Your Newly Adopted Pet’s Health

Health and Vaccination Information

The health of your pet is always critical, particularly during the initial transition time into your home. Sometimes we receive animals from households in crisis, and we may not know if they received proper preventive health care. Despite the health care and nurturing we provide, animals are exposed to more stress in the shelter than exists in the home environment. This stress can weaken an animals’ immune system, making their health more vulnerable.

As part of our adoption program, we are committed to helping ensure that your new pet is healthy upon adoption. We have not noticed any signs of disease in this animal unless noted in the medical record that was provided to you at the time of adoption. To ensure your pet’s ongoing health, we encourage you to select a veterinarian and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. At that time your veterinarian can determine any health issues that may have developed since adoption, or conditions that weren’t apparent during the animal’s stay at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

While at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, your pet received the following vaccines and/or treatments. Many animals receive more than what is listed below. Please review your medical history for other medical issues diagnosed/treated:

DHPP (Distemper Combination)
This vaccine, given to dogs upon intake, includes canine Distemper (upper respiratory virus that can affect the central nervous system), hepatitis (liver infection), parainfluenza (upper respiratory infection) and parvovirus (a severe gastrointestinal virus that is highly fatal to dogs and puppies if not treated early). Puppies and dogs may need additional doses administered by your veterinarian over a period of weeks or months to achieve maximum immunity from disease. Until these are completed, it is best to limit the exposure your pup has to other dogs. Many serious dog illnesses are spread by fecal material, so properly dispose of waste and avoid areas of elimination used by other dogs.

Rabies Vaccination
All of our dogs and cats who are old enough are vaccinated for rabies. Local laws require all dogs and cats over four months to be vaccinated for this zoonotic disease. Click to download a copy of our informational Rabies Brochure.

FVRCP (Distemper Combination)
This vaccine, given to cats upon intake, includes Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (an upper respiratory infection caused by feline herpes virus), Calicivirus (another viral upper respiratory disease) and panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper or infectious feline enteritis). Cats and kittens may need additional doses administered by your veterinarian over a period of weeks or months to achieve maximum immunity from disease.

This vaccine, given to dogs upon intake, protects against what is commonly called ‘kennel cough’ in dogs. This is an upper respiratory illness easily spread where lots of dogs gather.

If your dog starts to develop cold-like symptoms, keep them quiet and entice them to eat. The best cure for kennel cough, like the common cold is time, good care and love. If your pet has green mucus discharge or has signs of being seriously ill with pneumonia your veterinarian may want to provide antibiotics.

A preventive dose of medicine to eliminate roundworms and hookworms was given to all dogs and cats. Continued treatment and other types of parasite control may be provided by your veterinarian depending on your pet’s needs.


All of our animals are surgically sterilized prior to being placed in our adoption area. If your new pet recently had surgery, you should keep an eye on the incision site, but you do not have to worry about stitch removal as there are no stitches that need to come out. Your pet may have a green tattoo on the surgical incision. Watch for any redness or swelling and contact our veterinary clinic if you have any concerns.

If your newly adopted pet was recently spayed/neutered please adhere to the following post-surgical instructions, which should be included in your adoption information:

  • Your pet should take it easy for at least 10 days after surgery.
  • Provide rest away from other pets and children with no jumping, swimming or running.¬† Dogs must be walked on a leash and cats kept indoors.
  • All females, and some males are marked with a green tattoo in the surgical incision to clearly identify them as sterilized in the future after the incision heals.
  • Bathing your dog after surgery is fine since many dogs leaving the shelter are in need of a bath.¬† Avoid scrubbing or submerging the incision area and then gently pat the incision area dry.
  • Check the incision (or scrotum) daily to watch for excessive swelling, bleeding, pus, redness or pain.¬†
  • Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision site, this may cause infection.
  • The suture used to close the surgery is either absorbable material or stainless steel‚ÄĒneither needs to be removed. ¬†Male puppies typically have no suture in their incision but surgical glue may have been used.
  • Absorbable suture material will dissolve on its own within a few months. ¬†Stainless steel suture material does not dissolve and will show up on future x-rays.
  • If you have questions or concerns, please call the Shelter Veterinary Technician:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 303-442-4030 x 694

Selecting a Veterinarian for Your New Pet

Many of the veterinarians in our community offer discounted services for your newly adopted pet. When you take your pet for the examination, also take your adoption paperwork with you.  Information inserted in the back cover of your Pet Pal Pack will identify the vaccinations and treatment your pet received here at the Humane Society.

Click here for a list of veterinarians in Boulder and surrounding areas that may offer discounted services and new adopt examinations.

Pet Health Insurance

Looking to purchase a policy for your pet? ¬†There is a Consumer Affairs buyer’s guide available online to help you assess which policy is best for your pet. ¬†Consumer Affairs Pet Insurance Buyers Guide

Satisfaction Guarantee

While there is a person for every animal, we know that not every animal is for every person. If you adopt an animal from HSBV and discover that you are not compatible due to behavior concerns or medical issues, you may return your pet at any time and your adoption fee will be refunded.