Puppy Advice

So you’ve got a new Puppy? Congratulations.

Let the fun begin!

Your new pet is an adventure! Keep things simple, plan to have fun and remember your new friend could be with you for 10-14 years, so it is important to begin with some planning and information.

Tea Tree Gully Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing quality, friendly care for the pets in the Tea Tree Gully and surrounding areas.

Each Veterinary Surgeon and team member is deeply committed to the health and well-being of your pet. We love animals as much as you do.

When choosing a veterinary surgeon for your pet dog, look to Tea Tree Gully Veterinary Hospital for veterinary excellence delivered by trusted, caring professionals. We are here to advise and help you every step of the way with your pet, so if we can offer any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call.

The following offers some advice on how to care for your new puppy.

Feeding Your Puppy

Feed your puppy commercially available food. It is essential to give your puppy a balanced diet containing the correct proportions of all the essential nutrients.

We use and recommend the Hills Science range of foods. These special puppy diets contain all the requirements for a growing pup. Provided you are feeding at least 70% commercial food some supplementation is ok. Other useful foods are strips of meat (red meat or chicken) cut into 5cm strips to encourage chewing.

Encourage your pet to chew to care for their teeth. When feeding meat, cut it large enough so that your pet has to chew. Feeding raw meaty bones is also a good idea about once a week. Choose a size appropriate to your pet. Chicken wings or beef marrow bones should not be cooked. Optimal dental health can be maintained by daily dental finger tooth brushing, Hills t/d food twice a week and dental treats such as VeggieDents or Greenies.

Avoid sudden changes in diet - change slowly, and remember that any sudden change in a puppy’s diet can cause diarrhoea. Milk and dairy products are fine in moderation. However, exclude dairy if your pet is intolerant and gets loose motions.


Worms are a fact of life in all immature animals (puppies, children, kittens) and we need to get rid of them regularly – we worm puppies at 8,10 and 12 weeks of age, then twice a year.

It is important to worm all pets in your home at the same time. There are several types of worming preparations available. We can advise the appropriate dose rate and preparations for you to use. We use Drontal Allwormers, Popantel Tapewormers or Canex Puppy Suspension (for puppies under 3kg).


This is a worm that is transmitted by mosquito bite from dog to dog. It causes heart and lung problems in otherwise healthy dogs, and if caught and not treated is fatal. We are seeing about 4% of adult untreated dogs in this area with heartworm. Treatment is complex, and the pets usually have some permanent changes from the heartworm. It is easier to prevent heartworm with a once a year injection.

Taking your pet off your property

We recommend always having your pet on a lead, no matter how well trained it is as other dogs may not be as well-trained. There are a variety of means of restraint/control when walking your dog. Our nurses can recommend the most appropriate type of either: a Slip Chain, Harness, Canny Collar or Halti; or combination.


Keep your puppy healthy. New pups will have some protection against disease from their mothers. However, this declines fairly rapidly in the first few months of life, so we need to actively vaccinate giving better protection. We vaccinate routinely against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus, and Kennel Cough.

Full protection from vaccinations takes 7-10 days, so avoid contact with any unvaccinated dogs during this time.

Your pup needs to have enough vaccinations to make sure it is fully covered. For some dogs this is two treatments for younger dogs it is normally three. We tailor each dogs vaccinations to their individual needs. When you get your new pup call us for an initial check-up and we can work out what’s best for it then.


All dogs and cats in South Australia born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed before 6 months of age (exemptions may apply).

This is a day procedure and we operate Monday to Friday. Your dog will need be admitted some time between 8:00am and 9:00am for surgery. Please allow up to 15 minutes for your pets admission, as there is paperwork and registration that your admitting vet or nurse will need to go through with you. You will be allocated a discharge appointment for later in the day as well. Occasionally your pet will be kept overnight if they are slow in recovering from the anaesthetic.

When you ring the hospital to make the booking the nurse will discuss the surgery with you, answer any questions that you have, and quote you the desexing fee. If you want a reminder when your dog is old enough for desexing please let us know and we will arrange to contact you.

Microchip / Identification

New SA Laws from 1st July 2018 state that all dogs and cats in South Australia must be microchipped (exemptions may apply). The “chip” is the size of a grain of rice, and is implanted under the skin with a sterile needle. We put an “M” tattoo in the right ear (under anaesthetic or sedation) to indicate that your pet has a microchip. W will also register the your pets microchip on the Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) website as well as Central Animal Records (CAR). DACO is a South Australian register, whereas CAR is national, so we feel it is important to register with both. Local Councils, The Animal Welfare League and RSPCA scan lost dogs for microchips and so this increases the likelihood of you finding your pet if it gets lost.

For more information or to book an appointment Contact