Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Policies and Dog Food!

Good morning from Breeder Land!

In the last few days you should have recieved two emails from our school regarding some important changes at the school! The first, to outline some exciting changes designed to provide our newborn puppies and dams with exceptional post-natal care and the second to clarify the dog food plan Southeastern Guide Dogs has adopted as an organization. In the interest of communication, I have outlined the highlights below!

Please note: the Dog Food Recommendations below are different than email that was released to you on Tuesday. We mistakingly listed the puppy versions of our food recommendations rather than our adult dog options... Please take a moment to review!

Kennel Visitation Policy
This policy went into effect on Wednesday, July 15th. Full versions of this policy are available for your review.
  • To reduce nervousness and kennel anxiety, we will not permit breeder host families to visit breeders in the period between drop-off and successful whelp completion.
  • In the interst of providing our newborn puppies and dams with the greatest possible care, we do not permit visitors for the first 72hrs of life.
  • No children under the age of five will be permitted in our nursery area at any time.
  • If you would like to visit a breeder after the 72hr wait-period:

    1. Visitation must be scheduled at least 24hrs in advance by contacting Nancy Lathrop, Kennel Manager. You may reach her during regular business hours at 941.729.5665 x129 or by emailing her at
    2. Appointments are available during the following times only: Monday through Friday from 9am to 2pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 12pm.
  • Absolutely no visitors will be permitted without an appointment and visitation is limited to 3 times weekly for 30 minutes.
  • Puppies under two weeks of age are not permitted to be handled by visitors.
  • No more than two people may enter our nursery area at a time.

Food Options
You may have already heard that there are some exciting changes to our on-campus feeding protocol! I wanted to take a moment to give you all some clarification on the changes in dog food and how it may affect our breeder hosts.

In 2008 Southeastern Guide Dogs established an organization-wide priority to identify dog foods and feeding protocols that maximize the overall health of our dogs from puppyhood through retirement.

After consulting with our Veterinary Advisory Council and animal nutritionists at Cornell University and University of Florida; conducting exhaustive research regarding dog food quality, cost and availability; evaluating presentations made by several dog food companies; and conducting on-campus feeding trials, we have developed a new SEGD Dog Food Plan. Effective immediately, Southeastern Guide Dogs will feed Royal Canin’s line of dog foods to all of the dogs in our kennels and recommending Royal Canin brands for our Breeders.

Here are highlights of the new SEGD Dog Food Plan as it relates to Breeder Hosts:

  • Hosts are encouraged, but not required, to feed Breeders Royal Canin MAXI Large Breed Adult.
  • Should hosts elect, for any reason, that Royal Canin is not a viable solution, Southeastern Guide Dogs encourages families to consider one of the following options:

    Royal Canin MAXI Large Breed Adult 25
    Innova Large Breed Adult
    Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult
    Science Diet Large Breed Adult
    Iams Large Breed Adult
    Natural Balance Lamb Meal and Brown Rice
    Natural Balance Organic
  • Female breeders which have been confirmed as pregnant will be given a supply of Royal Canin Baby Dog by the school. We ask that host families transition expectant mothers to the Baby Dog formula over a two week period.
  • When boarding your Breeder at the school, for any reason, we ask that you provide the school with a supply of food ample enough to last for the duration of the Breeder’s stay at the school if the Breeder’s diet is a food other than Royal Canin. We ask this in the interest of the Breeder’s digestion as a sudden change in diet leads to moderate to severe digestive discomfort. If your dog is already enjoying Royal Canin at home, we will happily feed them Royal Canin from our own supply.

To learn more about Royal Canin you can visit their website at

At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we so appreciate your ongoing commitment to our mission and dedication to our wonderful breeders. We want you to know that these changes came as the result of careful consideration. We strongly believe that continuous improvement will serve to give our Breeders (and their treasured litters) the best care available and make their stay with us as stress-free as possible!

I am, as always, available if you have any questions – and I look forward to seeing you soon!

1 comment:

  1. I love having all this information in writing so I don't miss anything! Thanks so much for the hard work.
    Rita Valdes (Vedra)