim, we stepped outside for a
bathroom roll in the snow break. Only these two…
Our next stop was the underwater treadmill, which can be a great option for dogs of all fitness levels. When the water is raised to chest level, body weight is reduced, providing for a low impact exercise session. This is particularly beneficial for senior dogs or dogs with joint problems.
When the water is kept at a lower height (below chest level) resistance is actually increased, providing for a more vigorous, strength building workout.
Harley is a big dog, and as he gets older we have become increasingly concerned about the health of his joints. We were very eager to try an underwater treadmill session with him to see how he adjusted.
As with the pool, a CoolBlue staff member will accompany your dog to assure their safety and adjustment. Already completely head over heals for the staff, Harley walked right in to the treadmill. When the door closed and the water began to rise he was definitely a bit confused – even more so when the ground beneath him began to move! Don’t worry, as you can see he felt plenty safe in Kerri’s trusted arms!
It didn’t take long for Harley to get the hang of the walking motion at varying speeds. He seemed to really enjoy himself! This is an activity we will definitely continue in the future.
CoolBlue is not a rehabilitation center. Their focus is on keeping dogs in motion and improving their overall level of fitness. In line with that mission, there are several other services offered at CoolBlue which include:
- Strength and conditioning for athletes
- Massage and Bodywork to ease pains and increase mobility
- Weight Management through customized exercise plans and diet counseling
CoolBlue offers a combination of these services in a variety of standard packages. They will also work with you to cater a specific program to meet the individual needs of your dog.
Water Dog – The perfect introduction to CoolBlue (what we did), this program is a combination of swimming and underwater treadmill.
Crossfit Canine – Want to really give your dog a workout? This program can combine the pool, underwater treadmill, muscle strengthening exercises and even stretching. A total body workout for the real athlete!
Silver Paws – For the senior dog, this program utilizes low impact exercises such as swimming and underwater treadmill. It also incorporates stretching to ease joint/muscle pain and improve mobility.
Pudgy Pooch – Perhaps your dog needs to drop a few pounds? This program utilizes the pool, underwater treadmill, targeted exercises and even includes diet counseling.
Some Pooped Pups…
As you can imagine, we left with some very tired (but satisfied) dogs!
Why MyDogLikes CoolBlue Conditioning
Our dogs love to swim in Rochester’s local ponds and lakes. Unfortunately, they sometimes return home with itchy skin and aggravated allergies. In recent years, there have also been concerns with harmful bacteria/algae blooms that can pose serious health risks. At CoolBlue you don’t have to worry about any of this! With UV light, ultra low chlorine mineral treatments, and full drain cleans, their water is always safe for your pup.
Clean Facility/Clean Car
Tucked away in a industrial area, CoolBlue offers a clean, safe, and beautifully maintained facility. Upon walking in, you will feel like you have entered a little piece of heaven and this bright and clean facility sparkles for dogs and their people. CoolBlue offers a showering station, blow drying, and all the towels that you might need; so stress not about bringing a wet dog home in the car with you.
From the moment you walk in, you will feel like part of the CoolBlue Conditioning Family. CoolBlue staff is top notch and incredibly passionate about the work that they do. Our boys were encouraged to take their time getting used to the equipment and had friendly smiles, pets, and baby talk to guide them along the way. Every single person there demonstrated so much love for our boys. While fitness and conditioning is their mission, they don’t forget to give lots of lovin’ the whole time!
Something for Everyone
With so many programs available, you are sure to find something that could help your dog be a better version of him/herself. Relatively speaking, our best friends have a short life span and health problem such as obesity can shorten that precious time we have. CoolBlue offers programs that are geared toward elite athletes training for agility competitions as well as the senior dog who is trying to stay active and mobile. This is not a rehabilitation center, their goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle that incorporates fitness for all dogs!
If you are in the Western NY area, you need to visit CoolBlue. If not, we would highly recommend looking to see if their are any similar businesses in your area. Not only will your dog have lots of fun, but you will too!
Sounds like a great facility. Sadly we are too far away to take advantage. 🙂
Too bad!! You can always come for a Rochester visit! 😉
Wow, this looks fantastic! wish there was a similar facility in our neck of the woods, I think my GSD has some “lab” somewhere in his genes, he loves the water.
Every dog has a little bit of that labby love of water!Thanks for checking out the post!
What a great facility. We love the water treadmill – have used it with all of our seniors to help keep their mobility up. Thanks for sharing. I will add these guys to our list of canine camps & clubs.
Great! Once Harley got used to it, he loved it! They did not move for 36 hours afterward, they were pooped pups!
Holy catfish! That was a post to last an entire week! What a great place! If we ever road trip it out to Rochester to see the family, we will definitely contact you guys for dog activity suggestions! Great post and facility!
You better!!! Just come, we will love on the girls and take them to all of our favorite places 🙂 How closely related are you to family here? Such a small world!
Fantastic facility! Sure could use one here! We do have a vet clinic that has now added the aqua treadmill, but a facility like this would be awesome! Thank you for sharing this info and all the great (and beautiful) pics!
Thanks for reading!! We loved this place! I wish everyone had access to something like this CoolBlue!
Wow! This place looks excellent! Barley HATES to get wet, so I’m pretty sure it would not be the fun experience for us that it was for your babies. I’m glad there’s such an awesome facility in your area for dogs to have safe, healthy fun year-round!
Thanks Beth! We do feel lucky. Honestly, it was the people who made this place. It was non-stop fun and love for our boys!
Sounds like a great place, we have one similar here in Toronto. It’s perfect for older dogs.
We agree! Toronto isn’t so far from us. Our cities used to be just a ferry ride across Lake Ontario! That would’ve been fun huh?!
What a fabulous facility, the dogs had a blast, great place to go if you don’t have water access.
We love it also because our winters are really long and they can’t swim and in the warmer temps we have had problems with algae blooms which are toxic!
That looks like such a neat place!
Yes, so cool! Do the girls swim?
What a cool business! That looks like it is a lot of fun for the dogs. It would be great if more places like this existed to help fight against canine obesity.
Absolutely, I think one of the biggest hurdles is getting people there. Once you go, I think you are hooked! We love small businesses!
Oh my gosh, this place sure DOES sound like heaven! If we lived in your area, we would totally go there all the time! We used to take our pups for swim sessions at the Olde Town Pet Resort in Dulles, VA, and they always had a blast. I have yet to find a similar place here in rural NC.
–> Looks as if we both had H2O on our minds today 😉
Water is always on our minds…I think it runs through their veins. If they so much as smell water on a walk, they go nuts!
How neat! We have something similar minus the treadmill but unfortunately, they’re closing soon.
Yeah, we recently learned about CoolBlue. We had learned of a place in Buffalo. which is only a few hours away from us, but they were closing the following week, so we never got to try it out! This place was really amazing!
OOOH sounds fantastic and I wish I was closer to do this. Dex had to do rehab when he had ACL surgeries. We didn’t even have a nearby pool so we did in home therapy instead. Great pics, too.
You aren’t that far….It would be a good excuse to get the dogs together! 🙂 Thanks for all of your kind words. Dex has come a long way and that is absolutely due to the hard work that you and Darlene have put in….and all the extra lovin too I’m sure!
We have never been near water (unless you count puddles) and would love the chance to see if our dogs would like to swim. Fortunately we do live near enough to participate in the giveaway too. Thanks for the great review. We also saw the article in the paper recently.
Excellent! So happy to find some Rochester fans! Be sure to check out some of our other local features like parks and events! Good luck! We hope that you will come back and enjoy our site again!
That place does look like doggie heaven for sure. It’s so nice to have that clean water as well; we swim a lot in the lakes and it can be really tough to get rid of those pesky ear infections when they pop up. I wish they had a place like this around here – it seriously looks like the coolest place (thinking of them rolling in snow lol) on Earth for dogs.
What an awesome place! I bet the dogs who go there will just love it. I know that most dogs really love the water. Thank you for letting everyone know about it.
WOW!!! What a fab facility! Henry and Reese would be happy to try the water in such an amazing environment, I’m sure! We’re not far from Rochester – weekend road trip. Woo Hoo. Thanks for sharing.
This looks like so much fun! Love your photos! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thanks for checking it out! We wish we could bring all of our friends, near and far, for a visit!
This place looks amazing! Chewy would LOVE the swimming pool. He is only a retriever in the water. On land, he’s just like “YOU go get it!”
We would go for the water dog package, as well. Chewy has been on a doggie treadmill on land, so it would be interesting to see how he adapts to a water treadmill!
Harley is the same way…retriever by sea only!! Ha! Charlie does both! Are you close enough to visit there?
I Would love to try the swimming program with my puggle.
Good luck! Had you heard of this place before?
Rooney is so jealous! He loves to swim and it would be so cool to take him to an indoor pool like this!
Oh we wish we could take Rooney with us!!
Great review of this place, very thorough! What a great place to have nearby. I thought it was a rehab center at first, but I like that instead of being a rehab center it could be a place that may actually help prevent the need for rehab by keeping dogs’ in better shape, strengthening their bodies and helping prevent injuries. I can see from Harley & Charlie’s experience that this is a Fun place!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Cathy, we love that too! Proactive strength building can go so far!
Holy moly can you feel my envy beaming up at you all the way from Texas? 😉 Seriously, I would just freak out with happiness if this was near my city. This is EXACTLY the kind of place I dream of for my JJ. 🙂
This is amazing! I so want to a place for my dogs to swim. I have two with joint problems and one that LOVES the water. If I was in your area we would be taking a visit this WEEKEND!