2021-04-01 18:00:00
2021-05-01 01:00:00

Take our pledge

April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

Help End Child Abuse

Help End Child Abuse

This month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Take our pledge to end child abuse and neglect.

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There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.

#GivingTuesdayNow is almost over. Only a few hours left to help our families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched up to $50,000 thanks to the generosity of a dedicated group of employees at William Blair and its matching gifts program.

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Support March For Kids

It Begins With You

You can help create a brighter future for Chicago’s children by supporting Mercy Home’s March for Kids this month.

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New Year’s Resolutions Your Pet Can Make This Year

New Year’s Resolutions Your Pet Can Make This Year

Top to bottom, tail to snout, most of 2020 rightfully belonged in the doghouse…except for Mercy Home’s resident ‘good boy’ Pongo, our beloved facility dog who continues to shower our boys and girls with unconditional love throughout these turbulent times.

Still, Pongo doesn’t get let off the leash of self-reflection for 2021. We all need to do our part to make this year better than the last, so why not include our facility dog? In fact, Pongo is eager to make some pawsitive strides this year by following through on these resolutions that might inspire your pets as well. 

1.) Get Creative With Exercise

 
Quarantine and stay-at-home orders have kept us all well-acquainted with never-ending monotony, including our pets. It’s easy for your pooch to get stuck in an exercise rut: the same routine, day after day, whether it’s another game of fetch or another walk along the same-old route. Try something new that’ll be sure to get your pet’s tail wagging.

For dog owners, consider seeking out community dog parks equipped with obstacle courses, like Jackson Bark in Chicago. Various ramps, tunnels, and balance beams are a great way to test and increase your dog’s agility.

Don’t live in a city with dog parks? No problem. Hit the woods, lace up your cross trainers, and go on a hike or a trail run on a path yet taken. Your pooch will love exploring all the new sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.

2.) Diet Audit

 
Just like their human counterparts, pets can suffer from an unhealthy diet during the holidays…or during a global pandemic and widespread civil unrest. The holiday feasts may have been dialed back this past year, but rampant stress eating still meant lots of scraps under the table and dropped cookies on the floor.

But a pet’s poor diet, however, often stems from their owner eyeballing their pet’s daily allotment of food, which can lead to overfeeding and weight gain. Try using a measuring cup to ensure your pet is receiving the proper amount of food. Talk to your veterinarian about proper nutritional guidelines for your pet to tailor their diet for optimal health.

3.) Add An Extra Daily Walk

 
Trying to shed those extra quarantine pounds, and don’t feel comfortable going to the gym? Why not start small, by adding more walks to your daily routine? And while you’re at it, why not bring your pet along for the stroll.

But be sure get off the well beaten path. Use these walks to explore new parts of your neighborhood. Most of us are creatures of habit, but it’s amazing what you and your pet can discover when you turn left where you usually turn right.

“Walks provide exercise, but they also provide a big helping of enrichment through the smells and sounds of the dog’s environment,” says Kristi Benson, a certified professional dog trainer, according to PetMD. “A walk is a great way to bond with your dog, and it’s a nice bonus that walking is healthy for us humans, too.”

4.) Schedule a Visit to the Vet

 
It’s easy skip an annual checkup with the vet if your pet appears to be in good health. It’s also easy to wait until something goes wrong before scheduling a vet visit.

But New Year’s resolutions are all about being proactive and intentional.

Good preventative care begins with yearly examinations, so schedule your pet’s checkup and put it on the calendar. Many medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, and arthritis are much easier to manage in pets when they are detected early.

Best of all, during the pandemic, many vet’s are doing virtual telemedicine checkups for routine appointments.

5.) New Tricks and New Toys to Enrich and Engage

 
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but your dog is never too old for training. Teach them how to fetch your favorite work-from-home slippers or how to sit and shake hands on command. It’s a great bonding experience and easy to do.

If your pet knows all the tricks in the book, consider treating them to a food dispensing toy that will capture their attention. Not only will these toys sharpen your pet’s cognitive ability, they can also put the brakes on greedy eaters. Any one of KONG’s toys would be good place to start.

What New Year’s resolutions did you and your pet make? Feel free tell us in the comments below.
 
 

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