Disclaimer: We are not veterinary professionals - the information provided has been gathered through our own reading as we look to support Holly.
When preparing to bring Holly home we needed to think about our home and the right environment for her. Our downstairs has hard-flooring, so the first thing we did was buy a large rug and runners to reduce the amount hard-floor area for Holly. Carpet or rugs are best for CH dogs as they get better traction so don't slide around as much.
When supporting a dog with Cerebellar Hypoplasia it may be important to restrict areas where they can go. Holly’s main room is the living room. Here, she has her feeding station, her bed and the crate and her toys. We have used a safety gate to restrict Holly’s areas, so she had no access to stairs. Holly doesn’t attempt to go upstairs, which we are pleased about as she is more likely to fall and hurt herself.
Holly’s feeding station is available from Amazon click here for more details. This feeding station has been great for Holly, it’s sturdy so that if she does have a tumble she is less likely to spill her food or water. The feeding station has two different levels so the station has grown with her. We will be changing it soon as we have noticed recently that Holly is knocking into the side of the feeding station due to her blindness in her left eye. We will be purchasing this one.
Holly has had numerous beds as she has grown, we have always chosen a soft edge beds as these are less likely to cause injury if Holly were to fall or stumble into bed.
We crate trained Holly as soon as she came to us, this was so she was in a safe environment at night and if we have to leave her home alone. Holly loves her crate and now will tell us (in her own way) that it’s time for bed. We call Holly ‘fluid’ is the evenings as she gets very tired and her balance and co-ordination is all over the place.
So when it is her time for bed we always help her by holding her lightly around her sides, so that she is more balanced. Holly knows she needs this help and will wait for us to help her in. The crate is also good for Holly so that if she does need veterinary care at any time she will be less anxious as she finds the crate a safe environment to be in.
A dog with Cerebellar Hypoplasia will need a safe, comfortable environment that meets their needs. It will need to be reviewed regularly so that the environment matches the dog’s development and also does not restrict their ability to find out more that they can do with supervision.