Things to do before getting a new pet

MINOT, N.D. - When you are thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, there are a lot of things you need to consider before you bring it home.

Welcoming a pet into your life can and will be a crazy, wild ride, but it can change your life for the better.

"It's true that you don't know what you are going to get, but in a lot of cases shelter animals are better because they were in a situation where they weren't getting love and they are going to be very appreciative of the love that they get when they go home,” said
Justin Anderson, Souris Valley Animal Shelter’s community outreach coordinator.

A new pet can be overwhelming, but there are a few key steps to help you through.

"For a very first time pet owner it can be daunting because you never really know what to expect. You're going to want to make sure it has a place to eat, a place to drink, a place to sleep,” said Anderson.

Before you bring your new pet home, the shelter says to make a quick stop at your local pet store for what they call the "starter pack".

"We try and get them set up with the basic stuff first and just kind of get them acclimated and get the dog accustomed to whatever food they are going to be on. Maybe one kind of treat just something basic,” said Jay Gratzek, store manager at Tractor Supply Company.

Remember that this is not only a change for you, but your pet too, so expect the unexpected. Your favorite pair of shoes may become your animal's favorite chew toy.

"Oh yeah. Lots of shoes. We have gone through lots of dog toys over the years. Anything that had a squeaker in it, her main objective was to tear into that thing to get the squeaker out or break it. Whichever came first,” said Jay Gratzek

If you're interested in rescuing an animal, the Souris Valley Animal Shelter always has a couple dozen dogs and many more cats available.

They are open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m.