New Pet Tips

Adopting a new pet is the start of a long-lasting friendship. Read the following tips to discover which pet is a great match for your lifestyle, what supplies you’ll need and how to make your new pet feel right at home.

How to Select a Pet

Adopting an animal is a big responsibility and a life-changing decision. Are you able to provide a loving, permanent home for a pet? Here are a few responsibilities to consider:

  • Time commitment for daily exercise, care, and enrichment for the lifespan of a pet
  • Animal management and control regulations in your area- For example: can you legally own a particular breed of dog or an exotic pet in your city or town? Some bully breed dogs are banned within Denver city limits or in certain residential areas such as apartments and condos.
  • Family members and household environment
  • Pet allergies
  • The cost of veterinary care, food, grooming and other necessities

Welcoming Home a New Pet

Just adopted a new pet… now what?

  • Feeding your new pet the same food he is accustomed to helps limit tummy troubles. You can gradually transition to a new food if you wish.
  • Take your new pet to a veterinarian for an introductory check-up after adoption. Ask one of our customer care specialists about a free initial vet visit.
  • It is very important to have your pet wear a collar, license and ID tag with your current contact information at all times – even if your pet has a microchip. A license and tags provide the quickest and easiest way for someone to return your pet to you. Dogs over the age of 4 months living within Arvada, Edgewater, Golden, Lakewood, Westminster, Wheat Ridge and unincorporated Jefferson County must have a license tag. You can also choose to license your cat. Click here to learn more.
  • All dogs and cats at Foothills Animal Shelter are microchipped. If your pet’s collar and ID tag fall off or are removed, a microchip gives your pet a permanent form of identification which increases the likelihood that they will be returned home. We also offer microchipping as a low-cost service for any pets that you might already have at home. Click here to learn more.

Take extra time when welcoming home a cat

While many cats have difficulty adjusting to change, introducing a new feline friend can be made more simple just by following a few tips:

  • Feline introductions can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Your resident pet and a new cat need to be introduced very slowly so they can get used to each other before a face-to-face meeting.
  • To allow time for the newcomer to adjust, keep her separated in a small room with her litter box, food, water and toys for several days. Feed your resident pet and the newcomer on each side of the door to this room so that they associate something enjoyable with each other. Be sure to spend plenty of time with your new kitty in her room, but do not ignore your resident pet.
  • Once your new cat is settled in and your resident pet is calm, you can introduce them face-to-face.
    • If your resident pet is a cat, put your new cat in her carrier and allow your resident cat to enter the room. They may do some sniffing or they may sit and stare at each other.
    • If your resident pet is a dog, put the dog in his crate or on a leash and allow your new cat to approach him at her own pace.
    • If either pet shows signs of fearful or aggressive behavior, separate them. Continue short introductory meetings until the pets become more comfortable with each other.
  • For the first several weeks, it is a good idea to monitor their interactions closely before allowing both pets to roam freely while unsupervised.
  • Remember, it is better to be slow and safe to ensure a smooth transition for any cat. Rushing things could make a cat become fearful.
  • If need be, get advice from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Supplies

Kittens & Cats

  • Optional license tag for cats within Jefferson County
  • Collar and ID tag with your current contact information (even if you plan to keep your cat indoors)
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Food
  • Microchip: All kittens and cats will be microchipped at the time of adoption for no additional charge. We also offer this as a low-cost service for pets you might already have at home.
  • Cat carrier
  • Litter boxes, litter and a litter scoop
  • Pet bed or cozy place to sleep
  • Toys and scratching post
  • Treats
  • Cat nail trimmers and a brush for grooming

Puppies & Dogs

  • License tag for all dogs living within Jefferson County 4 months and older
  • Collar and ID tag with your current contact information
  • Leash
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Food
  • Microchip: All puppies and dogs will be microchipped at the time of adoption for no additional charge. We also offer this as a low-cost service for pets you might already have at home.
  • Bags to pick up waste when out for a walk
  • Puppy training pads to help with housebreaking
  • Large dog crate if you are crate training
  • Dog carrier for small dogs or puppies
  • Pet bed or cozy place to sleep
  • Sturdy toys that will not be choking hazards
  • Teething chew toys for puppies that will not be choking hazards
  • Treats
  • Dog nail trimmers, dog shampoo and a brush for grooming